Last month I was invited to visit the OECD to speak to the OECD's task force on looking at the development of OECD statistical products about data publishing and Web 2.0.
The documentation for that meeting including my presentation is now available online.
The meeting included representatives from the OECD and from a number of national statistics organizations. It was interesting to learn about their challenges in publishing statistics and discuss their plans to reach a mixture of audiences both expert and otherwise. For my part I provided an overview of Web 2.0 and discussed the increasingly diverse range of lightweight publishing options that are available. I showed some demos of tools like Exhibit, Google Spreadsheets, Many Eyes, Swivel, and other data visualization examples using tools like Google Maps and Google Earth. We also discussed the potential for Semantic Web technologies in this space.
I suggested that the arrival of a "YouTube for data" isn't far away. Indeed tools like Swivel are aiming to deliver just that. Data publishing and visualization is a topic thats of increasing interest to a wide range of publishers.
Declan Butler has a short piece in Nature that reviews this latest trend. Armin Grossenbacher, another OECD task force attendee, maintains a blog about dissemination of official statistics which also has some useful pointers and commentary.