Words Myte Bite

Funny can be whatever you want it to be. The Words and Musings of Paul O'Malley. Sort of a Blog!

03 August
Comments Off

Tuesday’s thought for the day

Open Streetmap (OSM) whose web site is unsurprisingly  http://www.openstreetmap.org is a user generated site, you too can contribute. I live in Dublin, Ireland and one of my pal’s is a prolific cartographer on OSM. This got me thinking, here are people all around the world doing things in a common way by mutual agreement for a common objective. It is a bit like Free Software projects in general.

I am going to suggest that the data gathered by the Irish Government belongs to the Irish People it should be made available (within the parameters of the law) so that people in this country can exploit it in business or for other purposes that may help the Irish Economy grow. An obvious example is the OSI which is a government based monopoly which appears to generate cash, it would be nice to see what parts of it are really cash generating, and not just public monies being moved like wooden dollars. Wooden dollars are money you never get but appears on your bottom line as though you earned it, for instance recharging things within a company, a division could look very profitable but when you take away the “super charge” they are raising against other departments they could be found to be just providing a necessary service and charging a lot for it.

Lets think medical for a moment, imagine if no matter where you walked into a surgery or hospital in your country the doctor that sees you can see your history, perhaps they have to have an id card or code to get that information made available to them, or have an emergency procedure to access it if you turn up unable to help them to help you. That kind of information flow would hugely facilitate the level of important data that a patient may forget due to the stress or trauma they are undergoing.

What blocks this kind of thing?

Incompatible systems all claiming to help the data owner in each location manage their data but preventing the information help the public for whom all the services should be working to help.

Lets look at academia, the person who writes a paper and submits it to a peer review journal gets lauded for their important paper which then goes on to be quoted by others in the field. That looks great, however here is the cost to society, society paid for the research, it got owned by some publication which then places constraints on the author and their organisation as the originating body has to pay a high price for the peer reviewed journal.

The thoughts that follow on from this is that these things seem to be to be overly complex expensive costs to society, society has already paid to gather this data, it should be released for a nominal fee, the work is done, the payment for that work has already been made, society can benefit from the labours of those it has employed then it should there is a thing called innovation, but if you make the cost of entry too high people can’t innovate. Innovation is small incremental improvements on what went before.

Before I start delivering a full blown lecture I will stop here. ;-)

Comments are closed.