Posts / February 18, 2011

Saskatoon Needs Open Data

David Hutton wrote a great article in this week’s Star Phoenix on why Saskatoon needs to adopt an ‘open-data’ approach. I had the pleasure of giving my feedback why open data is not only important, but also makes sense from an economic perspective.

University of Saskatchewan instructor Chad Jones knows first-hand the power of freeing information locked away in government cabinets and databases.

For a class project, a student in Jones’s iPhone programming class set out to create a mobile application that would tell you when your bus is coming using Saskatoon’s transit scheduling data.

It took days of tedious conversion to get the information in a useful format -and even then the student was only able to map a single route.

In the same class, another student used data that was readily available from Calgary and was able to write a bare-bones app that covered the entire city.

The first students’ ordeal would have been avoided if Saskatoon had an “open-data” policy similar to one a growing number of North American cities are adopting, Jones says.

“There are a lot of creative individuals who want to do this kind of thing and right now it’s very hard,” Jones said. “By not making the data available in a format that’s honestly usable, it’s delaying possible innovation.”

Such a policy would make certain sets of city data available in a format that makes it possible for computer programmers or the public to use them, without copyright restrictions or other controls on its use.

Dozens of Canadian cities already share on open data websites information ranging from crime statistics to transit and traffic information to the locations of public parks, artwork or washrooms, homeless shelters and sewer manholes.

Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver -known as Canada’s G4 of open data -are working on creating common standards for their terms of use and data catalogues and most of their city councils have entrenched a commitment to open data by passing resolutions.

Advocates say open data policies can spawn useful websites and mobile applications -anything from automatic garbage-day email reminders, bus-tracking information and maps that show the location, ice quality, and hours of outdoor hockey rinks.

“I see great opportunity,” said Eric Neufeld, the head of the U of S computer science department. “There’s a lot of potential for community building.”

In Saskatoon, almost all of the city’s key information, including council and committee agendas and annual budgets, for instance, are only available as large PDFs -the Internet equivalent of a brick.

City officials are reviewing their outdated website and getting video of council meetings streaming live online before delving into open data, said Mike Jordan, the city’s intergovernmental affairs manager.

The city would need to examine the scope of information it can legally provide given privacy and security restrictions, he said, but would “try to be as open as possible respecting privacy legislation.

“Some of these technology things move a little quicker if you have critical mass,” Jordan said. “We are incrementally catching up with larger centres. There’s a trickle-down effect that starts where there’s a population mass and we’re starting to see we need to get in the game, too.”

Opening up information can also increase government transparency and engage the public. In Toronto, campaign finance filings and council voting and attendance records are a click away.

By releasing data in easy-to-use formats, developers will create sites or applications that are packaged and customized in ways city hall never would have considered, said Dale Zak, a local software developer.

The 30-year-old Zak has become somewhat of a social media leader in Saskatoon, organizing a hackathon for local programmers to write as many apps as possible over a weekend with proceeds going to charity.

It’s one thing for data to be public or available via access to information, but it also needs to be usable, he said.

There’s also an economic argument. With easy access to the city’s large data sets, developers could make money selling smartphone applications, he said.

Many cities have held competitions with prizes of up to $50,000 for the developer who comes up with the best application.

“The idea of a competition would be really successful,” Zak said.

“Throw out $50 or $5,000 . . . you’re going to get multiple value returned on that investment.

“Cities are getting the work for free . . . you open up the data and anyone can build on top of it.”

An App For That

Mobile applications that have been spawned by datasets made available by governments:

Rinkside Ottawa: Ottawa-based app for smartphones finds the closest outdoor rink and the quality of the ice.

Where’s my Streetcar? Toronto iPhone app that quickly tells users when the next few streetcars will arrive at their stop.

Transit To Go: Halifax iPhone app gives users all the next buses arriving at their stop.

VanTrash: Using the City of Vancouver’s garbage collection data, users can download collection calendars and get email alerts to remind them about pickup.

Stumble Safely: Washington D.C. app correlates crime, liquor licence and traffic data and calculates the safest way to walk home when drunk.

Fly on Time: Popular U.S. app and website shows how often a flight arrives on time using data from federal government.

