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Joey Coleman - Building an Open Data Ecosystem for all to access


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How do we build open data so it is accessible to all citizens and not just those with specialized skills such as information management or coding? In Hamilton, municipal open data is being implemented because of advocacy among neighbourhood associations and community groups, not solely from the developer community, with the goal of ensuring all citizens can use open data. It’s a unique partnership – what does it mean for open data, open government, and civic engagement? Join this discussion as we explore the question.

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Joey Coleman - Building an Open Data Ecosystem for all to access

  1. 1. Open Data and the non-dev citizen Ensuring success for open data Joey Coleman, April 29, 2013 #DevTO
  2. 2. Open Data and Accessibility •  Open Data is vital to the future of participatory democracy •  Participatory democracy only functions when all citizens are able to access the mechanisms of government •  Open Data can be inaccessible, especially when behind an API •  Developers must ensure Open Data is accessible for all, especially non-developers
  3. 3. Citizens need to experience value In an era of conflicting budget priorities, non-developer citizens need to experience value from open data.
  4. 4. Citizens need to experience value It's not enough for citizens to just receive high-quality applications o  non-developers need to be engaged in the process o  it's not enough to get citizens ideas, we need to get them involved in the process, including:   workshops   forums   hangouts
  5. 5. Without engagement ... Statistics Canada •  Produced data that was very useful to academics, researchers, government, and marketers o  Data was locked behind expensive pay barriers o  General public's involvement was solely filling out the census o  General public did not directly see the value of data •  Government cut StatsCan funding and long-form census o  Academics, researchers, government, and marketers launched a campaign against the cuts o  General public yawned
  6. 6. Hamilton compared to TorontoStarting Points Toronto Government Led Dedicated Staff Large Developer Community loosely organized Extensively used daily government services with wide-adoption such as transit and recreation Useful city website and 311 service Hamilton Citizen Led No dedicated staff Small Developer Community organized in Open Hamilton No widely-adopted daily government services Useless city website -
  7. 7. Building the Citizen Movement A citizen-movement for open data success is fundamental to the development community to create a substantial climate for open source philosophies to spread into the wider civic society It starts at the neighbourhood level o  Neighbourhood Associations, maker/hackerspaces, your workplace, classroom. Spreads to a larger area, but never exceeds 50 people before branching into new chapters
  8. 8. How to build Much like real-neighbourhoods: •  Champions - who is going to lead in the tough times? •  mixed is best - have developers, information specialists, artists, designers, information junkies, statisticians, and engaged citizens •  you need a hub - be it the local library, maker/ hackerspace, municipal office, or corporate campus •  you need supporters - who will benefit from your early projects? Who will give you some pizza?
  9. 9. Business model of Open Data •  Data is a micro-economy, the money is in platform and services. •  Platform is big - think AWS, Azure, AppEngine •  Services can be as simple as billboards at local pizza parlour •  Value is in networking and connections o  Open Data apps can only sell for up to $2, it's too easy for others to reproduce o  Open Data app building communities provide networking and self- development opportunities   Pace of web development is accelerating, no developer (or journalist) can be an island
  10. 10. The future of Open •  Open Data is one branch of Open Source philosophy that is fundamentally changing all aspects of our society •  It will continue to grow and will create innovations not yet foreseen or imaged •  New tools are being developed to support Open Data and other Open initiatives o  I've crowdfunded my journalism successfully - twice o  I receive many in-kind contributions, it's not just monetary
  11. 11. Next Steps for you •  Think about what you what to do with Open Data: o  Learn new skills o  Challenge yourself o  Meet new people o  Network o  Community-build o  Build a business •  Find others interested and plan a coffee-meet-up o  Open Hamilton started on four days notice, 25 people showed up
  12. 12. Questions Questions