Back in April of this year we launched datadotgc.ca - an unofficial open data portal for federal government data.
a time when only a handful of cities had open data portals and the
words "open data" were not being even talked about in Ottawa, we saw the
site as a way to change the conversation and demonstrate the
opportunity in front of us. Our goal was to:
- Be an innovative platform that demonstrates how government should share data.
an incentive for government to share more data by showing ministers,
public servants and the public which ministries are sharing data, and
which are not.
- Provide a useful service to citizens interested
in open data by bringing it all the government data together into one
place to both make it easier to find.
In every way we
have achieved this goal. Today the conversation about open data in
Ottawa is very different. I've demoed datadotgc.ca to the CIO's of the
federal government's ministries and numerous other stakeholders and an
increasing number of people understand that, in many important ways, the
policy infrastructure for doing open data already exists since
datadotgc.ca show the government is already doing open data. More importantly, a growing number of people recognize it is the right thing to do.
Today, I'm pleased to share that thanks to our friends at Microsoft & Raised Eyebrow Web Studio and some key volunteers, we are taking our project to the next level and launching Datadotgc.ca 2.0.
So what is new?
In short, rather than just pointing to the 300 or so data sets that
exist on federal government websites members may now upload datasets to
datadotg.ca where we can both host them and offer custom APIs. This is
made possible since we have integrated Microsoft's Azure cloud-based Open Government Data Initiative into the website.
what does this mean? It means people can add government data sets, or
even mash up government data sets with their own data to create interest
visualization, apps or websites. Already some of our core users have
started to experiment with this feature. London Ontario's transit data can be found on Datadotgc.ca making it easier to build mobile apps, and a group of us have taken Environment Canada's facility pollution data, uploaded it and are using the API to create an interesting app we'll be launching shortly.
we are excited. We still have work to do around documentation and
tracking some more federal data sets we know are out there but, we've
gone live since nothing helps us develop like having users and people
telling us what is, and isn't working.
But more importantly, we
want to go live to show Canadians and our governments, what is possible.
Again, our goal remains the same - to push the government's thinking
about what is possible around open data by modeling what should be done.
I believe we've already shifted the conversation - with luck,
datadotgc.ca v2 will help shift it further and faster.
Finally, I can never thank our partners and volunteers enough for helping make this happen.