Study on Open Government: A view from local community and university based research
Submission To: Submission By:Standing Committee on Access to Tracey P. LauriaultInformation, Privacy and Ethics Address 613-234-2805Monday, February 14, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.orgSecond hour 4:30-5:30 PM http://traceyplauriault.ca/ http://datalibre.ca/Ottawa https://communitydata-donneescommunautaires.ca/ https://gcrc.carleton.ca/confluence/display/GCRCWEB/Overview Study on Open Government A view from local community and university based researchIntroduction: Neighbourhoods are where Canadians live. Canadians may be engaged globally, nationally,provincially and territorially, in cities, counties or rural municipalities, but, at the end of the day, mostof us have the good fortune to go home, that point on the map located in a loosely defined place calleda neighbourhood. We are also members of communities, which can be associated with how we look,our physical abilities, culture, the languages we speak, the schools we attend, where we come from,political affiliation, religious or not, social, technological, professional, academic, sports, economicclass and any number of other affiliations and demographics. Canada is a great northern mosaic ofcommunities made up of individuals who live within and span across its thousands of large and small,rural and urban neighbourhoods and cities. Community groups form part of Canadas civil society organizations, the volunteer or thirdsector and not-for-profit organizations. They serve a critically important function in the Canadiandemocratic system. These groups are thematically organized around social, political, religious,demographic, economic, social justice or environmental issues, and they act locally even if tied intonational or global affiliations or networks. Their role, like the private sector, is to do what thegovernment does not or cannot do for any variety of reasons. Community groups advocate on behalf ofchildren, the poor, the homeless, elderly, environment, ethno-cultural visible minorities, women, publictransit, population and social determinants of health and myriad other issues. Many community groupsalso centre their efforts around information communications and technology such as access to publicdata1, open government, open data, community wireless, broadband access, open source software,online mapping, etc. They alert government to issues particular to their mandates and work towardsimproving the quality of our lives, societies and communities. They keep government accountable andthey do so by using data to inform evidence based public policy solutions. Data are used by community groups : to inform human services plans2, poverty reductionstrategies3, sustainable development4, place based health strategies5, community economicdevelopment6, homeless7, food security8, ethno cultural visible minority issues9, aboriginal peoples10,etc. A number of community groups also use geospatial data to assess where the issues are in theircities or to share cultural information about their communities.11Example - 2 Canadian Intensive Public Data Using Non Government Organizations1) The Community Data Consortium The Community Data Consortium 12, a project of the Canadian Council on SocialDevelopment13, is an example of a community based organization that acts in 17 regional data consortiawhich share infrastructure, best practices and data between and among a community based knowledgenetwork of 850+ experts. Consortia members include cities, regional municipalities, county
governments, school boards, social planning and development councils, police forces, communityhealth and resource centres. The Consortium has created an open source Drupal workspace andwebsite which includes a catalog of group purchased Statistics Canada Data. “Drupal is an open sourcecontent management platform powering millions of websites and applications” (drupal.org). Thecatalog contains close to a million dollars worth of public data. Anyone can search the data, however,due to Statistics Canadas restrictive licensing and cost recovery policies, the Consortium can onlyallow members to access this government-collected data. The data are aggregated into localgeographies (e.g. StatCan DA, neighbourhood, wards, health districts) and there are a number ofspecially ordered cross-tabulations. The 17 consortia leaders (soon to be 20) meet quarterly to discuss research, licensing, datasetorders, direct activities, local initiatives etc. They also come together once a year in a face to facemeeting. The Consortium has an executive which includes the President of the CCSD and consortialeaders. It helps form the strategic direction of the Consortium and guides the answering of keyquestions such as: “what should the Consortium do if there is no Long-Form Census?” or “What otherstrategic data sets should the Consortia negotiate to access or acquire from Federal GovernmentDepartments?”