Comments
Azithromycin Overnight Delivery [url=https://apcialisle.com/#]Cialis[/url] Unisom In Singapore safe cialis online Sinusitis Treatment Amoxicillin
Europa Kamagra Vendita [url=https://buycialisuss.com/#]where can i buy cialis on line[/url] Priligy Viagra Kombination buy cialis from canada Online Pharmacy Cialis Reviews
ivermectin 15 mg - ivermecpls.com ivermectin 3mg price
cost of ivermectin - ivermectin 15 mg ivermectin usa
stromectol price - http://ivermecpills.com/# stromectol 3 mg tablet
clopidogrel 300 mg - plavix generic lowest price plavix 75 online
male enhancement products - new ed drugs cure for side effects of ed pills
viagra 50mg - compra de viagra farmacia online viagra
purchase bactrim online - bactrim 800 mg pills where to get bactrim
purchase cialis without prescription - cialis professional wikipedia tadalafil prescription cost
tadalafil tablets 20 mg price - cialis super active 500 pills 250.00 cialis online pharmacy
price of cymbalta in south africa - generic cymbalta tablets generic cymbalta tablets
synthroid 115 mcg - best price for synthroid 75 mcg levothyroxine 0.0125 mg
price of amoxicillin 500 mg - amoxicillin without a doctor’s prescription walgreens amoxicillin price
usa pharmacy online order vardenafil - vardenafil 20 when to take vardenafil
vardenafil 10 mg - buy vardenafil uk generic vardenafil usa
legitimate canadian pharmacy - canadian pharmacy meds canadian mail order pharmacy
can you buy cialis online in australia - cialis best online cialis online 10mg
50 mg viagra cost - viagra 1000mg viagra rx pharmacy
order vardenafil 30 pills - cedric vardenafil generic vardenafil 40mg
viagra 500mg price in india - viagra coupons generic viagra
cialis brand - canadian pharmacy 24 tadalafil coupon discount
over the counter prednisone cream - where can you buy prednisone without a prescription prednisone 20mg price
lyrica tablets 50mg - gnlyrica lyrica without a prescription
buy generic azithromycin 500mg - azithromycin 250mg dose zithromax online
prednisolone 5mg brand name - prednisolone buy online uk prednisolone 10 mg no prescription
ivermectin 50ml - stromectol brand stromectol pill price
furosemide 100 mg online - furosemide 40 for sale doxycycline without rx
dapoxetine online 30mg - generic daily use cialis cialis sale australia
prednisone price - buying prednisone pharmacy cost of prednisone
order modafinil online - gnprovigl.com modafinil and alcohol
how to get accutane in india - accutane 10mg accutane how to get
buy amoxicilin 500 mg mexico - buy amoxicilin 500 mg online cvs amoxicillin price
levitra generic - order vardenafil vardenafil generic
cialis generic buy online - cialis 40mg price canadapharmacy24h
ivermectin cream canada cost - ivermectin 6mg tablet for lice ivermectin buy online
accutane buy online - accutane capsule accutane over the counter uk
lyrica 20 mg - vyvanse canadian pharmacy best canadian pharmacy online
amoxicillin prices at walmart - amoxicillin price buy amoxicillin noscript canada
viagra usa pharmacy - what is impotence cheap viagra 50mg
medical mall pharmacy - buy cialis generic southern pharmacy
ivermectin 0.1 - ivermectin covid ivermectin 6
prednisone 10 mg order online - deltasone otc prednisone for cheap
modafinil and alcohol - buy modafinil provigil weight loss
purchase zithromax z-pak - zithromax 100mg dose zithromax 500
lasix 20 mg tablet - lasix canada pharmacy lasix 40 price
clomid for sale - generic clomiphene 50mg online where to buy clomid
viagra viagra 50mg - buy sildenafil online australia viagra 100 price in india
rx pharmacy coupons - buy cialis retail ez pharmacy
ivermectin price uk - buy stromectol 3mg stromectol 6mg online
sugarhouse casino online - online casino real money no deposit online casino
erectile dysfunction pills over the counter - best ed pills online where can i buy ed pills
prednisone 2.5 mg price - prednisone 10mg deltasone 20 mg cost
cheap tadalafil no preion - Brand cialis ordering tadalafil
ivermectin 6 tablet - stromectol brand name buy oral ivermectin
cheapest ed pills online - top ed pills medication for ed dysfunction
ventolin for sale - ventolin pills ventolin hfa inhaler
cytotec online pharmacy with paypal - buy cytotec online canada cytotec 50 mg
neurontin 100 mg tablets - buy neurontin online no prescription synthroid 50mg
buy viagra 500mg - viagra usa prescription sildenafil 50 mg prices
where to order cialis online - cialis 60mg online soft chewable cialis
cipla generic vardenafil - generic cialis viagra vardenafil online does vardenafil work
ivermectin lotion cost - ivermectin buy online ivermectin buy canada
where can i buy prednisone without prescription - where can i buy prednisone how to get prednisone tablets
how to get accutane without prescription - accutane 30 mg can you buy accutane online
amoxil - amoxicillin without a doctor's prescription amoxicillin price without insurance walmart
order methylprednisolone online - cheap lyrica lyrica prescription cost
