University opens centre to promote use of big data

The University of Tokyo has embarked on a quest to unearth Japan’s latent assets that could be worth more than ¥700 billion (US$6.4 billion) – big data held by the public sector, writes Shusuke Murai for The Japan Times.

The nation’s most prestigious university, also known as Todai, has opened what it claims is Japan’s first university research centre specialising in studying open data – the concept of sharing data hitherto owned by the central and municipal governments, such as demographic statistics, geographical information and meteorological data that can be used freely by private companies.

Making public data available to the private sector is beneficial in that it provides transparency for public sector activities while giving more options for data sets to be seen by the public, said Noboru Koshizuka, director of the University of Tokyo Open Data Center, which opened this month in Bunkyo Ward. People will also have wider and easier access to public data by using services created by industries, Koshizuka said.
Full report on The Japan Times site