. The Consortium has a number of working groups (WG) comprised of consortia leadersand members at large. The Capacity and Infrastructure WG, for instance, helped design the websiteand the structure of the catalog to ensure it meets user needs. It teaches other consortia to use the data,search the catalog, add content to the website and build local community based research capacity. TheData Purchase and Access WG has just conducted a survey to assess what data should be acquired next,how users would like those data aggregated, the themes they would like covered and the scale at whichthey would like to have those data licensed. This group is also tasked with searching and proposingdatasets from other federal, provincial and territorial governments, associations or the private sector.This is a particularly pressing issue due to the uncertainties with the Census. There is an Ad Hoc Datasuper-user group which is also called upon to answer specific data questions. A Partnership andOutreach WG aims to grow membership and also to develop relationships with public data providers atall scales. Finally, there is a working group which aims to disseminate and promote the work done bymembers. The Consortium also maintains an inventory of cataloged data resources available in Canada forfree or fee which are specifically aggregated at municipal and sub municipal scales. In Canada,unfortunately, federal agencies do not aggregate their data in a standardized way nor is there a focus orinterest in aggregating these at city and sub-city geographies. Community based researchers, whetherin cities or non government organizations, require data aggregated in this way to target their planningand outreach efforts strategically, since location in a city or community is important. For instance, wemay want to know if there are x number of people in a neighbourhood or city with characteristics ywho require services z, such as housing, support, etc.. The Social Planning Council of OttawaDisability14 Profile tells us that in 2006 “149,425 and people in Ottawa had disabilities, representing17.7% of Ottawa’s population. This represents a 20.7% increase since 2001 (25,625 more individuals)”which is informative, but report improves our knowledge as it also presents information showing wherethe highest and lowest concentrations are located along with a variety of other social demographic data.This provides planners, service providers and outreach workers with the information they need to focustheir efforts and to situate services. The Community Data Consortium Members page (https://communitydata-donneescommunautaires.ca/MembersList) provides readers with a list of consortia, WGs, theirmembers, and information on the types of public data rich products produced in communities acrossCanada.2) FCM Quality of Life Reporting System
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Quality of Life Reporting15 Systems measures,monitors and reports on social, economic and environmental trends in Canada´s largest cities andcommunities. The QoLRS is a member-based initiative with 24 communities in seven provinces.QoLRS reports and statistics correspond to the municipal boundaries of member communities.Relying on data from a variety of public data sources, the QoLRS contains hundreds of variables thatmeasure changes in 10 domains16 such as: Demographic Background and Information; CivicEngagement; Community Infrastructure; Education, and the Environment to name a few. This includes86 indicators relying on close to 200 data variables tracked consistently overtime. Data sources arefrom: many Federal Departments (e.g. CMHC, HRSDC, Industry Canada, Environment Canada;Elections Canada, etc.) and associated divisions; provincial governments, not for profit organizationsand the 24 communities involved. The FCM QoLRS has innovatively developed a Municipal Data Collection Tool (MDCT) whichallows all 24 participating communities to add their locally collected data. Each city, municipality ormetropolitan community has appointed an official who is tasked to scour their administrations in searchof colleagues, experts and data holders on a variety of issues such as the number of: daycares; socialhousing units; homeless shelter beds; women elected in municipal government and voter turnout;recreation centre fees; cost of public transit, etc. The MDCT allows for each community to providecontext with how these data were collected, when they were collected, who the data holders are and anumber of other metadata elements. In addition, since each community has its particularities or waysof doing things around each of these QoLRS indicator themes, the MDCT enables the provision ofqualifying information for each dataset. This provides analysts with the knowledge they need toeffectively create comparable indicators across all 24 communities and include any interpretativecaveats and explanations. In June, a QoLRS online and interactive data visualization tool will bereleased which will allow users to explore variables across time and between communities on anindicator basis while also enabling data downloads. The reporting system is also used to publish thematic reports17, which examine specific localtrends. Taken together, these