The file is 1.6MB, and it slows Google Earth down a bit, but it’s a small price to pay for having all of that information available in such an accessible way. I think that a big “well done” is deserved to the people involved with making the resource!
Andy Burnham made the announcement after a long thread on the British Archaeology email list (Britarch) entitled “Why don’t we share more?”, which brought up many issues about the state of archaeological and historical data held electronically in the UK. There is much fear about opening up data, ranging from lack of time to do so, dangers of looting if specific coordinates were released, and issues of data exchange and standard terminologies.
It’s worth looking at the Britarch archives for August 2006 to get an idea of the issues of what is involved, and some of the attitudes of people working with such data in the profession. The message that sparked it all off is here.
If resourceful people like those at the Megalithic Portal could get their hands on ‘the data’ imagine the possibilities…