UK flood risk assessment data…

UK flood risk assessment data now publicly available

Published on: 12/12/2014

The UK Environment Agency is making available its flood risk assessment data, including real time river levels, flood warnings, and flood alerts. The UK government hopes that these sets of open data will help local communities better protect themselves.

UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced the availability of the data at the Open Data and Transparency conference in London on 11 December. “This will enable businesses large and small to develop local flood warning systems or integrate the data into their systems”, the minister said. Previously, the data had only been available at cost to a small number of insurance companies. – the UK’s open data portal – now has 16,000 open datasets and information on a further 4,080 unpublished datasets, everything from live traffic information to statistics on childhood obesity, the minister said at the conference. “On this scale, open data can be a raw material for economic growth”, Maude said, “just like iron and steel and coal were to the industrial revolution 300 years ago.”


Minister Maude said that making government data publicly available makes governments more accountable. “It strengthens our democracy; it informs choice over public services and, hugely importantly, it feeds economic and social growth”, he said.

He added that the Cabinet has been using open data to reduce government spending. “Transparency is your friend when you start doing difficult things with departmental budgets.”

“It’s clear that around the world open data is starting to be seen as a fundamental part of better government and stronger growth”, the Minister said, referring to the D5 London 2014 meeting, earlier that week. The conference brought together “the five most advanced digital governments in the world”, Maude said. “Estonia, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and ourselves, recognise that transparency and openness are a key plank of reform.”


More information:

Francis Maude speech on open data and transparency
Open data and transparency conference website
Independent news item
Guardian news item