The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a source of much useful public data and so of great interest to the Power of Information agenda.
A lot of their output is in the form of PDF format documents presenting ONS’s own analysis of data, i.e. they have handled all layers including the analysis and presentation. And this finished product is popular with a very wide audience.
But they have also been making progress in creating an access layer offering up their source data for re-use by those who want to do more than read the finished reports.
One version of this is their neighbourhood statistics interface. While this can require a fair amount of navigation effort it does offer a good way to collect much of the ONS data for use in local information services.
A positive aspect of the ONS site is their clear statement on copyright information. Clear copyright rules that permit reuse without introducing major administrative burdens are an essential part of a good access layer.
The policy also covers other issues which may interest a visitor such as linking and logo use.
It’s worth looking at this ONS page for an example of clarity in presenting copyright and other licensing information to visitors.
For most material on the site, which is held under Crown Copyright, you are directed to obtain a Click-Use license which is a simple process.
An exception to this is in the use of Census data which does apparently require you to email someone for a specific license. Not sure why this is but no doubt the answer will come in the course of the Task Force work.
Article by Richard Allan, Task Force Chair.