buy nothing day essay - essayqx.com cheap custom essay
can you buy viagra mexico - Free viagra samples female viagra order
cheapest generic tadalafil 20mg - Generic cialis next day delivery cheap cialis free shipping
stromectol tablets for sale - ivermectin pills stromectol 3 mg tablet
prednisone without a script - 1.5 prednisone buying prednisone 4mg without prescription
furosemide on line no prescription - purchase clomid lasix 10 mg daily
ventolin cost - ventolin tablet price ventolin cost canada
buy cytotec no prescription - how to get cytotec online cytotec oral
doxycycline 40 mg coupon - prednisolone online pharmacy uk prednisolone medicine
ivermectin 1 cream generic - ivermectin 6 buy ivermectin cream
stromectol pill for humans - ivermectin 8000 ivermectin 1mg
sildenafil no prescription - generic sildenafil names canadian pharmacy sildenafil
buy accutane online uk - accutane prescription australia where can you get accutane
writing dissertation service - custom research paper writing my favorite writer essay
stromectol over the counter - stromectol tablets uk generic ivermectin for humans
sildenafil otc nz - Buy cheap cialis online buy genuine cialis
malegra 100mg - click here to read the full article malegra 200 usa and uk
orlistat dosage instructions - orlistat dosis orlistat from mexico
sildenafil 100mg for sale - overnight delivery viagra price for viagra
20 mg tadalafil - canada drugs review buy cialis 5mg daily use
disorders of human digestive system cost of hair transplant online pharmacies canadian drugstore https://canadianexpresspharm.com/# online pharmacies
average cost of 20mg cialis - cheap cialis 20 mg 60 pills cialis offer
ivermectin cream 5% - ivermectin over counter buy ivermectin for humans
buy ivermectin for humans australia - ivermectin pills stromectol ivermectin buy
genuine viagra online usa - viagra generic how much is sildenafil
sildenafil 25 mg prices - female viagra sildenafil where to buy viagra tablets
order cialis online in canada - cialis coupon best india pharmacy
cialis order online - Buy cialis overnight delivery cialis south africa
ivermectin cream 1% - iverceitin.com stromectol price
ivermectin 3mg tablet - ivermectin drug ivermectin 6 mg without prescription
real money casino games - casino moons online casino slots online
price of 50mg viagra - Buy viagra online cheap viagra 100 mg coupon
ivermectine online - ivermectin 6 mg tablets ivermectin 12 mg over counter
buy oral ivermectin - ivermectin 12mg oral ivermectin virus
prednisone 2.5 mg daily - 5 mg prednisone prednisone pills 10 mg
accutane price online pharmacy - accutafte.com price of accutane in india
pharmacy technician jobs in canada online canada pharmacy
where to buy amoxicillin - amoxil no prescription purchase amoxicillin 250mg uk
stromectol sales - ivermectin 3mg without prescription ivermectin over counter
casino online usa - online gambling for real money casino online games
viagra online no prescription try viagra for free
generic ivermectin cream - ivermectin virus ivermectin 3 mg for humans for sale
canadian pharmacy cialis 40 mg - canadian pharmacy reviews viagra canadian pharmacy vipps approved
prescription drugs become illegal when __________. pharmacies in canada that ship to the us
over the counter ed pills that work - where to buy otc ed pills best male ed pills
prednisone uk online - buy prednisone without prescription prednisone 5mg tablets
generic prednisone pills - buy prednisone no prescription canine prednisone 5mg no prescription
isotretinoin online - accutane 5 mg accutane 5 mg 10mg
ivermectin for humans over the counter ivermectin and collies
rexall first canadian place pharmacy study pharmacy online free
tadalafil + dapoxetine 40mg/60mg tadalafil 20 mg e20
india ivermectin - ivermectin 3 mg for people stromectol lotion
first medicine online pharmacy store reviews medstore online pharmacy
cialis 20mg daily - get cialis viagra cream buy online
humana online pharmacy - canadian pharmacy online reviews online pharmacy canada
can i get someone to write my essay instant essay writer
cheap generic viagra online pharmacy viagra 100
reputable overseas online pharmacies Naprosyn
is it safe to buy drugs from canada canadian pharmacy near me
online pharmacy india - cheap cleocin canadian pharmacy sildenafil
canadian pharmacy discount code - purchase keflex generic canadian pharmacy world coupon code
cooperative pharmacy store locator Aygestin
where to buy viagra online in usa price for sildenafil 100 mg
generic zithromax 100mg - zithromax 100mg pills zithromax 100mg
flying to mexico with prescription drugs pharmacy in montreal canada
ivermectin 6 mg pills for humans - stromectol pills human ivermectin 6 tablet
generic cialis from canada cialis at costco
can i order prescription drugs from canada northwest drugs canada
canadian generic viagra 100mg - viagra 150mg viagra 25mg online