trends form issues of national importance. The release of a nationalthematic report is also accompanied by simultaneous releases of local reports which present indicatorsspecific to each community and framed around the local context. As stated earlier, Canada is a nationcomprised of unique places and communities, and while issues and themes can be discussed at anational level accompanied by national solutions, there are always local particularities which whichwarrant local attention and locally specific implementations.Example - Unversity Based Research CentreThe Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) The Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC)18 is an official Research Centre inthe Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.GCRC research focuses on the application of geographic information processing and management tothe analysis of socio-economic issues of interest to society at a variety of scales from the local to theinternational. The GCRC conducts research on a variety of themes: Open Source; Interoperability;Cartographic Visualization; and Archiving and Preservation of Data. The GCRC is directed byDistinguished Research Professor and Royal Society Fellow Dr. D. R. Fraser Taylor. Dr. Taylor isinternationally renown for his work in cybercartography. In addition Dr. Taylor is a member of theinternational CODATA Task Group on Preservation and Access to Scientific and Technical Data inDeveloping Countries19 and a member of the Group on Earth Observations System of Systems(GEOSS) Data Sharing Task Force20. In September 2009 he was appointed to the United NationsExpert Group on Global Geographic Information Management21. Dr. Taylor is also a Board member ofthe OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) Interoperability Institute22 and the OGC Global Advisory
Council23. Currently Dr. Taylor is Chair of the International Steering Committee for Global Mapping(ISCGM)24 an international body involving the national mapping agencies of over 170 nations andregions including Antarctica The GCRC also produces cybercartographic Atlases25 using location a key organizing principle.Cybercartography is a new multimedia, multisensory and interactive online way of representing data.These atlases create narratives from a variety of different perspectives and include both quantitativeand qualitative information. These include stories, art, literature and music as well as socio-economicand environmental information. Atlases are created in transdisciplinary contexts and centrered aroundthe following research themes: Indigenous knowledge; Northern Research; Cinema; Risk ofHomelessness. The GCRC primarily receives public funds and therefore adheres to the ideal that the results ofits publicly funded research belongs to the public. Wherever possible data are acquired from openlyaccessible sources, and if data are collected by the Centre and its research partners these to are sharedprovided these do not reveal sacred aboriginal place, private information, and environmentally sensitiveor at risk sites. Atlases are produced using open source software and open APIs and all code is madeavailable under and open BSD license In addition, atlases are designed using open standards andspecifications as well as adhering to interoperability standards. Much of the GCRCs work is conductedin Canadas north with many Inuit and other indigenous communities. The Centre is engaged incapacity building in the north and its atlases are used in classroom settings and content is oftencontributed by local youth or in participatory mapping settings with local elders such as the Inuit SeaIce Use and Occupancy Project26 which was funded by the International Polar Year Research Project.Finally, since bandwidth is a problem in the north, the GCRC has helped set up local area networks toensure ongoing access. It is important to note, that while some of the data contributed are kept fromthe view of the general public for the previously discussed reasons, these are made fully available onthe LANs with special viewing permissions on a community by community basis. The GCRC atlastools allow for special authoring and viewing permissions which allow elders and researchers to controlwho and how their data can be viewed and the associated rights of use thereof. Data access iscommunity specific in this case due to the cultural, spiritual, historical and environmentally sensitivecontexts within which these are produced.Open Government in Canada1.Why move towards open government? Civil society organizations in Canadas knowledge based economy are quite sophisticated inhow they use data to inform public policy discussions. The volunteer and third sectors require data tofulfill their mandates, in some cases to help some of Canadas most vulnerable citizens. Communitybased research organizations play an important role in Canadas democratic system and alert Canadiansto a number of social, environmental and economic issues that the government and the private sectorhave missed. They also help keep government accountable to all of its