Four major municipalities in Canada – Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver – have started opening their data for public use through open data catalogues on the Web. And smaller cities, like Nanaimo, are also following the trend. But what are developers doing with it? Here’s a look at some Web sites and apps that are taking advantage of open data sets, and a few that are trying to promote open government, listed in alphabetical order.
1) Canadian Government Expenses
This site from Bine Consulting Corp. collects and analyzes Canadian federal travel and hospitality expenses claims published under the proactive disclosure requirement. The data is organized in multiple ways, from average claims by department to the largest and smallest claims made to the number of expenses to the longest trips taken. The current total expense bill, which includes all the data collected since 2003, is $156,656,762.80.
A site run by Canadian open government activist David Eaves, Datadotgc.ca intends to act as an example of “what a federal open data portal could and should look like.” The site lists and organizes available federal datasets by ministry or tags and includes a search bar for finding datasets by keyword.
A community-run site from Mark Kuznicki of Remarkk Consulting, DataTo.org is for users and publishers of open access data in the Toronto region. Visitors can publish requests for data, and also comment and rate other people’s requests.
This site from Nurey Networks Inc. keeps track of Canadian government agency contracts. Visitors can search for past contracts by agency or department, or use the site’s search bar, to find names of vendors, descriptions of work, durations of contracts and their dollar value. Disclosed.ca says 247,253 contracts are currently in the system, starting from 2004. External links to the contract details are also included.