best sex flash games kinky [url="https://sexgamesx.net/?"]bbw sex games[/url] having sex with him while he plays games
ivermectin 3 mg for humans for sale - cost of stromectol medicine legitimate canadian pharmacy online
sex games for ipod [url="https://sexygamess.com/?"]blowjob sex games[/url] sex games reddit
canadian online pharmacy cialis costco canada pharmacy
dangerous games with sex [dunia21.ru] [url="https://winsexgames.com/?"]htc vive sex games[/url] best sex games on steam
expired levitra side effects levitra costa rica
purchase amoxicillin usa - buy essay paper casino games win real money
marie dixie belle sex and fun games [url="https://sex4games.com/?"]japanese sex games porn[/url] sex games pc
buy viagra for female online india best price real viagra
pregabalin 150mg tablet - cheap azithromycin 500mg online best over the counter lasix
porn 3d sex games [url="https://sexgameszone.com/?"]games of thrones sex[/url] futa sex games
buy clomid online - generic clomiphene 100mg online misoprostol 200mcg price
writing narrative essay [url="https://buy1essay.com/?"]write college essays for money[/url] custom writing essay
priligy order - prednisolone 40mg cost prednisolone online
online reservation system thesis documentation phd thesis on service marketing
levothyroxine price - gabapentin 800mg over the counter neurontin cost
where can i buy an essay [url="https://multiessay.com/?"]pay to write essay[/url] writing essay conclusion
enterprise resource planning term paper term paper on down syndrome
write my essay.com [url="https://casinoonlinet.com/?"]write about yourself essay[/url] write your essay
what should you include in the thesis statement of your argument essay how to write an intro paragraph for a synthesis essay
order modafinil 200mg pill - order provigil 200mg sale ivermectin 4 mg
write me an essay [url="https://casinoonlinek.com/?"]writing personal essay[/url] writing a literature essay
service learning essay examples vce essay topics
hydroxychloroquine over the counter - plaquenil generic cheap valtrex
order sildalis online - sildalis online buy metformin pills
ampicillin 250mg tablet - plaquenil pill plaquenil price
mla format essay example [url="https://checkyouressay.com/?"]dbq essay[/url] gender discrimination essay
expository essay definition [url="https://dollaressays.com/?"]essay structure[/url] writing literary analysis essay
real viagra pharmacy prescription - cialis 40mg pills generic tadalafil 20mg
123helpme free essay number [url="https://essaytodo.com/?"]mla format essay[/url] essay title generator
acheter 50mg gГ©nГ©rique viagra en france - sildenafil 200mg kaufen acheter 40mg gГ©nГ©rique tadalafil en france
ivermectin over the counter - buy erection pills ivermectin pill cost
prednisone 5mg generic - canada pharmaceuticals online prednisone 20mg canada
isotretinoin 10mg canada - lipitor oral buy amoxicillin 500mg without prescription
order lisinopril 2.5mg online cheap - buy lisinopril 2.5mg pills buy omeprazole 20mg for sale
buy pregabalin 75mg generic - order clomiphene 100mg without prescription azithromycin online buy
aristocort brand - order dapoxetine 90mg sale buy desloratadine pills
purchase doxycycline generic - buy prednisolone synthroid 150mcg tablet
buy orlistat 120mg online cheap - plaquenil 200mg pill buy hydroxychloroquine 200mg for sale
buy cenforce pills - diltiazem 180mg canada buy zovirax online
buy atarax 25mg online cheap - buy generic hydroxyzine 10mg rosuvastatin pills
best vpn service 2022 [url="https://addonsvpn.com"]best anonymous vpn[/url] best vpn for laptop
buy tetracycline 500mg generic - flexeril 15mg tablet cost celexa
gay chat northwest in [url="https://bjsgaychatroom.info"]gay chat roul[/url] gay voice chat
vpn for windows [url="https://choosevpn.net"]hma pro vpn[/url] buy vpn for windows
critical thinking com [url="https://criticalthinking2020.net"]critical thinking definition[/url] critical thinking games for adults
good guy lucifer critical thinking [url="https://criticalthinkingbasics.com"]what is critical thinking process[/url] critical thinking nursing interview questions
inderal for sale online - buy inderal 10mg sale order plaquenil generic
developing critical thinking skills [url="https://criticalthinkinginstitute.com"]watson glaser critical thinking tests[/url] critical thinking tests
order plaquenil pills - buy chloroquine 250mg for sale order chloroquine without prescription
free essay editor [url="https://essayscratch.com"]how to begin an essay[/url] evaluation essay topics
how to write a quote in an essay [url="https://essaysitesreviews.com"]process essay examples[/url] another word for essay
chloroquine 250mg us - order baricitinib 2mg for sale sildenafil 150mg price
free gay chat by zip code 53214 [url="https://gay-buddies.com"]gay chat avenue[/url] free gay bi chat lines in seattle wa
gay latino's dating [url="https://gayfade.com/"]best free gay dating sites in florida[/url] gay man, straight man dating