citizens. Community basedresearchers require access to public data sets to inform evidence-based decision making in theircommunities and nationally on a variety of issues of importance to the social, psychological andphysical well being of Canadians. Open Government, in the case of this submission, open governmentpolicy to access to public data, will allow these organizations and citizens alike to better participate inthe formation of Canadian policy. An open access to data policy will make their work easier and andmore efficient. The Community Data Consortium, the FCM Quality of Life Reporting System and theGeomatics and Cartographic Research Centre are illustrative examples of what approximately 1000+researchers and city officials involved in these community or university based and not for profitorganizations do in spite of a lack of open government policies in Canada. These are a subset of
Canadas heavy public data users who are trying to improve the quality of life in their respectivecommunities and their work is laudatory in the face of the following issues: • Lack of public data standards in terms of format, quality and level of aggregation ◦ Aggregation is a particular problem since federal agencies do not perceive they have a mandate to organize their data according to the local geographies. The data are generally aggregated at national, provincial, territorial, census metropolitan area and if it is a good day at the scale of the city. Data at these scales preclude sub-municipal analysis. The loss of the Long Form Census is particularly problematic for communities. • Regressive cost recovery policies which force organizations to fund-raise in order to purchase publicly funded data such as those with a Statistics Canada provenance. Other costly data are basic vital statistics, postal code files, geographic files, and housing data. Homelessness advocates often quip “you have to mortgage the house in order to buy data for which you have already paid to effectively study homelessness in this country”. It is better to have these agencies invest in research and results rather than searching for funds to purchase public datasets which they have already paid for through taxation. • Restrictive or non interoperable data licensing which force non government organizations to be exclusive with their data acquisitions. Depending on the license this can lead to: a) excluding groups who cannot afford the data or who are not in a university; b) narrowing the dissemination of acquired data and associated analysis; c) precluding the re-purposing of data as permission to use was granted for a specific purpose only, d) controlling the type of messaging as some government agencies do not like the type of results yielded from a particular analysis, or e) forcing community organizations who do not have legal council on staff or cannot afford it to try and interpret and then adhere to the multiple and often conflicting license stipulations. • No data access policy: government officials have no clear understanding of what to do. Most officials guess at best. Due to a general climate of risk averseness officials often err on the side of caution and arbitrarily decide to not share their data. Reasons for access refusal are mostly not provided, and officials may avoid the issue by not returning calls or allowing for long lapses of time before responding in the hope that the researcher requesting the data gives up. The researchers referred to in this submission are in no way interested in private data, nor are they dealing with issues related to national or personal security, and are therefore not requesting the release of sensitive data. An example of some of the data request responses received are “my manager said no”, “administrative data are for the government only”, “that is only to inform programs; why would you want those?”, “we dont do that”, “my boss will get mad if you say something he/she does not like and I will get into trouble”, “that is too much work” or a very high and unsubstantiated price is applied. • Absent data discovery mechanisms, in other words there is no central place in almost all federal departments, agencies and crown corporations where researchers can browse a catalog to see an institutions data resources. This makes finding data a time consuming and frustrating process. Administrative data are not centrally managed in any department, in some cases officials exclusively oversea a particular dataset that serves their particular mandate and do not have the means or desire to share and describe those datasets either within the institution or publicly. There have been instances where an official changes jobs, the position remains unfilled and the data are lost with re-purposing of the computer on which they were stored or with changes in storage arrangements. Further, researchers are forced to make numerous cold calls to find a dataset or even to find someone who understands the request. This is particularly troublesome when collecting hundreds of data sets consistently over time across many departments and many jurisdictions.
