Lac Carling 2010: Q&A with David Eaves

The stateof the “open data movement” in Canadawas discussed by six public sector officials in a joint panel discussion teleconferencedfrom two concurrent government conferences in Ontario’sNiagara region this week.

Moderatedby open government activist David Eaves, the panel bridged three public sectorofficials at the Lac Carling Congress in Niagara-on-the-Lake with three atMISA’s annual conference in NiagaraFalls.

ComputerWorld Canada caught up with Eaves following thepanel, to re-cap where Canadian municipal, provincial and federal governmentstand and whether Canadaoverall is leading or lagging compared to other nations around the world.

In theinterview below, Eaves also discusses the biggest obstacles to open data ingovernment, whether top-down support is necessary and why treating open data asif it were a new concept causes him concern.

He also pointsout the distinction between open vs. default vs. common standards. “The onearea I would push to move common standards the quickest would be aroundlicenses,” said Eaves.

“Do werelease the data in a similar structure as everybody else? My big fear is if weopen that can of worms, we are going to spend the next ten years figuring outhow we are going to do open data. Do we need to get there? Absolutely. Shouldthat stop us from moving and acting right now? Definitely not,” he said.


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