Examples of open government projects from around the world exploiting the benefits of cloud computing. Includes examples from Canada, Colombia,UK and EU. As presented at Major Cities of Europe Conference in Vienna, June 2012.
This presentation discusses examples of how open government initiatives have encouraged innovation to occur with citizens.In particular, this presentation focuses on open data projects that run on the Windows Azure Cloud platform.
Open Government initiatives are now active in most countries around the globe.There are over 1M open datasets published today and this number is growing.In UK and US, Open Government is driven ‘top-down’ by National policy.In Canada and parts of EU, Open Government is being driven ‘bottom-up’ by cities sharing data.In many regions cities are leading the drive for innovation with open data.
One of the earliest examples of citizen-driven innovation was FixMyStreet in UK. FixMyStreet was not built by the Government. It was built by an independent Trust organization – MySociety.orgThe application was one of the first to enable citizens to report problems with local facilities (lighting, graffiti, roads, drains, etc.) using their mobile device to pinpoint the location of the problem and provide a photo.
In 2009, Washington DC ran an open data competition - Apps for Democracy. This competition produced 47 citizen-built apps in 30 days. DC calculated if they had to build these apps themselves, it would cost them in excess of $2.3M.
StumbleSafely was one of the apps developed during the Apps for Democracy competition. It mashed up Transit data, with near-realtime Crime Data, with location of bars and restaurants in the DC area.The purpose of the app was to highlight areas of crime activity that day and guide restaurant and bar customers to take the safest route home.This is a good example of an innovative application the Government is never going to develop!
Cloud Computing provides distinct benefits for open data projects:Cloud has a very low-entry cost (near zero)Cloud is highly scalable. Very cost-effective no matter how much data you publish or how many citizens use that data.Cloud is open. You can share data using open data protocols enabling app developers to code with whatever tools they desire e.g. PHP, Ruby, Python, .NETMinimal impact on your existing infrastructure. Using Cloud, it doesn’t matter how many citizens use your service – this does not affect your IT infrastructure.
VanPark2010 was built for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.At that time, parking information was spread amongst several web sites – City and Commercial companies.There was no centralized portal for visitors to Vancouver to see where to park for Olympic venues.The City of Vancouver published location of City parking meters but no commercial parking data.Commercial companies would not publish City parking information.It took a 3rd-party developer to COMBINE the City data with the commercial parking data because he was independent.This is an example of innovation where neither the City, nor the commercial parking companies were likely to build this application (none of them had ALL the data).
Eye on Earth is another Cloud-based application. It publishes Air and Water quality data for millions of datapoints around EU. It enables 500M EU citizens to rate the quality of Air and Water based on their location using their mobile device (via SMS). Imagine the cost of infrastructure to provide this service – Cloud makes this much cheaper and much more scalable.This is a good example of citizen-participation (“crowd-sourcing”) with Government service and collaborate to improve Air and Water quality.
This is a good example of Cloud being used for small scale open data projects. Medicine Hat is a City in Canada with a population of 63K. They built this open data portal using Cloud-based open source tools (Open Government Data Initiative – OGDI) in a ‘few days’ with no CAPEX expenditure at a monthly running cost of est. <$250/mon.
Another advantage of Cloud is that it provides an excellent platform for combining open data with Big Data at low cost.A good example of this is with UK data.gov.uk where the UK Gov open data platform uses Windows Azure to publish UK national meteorological (weather) data on an hourly basis at minimal cost.
The Government of Colombia used the Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) to publish data to demonstrate to citizens of Colombia they were committed to transparency and openness in Government.
This is the translation of the Spanish text on the Colombia open government site.
In May 2012, the US Government published it’s digital government strategy. It makes reference to the ‘app economy’ and cited San Francisco as an example of transit services being built by citizens which provide greater value than the City itself could build. The City fuels this app economy by simply publishing the data.
Cities have an incredible opportunity to drive smart innovation and create new business and stimulate economic growth.Simply by sharing data assets to the public, the City can generate considerably more value beyond the cost of providing the service.This can be done quickly and cost-effectively and in a very open way using Cloud computing.
Open Data Open Innovation Open Cloud
Open Government Open Innovation and the CloudMark Gayler – WW Open Software Lead, Microsoft email@example.com Major Cities of Europe 2012 - Vienna
Open Data inAgenda Cities What can we learn?• Open Government• Open Innovation The Cloud as• The Cloud enabler
Open Data ApplicationsTypical Characteristics Open data Developed by Often called protocols e.g. citizens “Mashups” XML, KML, CSV Utilize crowdsourcing Exploit mobility Local relevance
Apps for Democracy$2.3MValue of 47 open data apps to Washington DC at acost of $50,000 in 30 days www.appsfordemocracy.org
Stumble Safely„Open Government‟ with Law Enforcement Anonymized DC Mashup Mobile data Transit data Crime data Location of bars and restaurants Mobile
Open Data and the CloudOpen Government and Open Innovation Cloud is Open Low entry cost Drive Innovation Build quickly Minimal infrastructure Highly scalable Data agility *Graphic courtesy techlabs.com http://www.windowsazure.com
VanPark2010Open Government with Commercial Data 2010 Winter Olympics Parking App Cloud Combines City parking data Commercial parking data http://www.vanpark2010.ca
Eye on EarthOpen Government with Environment European Environment Agency Mobile Cloud Monitors air and water quality Citizens rate quality via SMS http://www.eyeonearth.eu
City of Medicine HatOpen Government with the Cloud Open Data Catalogue Alberta, Canada Cloud Catalogue built in „few days‟ Minimal CAPEX Ultra-low cost http://data.medicinehat.ca
data.gov.ukOpen Government with Big Data Weather Data UK Met Office Cloud Integration „Big Data‟ Large volume Daily data Hourly updates http://data.gov.uk/metoffice-data-archive
Government of ColombiaOpen Government and e-Government Government of Colombia Transparency Cloud eGovernment Insight Accountability http://datos.gov.co
The Colombian Government, in order to contribute toTransparency, Participation,and Collaborationand awareness of the importance of promoting initiativesthat favor an open Government, makes available this Website that seeks to facilitate access to and use of public dataof the Colombian State www.datos.gov.co
systems—more services than thecity could provide if it focused on presentation developmentrather than opening the data publicly through web services
Opportunity for CitiesOpen Government, Open Innovation and The Cloud Drive „Smart‟ innovation Enhance transparency Stimulate and business and accountability Social economic growth Cultural Inclusion Technological Enhance Engage citizens Organizational competitiveness