Even the greats are concerned about potholes

There’s occasional dismissive chatter about Councillors being overly concerned about potholes, instead of pressing social problems. My view is that you can do both. Potholes in roads have been of concern for millenia. There’s nothing new with this.

What is new, is the drive by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, to make data more open and available to more people in the world, and this includes data about potholes as Emma Rowley in the Daily Telegraph reports.

In Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s talk at the World Economic Summit at Davos, Emma Rowley reports him saying,

“The simplest thing in the world is to want to share … photographs with my LinkedIn friends and my Facebook colleagues,” he said. “[But] each of these social networks is a silo. That’s a frustration.

“The dream is of a more open web. If I want to share something with you, it shouldn’t be the technology that gets in the way.”

Sir Tim Berners-Lee also called for more sharing of data which has been paid for by the taxpayer, from bus times and pothole locations – “a lot of enterprises really find that data really valuable” – to health statistics, stripped of personal identifiers.

“The country runs better,” he said. “Often the reason that you need to publish the data is that other people will do things with it that you can’t. It’s a question, really, of unlocking the potential that we already have.”

Boy, wouldn’t I like to get hold of all the data about potholes in Surrey Heath.

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