• Absence of metadata: data about the data provide researchers with the information they need to make fit for use decisions, to assess their reliability and accuracy, the time when created for doing time series analysis and so on. Metadata help with discovery and explain what the data are and is a necessary component on a data management strategy. • No research data management and sharing: University research is mostly reliant on public funds in Canada, yet Canadian researchers do not have to share nor manage their data. Canadians are therefore not able to access the research data they paid for. Further, funding agencies do not have an infrastructure in place to ingest the data created during the course of research, which also precludes the possibility of other researchers building upon each others work or serendipitously making new discoveries with previously collected data. • Absence of archiving and preservation strategies: research data are national knowledge assets, national resources and are heritage artifacts, and these should be preserved for the long-term. Longitudinal analysis is what helps us understand trends socially and to track changes in the environment overtime. Data collected once can be re-purposed many times which simply adds to their value. Library and Archives Canada does not have the means to accept and organize data, and most university repositories only collect papers or works from their alumni, while government offices have uneven data management policies. • Lack of research funding for those who use data in their research or who conduct research about data: funding is available for research and often not for the purchase of data let alone its management. It is very difficult to find funding in Canada for community based research, and particularly difficult for organizations such as the Community Data Consortium which builds infrastructure, manages data and forms capacity for community data researchers, but does not conduct research itself.2.Which public data should the government make available The following are the data most requested by community and university researchers. OtherCommittee submissions will have covered access to data associated with governmental transparency.The following is a sample of potential datasets.i. Datasets that can easily be put online in a free, discoverable, understandable and machine-readableformat which do not compromise privacy or national security: • Create a culture of openness based on principles that sharing is the first order and where the option to not share has to be rigorously debated. The reverse is currently the norm. • Statistics Canadas Data – particularly census data and Taxfiler data • All other demographic data collected by other agencies (e.g. CIC, HRSDC, Indian and Northern Affairs, etc.) • Statistics Canadas Geographic Files • Environment Canadas data • Natural Resources Canada geospatial data, and geospatial data collected by any other agencies or departments • Canada Centre for Remote Sensing data - Radarsat and Remote Sensing imagery • All Health geographic boundary files • Aggregated health care data and health care administrative data • Canada post geographic postal code files and postal code lookup files • Department administrative data irrespective of its current level of aggregation • Memoranda to Cabinet
• Data about Canadas treaties and contested areasii. What information should not be made available • Locations of environmentally “at risk” or sensitive areas • Locations of Aboriginal hunting and fishing grounds • Location of Aboriginal sacred sites unless explicit permission to do so are provided • Data of importance to national security (e.g. explicit location of troops) • Data that would put peoples personal security at risk (e.g. the location of abused womens & childrens shelters). • Data that would violate peoples privacy • Data should always be aggregated into widely recognized geographic units ◦ Dissemination Area, Census tract, Neighbourhoods, wards, census divisions, census sub- divisions, health districts, federal electoral boundaries, provinces and territorial boundaries, etc.iii. Transforming how information is created and saved to enable easy evaluation and uploading • Adhere to open and interoperable data formats • Provide data transformation services online • Reduce the reliance on proprietary software unless open source software cannot reliably provide that particular service • Provide suitable metadata • create robust data catalogs that are easy for data producers to upload to3. How should the federal government move towards open government?The Government of Canada has some excellent examples in place which it can learn from: • The creation of Canadas Geospatial Data Infrastructure provides a model of how a government institution can work with multiple stakeholders and build a robust user needs driven and open architecture data infrastructure • GeoConnections Program • Geogratis Program and its unrestricted User Licence • GeoBase Program and its unrestricted User Licence • The Data Liberation Initiative • GCPedia A secretariat can be created spanning departmental and agency boundaries and using keyoperational and policy staff to direct data management and dissemination. The secretariat shouldrequire data to be released unless specific procedures are followed to demonstrate otherwise. Thesecretariat should be resourced to educate citizens and government that good data is essential for gooddemocracy, and that publicly funded data resources belong to the citizenry.Those developing policy and legislation on data should • Tap into the human resources who are currently discussing this issue in GCPedia • Look for ideas from those involved in #w2p (web 2.0 practitioners) • Consult with those who have successfully and solidly built data dissemination programs at Natural Resources Canada, who have many years of experience and have built robust
