Slowly but surely, our representatives in the local governments understand that there are many reasons to be open with their data:
- Transparency – people see what the government is doing, which means more people will vote for a government, which shows what is happening around it.
- Modernization – everyone has access to the internet and the old style communication disappear in the past. Having all information available online and accessible 24×7 makes citizens more less frustrated when they look for information.
- Expansion – new businesses are created who use the raw information and provide additional layers, combining it and building on to of it with smart-phone apps and web-sites.
- Focus – governments can focus on what they are elected to do and not generation and provision of information. They can redirect their efforts into what matters – generating the information, saving money from unproductive tasks such as distribution of information.
Excellent example of adoption of the OGDI DataLab project was done by our friends at the Town of Banff, Alberta. They were one of the first in Canada to realize that governments can improve their relationship with their citizens. Since the portal was put together, they constantly upload new and refresh existing information.
From available parking spaces to aerial imagery, you can find almost everything there. And the number of datasets keeps increasing. Just imagine how many opportunities for they created by publishing the already-available data. Now, some open-source fans have offered their imagination and started creating smart-phone apps to combine the information from several sources around Canada and create new apps.
At MyOpenCity, we are trying to help our friends at many municipalities around Canada. Do you want to be next?