In the last couple of years a movement has taken hold in countries around the world. It’s a movement that empowers ordinary citizens to take subsets of public data (collected by various levels of government) and to repurpose and mashup the data in new and interesting ways. This type of data is widely referred to as Open Data.
Early in 2010 a number of citizens came together to discuss a number of civic engagement projects in the interest of moving our city forward – one of these initiatives was for the City of London to embrace the Open Data movement.
As a proof of concept, a couple of applications were developed and deployed for public use: one that made public transit information available on BlackBerry devices and one that mashed up restaurant inspection data with Google Maps. The City of London quickly saw the possibilities and began to prepare a report to move an Open Data initiative forward.
On July 21, 2010 our Board of Control voted unanimously to approve an Open Data pilot. This report goes before our City Council for vote on July 26, 2010.
We would like to send out a special thanks to the team at Open Data Ottawa for their ongoing advice and for letting us re-use their logo (designed by the talented Mark Dunkley). Also, big thanks go out to Denise Spiessens for her ongoing creative input and assistance.
Here’s a video of a recent presentation from one of Canada’s foremost Open Data activists David Eaves: