YOUR DATA. OUR DATA.Nik GarkushaOpenHalton | Microsoft Canada
By Day – run Open Source strategy & Open Gov initiatives at Microsoft CanadaBy Night – I run a community organization OpenHalton, helping to bringOpen Data to the Halton RegionBeing in both of these worlds makes me…
…a Professional GeekI am an Open Data “hacktivist”And I work with many Open Data communities across CanadaSo Today -- I’d like to share some insights into our communitiesAnd some suggestions on how you can harness the incredible passion & innovation that Open Data communities offer
After all, what motivates people to give up their personal time on weekends to attend Hackathons & CodeFestsTo spend evenings and nights building Open Gov applications?Contrary to what some may think and others have actually expressed on a Cable TV show in Hamilton ---Open Data hackers don’t really care to use data as…
“WEAPONS to hold the system accountable“ or for “Political Blood-Sport”…. …and we definitely don’t want this data for “REASONS NOT YET INVENTED”. There’s a very simple reason – open data hacktivists like to….http://www.flickr.com/photos/godlesswanderer/3739368307/sizes/l/in/faves-34078836@N07/http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/1335/pundits_debate_open_public_data
BUILD STUFFto make the Data easier to understand by an Average Joeto find insights, to learn, and to better our society the processSo, I’ve divided the STUFF we like to do into 3 categories:
Like WhereDidItGo project by OpenDataBC that helps to visualize how BC’s taxes are being spent, orDisclosed.CA that helps search through past contracts across various Agencies, and track how they spend taxpayers’ dollars
Like the Open Hamilton’s recent hackfest to analyze financial contributions disclosuresOr Visualize School Crossing Guard & Pedestrian Accident Data on the same map
Or visualizeCrime in San Farncisco as Streetlights and make AWESOME 3D projections of crime data:Prostitution NarcoticsVandalism –Or the way I like to call it:Sex, Drugs and RockNRoll data in 3DDoug McCune / http://dougmccune.com/blog
It knows when it rains and it knows about watering restrictions.
Or London’s eatsure that mashes up Restaurant & Food Inspection information
and our own OpenHalton project WardRep.ca - It mashes up Council & City Ward informationand shows you this for an address in Guelph, London, Hamilton & some parts of Halton
The infamous VanTrash project that transformed into ReCollect – a service to remind you of your garbage & recycling days – across multiple devicesSends you SMS, email and even calls your phone
I was part of the cross-Canada team of open data hackers that pulled together EMITTERA way to visualize industrial polluters & using Environment Canada data via Windows Azure APIs to pull information about MPs for that area
And a multitude of various Transit applications, of course – like NextStopAs well as many other cool and unique applications, gadgets,
Like the LED heads-up display at JP Licks ice cream in Boston –Shows bus arrival / departure times to help customers time their purchases – and for the business to time their next batch of treatsThese are things that are possible, and Here are some ideas on how you can help:
Many municipalities have passionate love affairs with PDFWe know it supposed to preserve fidelity and integrity of documentsBut it really makes it difficult to extract useful dataSo please resist the temptation to print / scan / post documentshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/4264611133/
And finally, give us some data to work with We’re buried under a pile of unnecessary steps to scrape and scrub the dataStart with low hanging fruit like simple reporting & GIS data: ward boundaries, geocoded bus stops, etcHelp us Help You….
There are many of usWe are passionateWe want to make our cities better, just like you doWe’re just waiting for data. Your data. Our data!