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UK Government Goes for Data Mash-Up

The U.K. government has launched an ambitious data "mash-up" initiative, which could put it at the cutting-edge of Web 2.0 applications.

Officials in London have launched a competition to find new ways of using their vast quantities of criminal justice, health, and education data, according to a BBC report.

The government has set up a $40,000 prize fund for the best ideas and has already opened up a slew of information as part of the project. This includes data from the U.K.s vast National Health Service (NHS), neighborhood statistics from the Office for National Statistics, and even a "carbon calculator" from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Government ministers have already launched a wiki to support their "Power of Information" effort, which contains models of potential data-sharing schemes. This includes, for a example, a Website that allows people to alert authorities (and their neighbors) to litter, vandalism, and graffiti in their local area.

Thankfully, officials have promised that no personal information will be accessible as part of its massive data mash-up effort, which must have come as a massive relief to the country’s citizens following its recent spate of storage snafus .