Unlike the UK and the United States, the Canadian government has been slow to create a policy on open-data. I’m talking about providing access to data that taxpayers have funded. This means getting access to databases like the stimulus spending with breakdowns by regions and project type – something the U.S. government did but the Canadian government continues to resist.
It’s not all bad news. Federal bureaucrats have been drafting an open data plan for nearly 8 months and are working to launch an open-data portal. But they’re most likely being held back by the parliamentary committee, which after nearly a year has failed to come up with a recommendation. Put simply, the federal government is slowing things down, possibly hoping that the current demand for open-data will somehow subside.
This is happening as more and more cities in Canada and across the world are opening up their databases. Paris is the latest major city to launch its portal. The site is called ParisData and is currently listing about 20 different datasets, ranging from lists of concessions in parks to planning applications.
But, the movement is not limited to large cities or city governments, The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), has released a flood of open-data that has sparked a number of websites and mobile applications.
Our focus here at wikiDOMO is on creating and maintaining quality Open Marketplace data, but we strongly support the opening of government databases. Ultimately, all data is marketplace data. Our goal is to support and encourage those releasing open-data as well as those who create innovative solutions with that data.
Image credit: justgrimes'
By Jose Leal