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Whe I suggested to Nick about three weeks ago that he should be blogging, I didn’t think he’d take it on so seriously! Talking over coffee this afternoon, he had plenty of ideas to keep him blogging in his areas of professional interest (SOA, SaaS, portals and IT architecture) for some time yet.

One of his posts this evening touches on open data as the next frontier, and perhaps a prerequisite for further advances in open source. My own feeling is that the two, although complementary, are independent issues. It is likely that the most enthusiastic supporters of open data will also favour open source software, but I don’t see any causation – it’s not compulsory! The Wikipedia article on open data that Nick references suggests that it is "more oriented towards factual data and the output of the scientific research process." – I think it now means something much broader, and has more to do with co-creation of data and value from that data.Most mashups on the Web are based on freely-available data like that encouraged by the FOAF project, found on Craigslist, combined with Google Maps and generally morphed into information of more value than it originally represented.

While scientific research obviously generates and builds on the metaphorical "shoulders of giants", it will be data from all of us that will be re-combined into the "open data" that will be the next transformation  of our Web existence. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for corporates to let go of some of that "enterprise" data to generate value currently locked in their databases …

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