Today we have published our National Dataset List (NDL) on GOV.UK. The NDL details the data we hold across the Environment Agency and which departments are responsible for it. We are publishing this to show some of the data we hope to release as Open Data as part of our contribution to #OpenDefra.
The list is made up of nationally important data, which is vital for us to hold, has a wide scope for use and is used in our decision-making. Currently not all the data on the NDL has been through our legal and risk checks to ensure that it can be released as Open Data, and we may not be able to release some data in its entirety, or at all for legal or national security reasons.
The list is still a work in progress, and we know it will contain some errors. However, we believe that the benefits of being transparent about the data we hold and giving you the opportunity to look at what will be coming out soon, outweighs our concerns about it not being 100% accurate or complete. This is an approach you will see across Defra in the coming months, as we respond to the Secretary of State’s ask to open up our data estate, becoming more open and transparent about what we do.
The document will evolve as we update it every month to improve the quality and add more data. With this is mind, it is by no means an exhaustive list, but we feel that ‘some data about our data is better than no data about our data’ to start with. We have produced a guidance document alongside the list to provide some further information which is available with the download. Known issues include possible repetition, incorrect data names, and the possibility of third party data we do not actually own being on the list.
We are committed to ensuring our information is available, by publishing as much of it as possible as Open Data. We hope that by giving free access to our data, businesses and local communities will be better informed, and develop innovative solutions to benefit the environment.