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Defra hits open data target



Department goes way beyond original ambition to release 8,000 datasets for reuse; now to focus on improvements based feedback

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released 10,146 open datasets over the past 12 months, bringing the total to 11,007 and surpassing the target of 8,000 that it announced in June of last year.

It has released the figures in a digital team blogpost that highlights the release as a first step in making its data available for reuse.

Defra’s secretary of state, Liz Truss (pictured), announced the move last year, saying it could support the food and farming industry by giving them access to the data and through the development of relevant data services.

She said it would support the productivity of farming and the food industry, and support the leisure industry through relevant environmental information.

Over the past year, the datasets have been used in a range of apps to provide information on features such as levels of flood risk, water quality in areas where people swim, and analysis of issues such as changes in food consumption and links between food trends and popular culture. Data has also been used in 3D maps and imported into the computer game Minecraft.

User needs

“The next steps are to make sure that the data we’ve published is as useful as it can be for our users’ needs, and we’ll be iteratively improving what we’ve published based on that feedback,” said Stefan Jansuz of Defra’s digital team.

“We’ll make sure new datasets are published, from parts of Defra group that haven’t been so heavily involved up to now. Of course, we’ll also be using the coming weeks to take stock and, after many hard months of publishing and all it entails, there will be a pause to take breath.”

Earlier this week the department staged and OpenDefra DataMarket which presented some of the projects in which the data has been used over the past year.

Image from under Open Government Licence v3.0

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