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New version planned for London Datastore

26/02/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is planning to create a new iteration of the London Datastore in which it acts as a reference point for where data is held.

Theo Blackwell

London’s chief digital office Theo Blackwell (pictured) outlined the plan at the Public Sector Innovation Conference, saying it would be “a platform that goes with the grain of how London works”.

“What we are proposing is for the Datastore to become like a library record or index card of where the data is held,” he said. “So project by project, with that mission based approach, we can share the more sensitive data securely and responsibly with all the partners.”

The London Datastore was set up 10 years ago as an open data sharing portal, was rebuilt in 2015 and currently holds over 700 datasets.

Blackwell said that the new approach is intended to encourage more organisations to make data available.

“We won’t get all of them involved, some might not want to, but we can build the case for more people to share their information to make the city better,” he said.

Discovery and vision

The GLA has carried out a discovery phase with the Open Data Institute and is currently working with consultancy Public Digital, supported by the Bloomberg Foundation, on developing a clear plan for the Datastore to last over the next five or 10 years.

Blackwell said it will involve a significant rebrand and will have to be aligned with the work the London Office of Technology and Innovation on information governance and data sharing.

“Ultimately we want to have a new vision for data sharing that goes beyond the GLA, into local authorities and that also talks to the private sector,” he said.

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