open-architecture systems and have services in place for the dissemination of many types of datasets. • Speak to Canadas top scientists at NRCan and the National Research Council of Canada, Environment Canada, Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Space Agency who already have experience in disseminating and managing data4.Ways to Consult with the data users Three examples of successful data user and data creation organizations have been provide thatthe government can consult with. These three work in a way that would be conducive to an opengovernment way of working. Other important entities: • See the organizations in the long list of those opposed to the changes to the long for Census, they are all heavy data users or producers or policy analysts (http://datalibre.ca/census-watch/) • Canadian Association of Research Librarians (http://www.carl-abrc.ca/about/about-e.html) • Canadian Association of Public Data Users (http://capdu.wordpress.com/ ) • CODATA Canada (http://www.codata.org/canada/) • Canadian Team – International Association for Social Science and Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) (http://www.iassistdata.org/about/index.html ) • Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA) (http://www.acmla.org/) • National Statistical Council of Canada • International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (http://www.interpares.org/ip2/ip2_index.cfm) • W3C – Canada - http://www.w3.org/ • All Canadian Open Data Cities to hear lessons learned and to adopt best practices. Official cities and also local citizen groups (http://datalibre.ca/links-resources/) • There are numerous other agencies doing excellent work. It is important to consult, but it is also equally important to implement easy short term solutionswhile concurrently consulting with users and experts to build for the long term. A new way of workingis important. Any strategy will have to rebuild trust, act on recommendations and then adequately fundand collaboratively build the solution in partnership with those the government consulted.5.Open government in a Canadian context: due consideration to official languages, Crowncopyright, privacy, confidentiality and security. The technology to deliver the data and the metadata must be bilingual. However, it is oftenunnecessary and unrealistic to create databases in both official languages except where language iscentral to those databases. Administrative databases should be made available in the language withinwhich they were created – English or French with a thesaurus in both languages to assist access. Muchresearch in Canada is not made publicly available as the agency that funded the data does not have theresources to translate the findings (e.g. HRSDC). Those research results then remain inaccessible toall. In that case, titles and abstracts should be translated and the research should be made accessible inthe language within which it was produced. Canada can maintain Crown Copyright and license the data under an ODC-By as did thegovernments of New Zealand, Australia and the UK, all of which are countries that have Westminstergovernments like Canadas and also have Crown Copyright. In addition, the ODC-PDDL is beingrecommended as a license See the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), OpenLicensing and Risk Management: A Comparison of the City of Ottawa Open License, the ODC-ByLicense and the ODC-PDDL License, Draft 2 (February 2011) report which compares these licenses
(http://www.cippic.ca/open-licensing/). CIPPIC and the Centre for Law Technology and Society at theUniversity of Ottawa have researchers who are experts in these fields and should be consulted(http://www.techlaw.uottawa.ca/en/programs/technology-law/home.html). Also be sure that the topacademics are involved in this process (E.g. Ron Diebert and Tim Wu at the Munk School for GlobalAffairs, CIPPIC, Darin Barney at Mcgill, Prof. Fraser Taylor, etc.)6.RecommendationsStart now! 1. Immediately create in each Federal department and Agency a new position called Chief Data Officer (CDO) whose first task is to conduct an comprehensive inventory of all data sets within it and to collaborate with all the other CDOs on how best to manage, maintain, catalog, and disseminate those data. Evolve this group into an appropriately resourced secretariat for open data. 2. Create a government of Canada Open Data site modelled on one of the Catalogs created by the Open Data cities and start populating it with data. Ensure that in the long term all existing government of Canada data catalogs interoperate and that one portal facilitates searching them all. Populate that with data that are readily available. 3. Develop a list of the best open data thinkers and builders in Canada, both within and outside of government, and establish working groups with the explicit purpose of creating an Open Data Infrastructure for Canada (ODIC). 4. Solicit public input on the strategy for ODIC and provide appropriate resources to implement it. 5. Adopt a data licensing policy such as ODC-By or ODC-PDDL 6. Provide Statistics Canada with funding to replace the revenue made from charges for public data that are provided without additional analysis.Acknowledgements:I would like to thank John Nash, Professor (retired), Telfer School of Management, University ofOttawa for copy editing this submission. Also, thanks are extended to those who submitted suggestionsfor the Submission on the CivicAccess.ca listserve. In addition I would like to thank all of theresearchers, city officials and federal government officials who I have worked with on a variety ofprojects that have required the use of and access to public data.
