If you deal with information on government departments you may want to offer your help in improving a new project that aims to make it easier to combine government data.
Publicbodies.org is attempting to do for government data what OpenCorporates does for company data: create unique resources that allow you to distinguish between similar-sounding departments, and grab extra contextual data along the way.
Created at last week’s Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw, the project currently contains basic data on German, UK and EU public bodies.
In a post introducing the project, Friedrich Lindenberg explains how the seed data for the site was compiled from freedom of information request sites such as WhatDoTheyKnow and AskTheEU.
The project still needs data on government departments in other countries, however.
This is a promising service which already includes a reconciliation service for Google Refine (in other words, if you have a spreadsheet that mentions government departments, you can relatively easily bring in extra data in just a few clicks).
And news organisations wanting to steal a march on their rivals on this front should seriously consider contributing some time to making it better.