The City of Toronto has joined a handful of other cities around the world in making its municipal data open to the public.
Event: GovSym - Executive Track will focus on emerging business trends and government IT challenges that are affecting the public sector C-level decision-making process. This track is designed for senior government executives: Senior IT and program executives, CIOs, DCIOs, CTOs, DGs, and ADMs.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - Gatineau-Ottawa, QC
Toronto major David Miller launched toronto.ca/open, the city’s official data set catalogue, at the Toronto Innovation Showcase in early November.
The site includes “an initial group of data sets ranging from apartment inspection data to child care data availability to dozens of GIS mapping data (sets) that will enable a broad range of location-based applications,” he said.
An independently developed companion site, datato.org, that allows the public to request new data sets, set priority levels on the data sets by casting votes and enter discussions and debates launched the same day.
Miller initially announced that efforts were underway to create “a library of open data in machine readable formats” at the Mesh Conference for Web developers this spring.
But the open data initiative was inspired by a keynote speech from Mozilla Foundation executive director Mark Surman at the City of Toronto’s Web 2.0 Summit in the fall of last year, according to Miller.
“Openness and participation created a better Internet," stated one of Suman's slides. "They can also create a better city ... We can make a city that thinks like the Web. You just need to ask us for help.”
After hearing Surman’s “city that thinks like the Web” speech, explained Miller, he committed to two things: sharing the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) schedule data and exploring how to open the city’s data to everyone.