1 CivicAccess.ca (http://civicaccess.ca), Montréal Ouvert (http://montrealouvert.net/), Open data links and resources (http://datalibre.ca/links-resources/), Academic paper on the topic of effective data pen data: Empowering the empowered or effective data use for everyone? by Michael Gurstein. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 2 - 7 February 2011 (http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3316/2764)2 Region of Waterloo Human Services Plan (http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/web/region.nsf/DocID/51F4AF0E6223B2CB8525722D006E7B84!OpenDocument)3 Canadian Social Research Links (http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm). Gilles Séguin maintains this great list of social initiatives in Canada as his volunteer contribution to the sector.4 Éco-quartier (http://www.ecoquartier.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=42), Pembina Institute (http://www.pembina.org), Ecojustice (http://www.ecojustice.ca/)5 Health disparity in Saskatoon: analysis to intervention. Saskatoon: Saskatoon Health Region, Lemstra M, Neudorf C. 2008, (http://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/your_health/documents/PHO/HealthDisparityRept-complete.pdf)6 Community Economic Development Network (http://www.ccednet-rcdec.ca/)7 FCM Quality of Life Reporting System Report on Trends and Issues in Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Canada (http://www.fcm.ca//CMFiles/qol20081VVM-3272008-3162.pdf), Homelessness and Housing Family Initiatives System (HIFIS) Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (http://www.spcw.mb.ca/hifis/index.html)8 The Peoples Food Policy (http://peoplesfoodpolicy.ca/), Food Banks Canada (http://foodbankscanada.ca/? CFID=9940624&CFTOKEN=fc7874db30d9060a-0FBDEFE4-C0AE-E7FB-DAF5743543EEC596)9 he Canadian Council for Refugees (http://ccrweb.ca/ ), See the groups involved in the Census Court Challenge: The Equal Right to be Counted (http://socialplanningtoronto.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Save-the-CensusPR.pdf )10 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (http://www.itk.ca)11 Social Planning Network of Ontario Geographic and Numeric Information Systems (GANIS) (http://ganis.spno.ca/about), Kitikmeot Place Names Atlas (http://www.kitikmeotheritage.ca/atlas.htm).12 Community Data Consortium – Consortium des données Communautaires (https://communitydata-donneescommunautaires.ca)13 Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) - Conseil canadien de développement social (CCDS) (http://ccsd.ca) About the Canadian Council on Social Development For more than 90 years, the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) has been a key proponent of “unconventional” policies and programs that Canadians now consider essential. In the 1920s we helped shape the first Old Age Pension program. In the 1950s, we were champions of Unemployment Insurance. In this decade, we demonstrated why the National Child Benefit and tax credits for the working poor are wise investments. Through our research and partnerships with organizations across the country, we continue to act as a catalyst for innovative, evidence-based approaches to reducing poverty and building resilient, hopeful thriving Canadian communities.14 Disability Profile of the City of Ottawa: A Profile of Persons with Disabilities in Ottawa, Based on the 2006 Census November, 2010, Social Planning Council of Ottawa(http://www.spcottawa.on.ca/sites/spcottawa.on.ca/files/pdf/2010/Publications/Disability%20Report%20Final%20with%20maps.pdf).15 Quality of Life Reporting System (QoLRS) of the FCM - Système de rapports sur la qualité de vie (SRQDV) de la FCM (Eng. - fr-http://www.fcm.ca/Francais/View.asp?mp=1237&x=111516 Table of Domains and Indicators for the FCM Quality of Life Reporting System (QoLRS) (http://www.fcm.ca/CMFiles/QofL%20Indicator%20grid_en.pdf) and data (http://www.fcm.ca/english/View.asp? mp=767&x=782)17 FCM QoLRS Thematic Reports: (http://www.fcm.ca/english/View.asp?mp=1115&x=767)18 Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (https://gcrc.carleton.ca/confluence/display/GCRCWEB/Overview)19 CODATA Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries (http://www.codata.org/taskgroups/TGpreservation/index.html)20 Group on Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS) Data Sharing Task Force (http://www.earthobservations.org/)21 United Nations Expert Group on Global Geographic Information Management (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/)22 OGC Interoperability Institute (http://www.ogcii.org/)23 OGC Global Advisory Council (http://www.opengeospatial.org/ogc/organization/gac)24 International Steering Committee for Global Mapping (ISCGM) (http://www.iscgm.org/cgi-bin/fswiki/wiki.cgi)25 GCRC Atlases (https://gcrc.carleton.ca/confluence/display/GCRCWEB/Atlases)26 Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project (https://gcrc.carleton.ca/confluence/display/ISIUOP/Inuit+Sea+Ice+Use+and+Occupancy+Project+(ISIUOP))