Eaves.ca Blogging Moment #1 (2009 Edition): Open Data Comes to Vancouver

Back in 2007 I published a list of top ten blogging moments – times I felt blogging resulted in something fun or interesting. I got numerous notes from friends who found it fun to read (though some were not fans) so I’m giving it another go. Even without these moments it has been rewarding, but it is nice to reflect on them to understand why spending so many hours, often late at night, trying to post 4 times a week can give you something back that no paycheck can offer. Moreover, this is a chance to celebrate some good fortune and link to people who’ve made this project a little more fun. So here we go…

Eaves.ca Blogging Moment #1 (2009 Edition): Open Data Comes to Vancouver

On May 14th I blogged about the tabling of Vancouver’s Open Data motion to city council. After thousands of tweets, dozens of international online articles and blog posts, some national press and eventually some local press, the City of Vancouver passes the motion.

This was a significant moment for myself and people like Tim Wilson, Andrea Reimer and several people in the Mayor’s Office who worked hard to craft the motion and make it reality. The first motion of its type in Canada I believe it helped put open data on the agenda in policy circles across the country. Still more importantly, the work of the city is providing advocates with models – around legal issues, licensing and community engagement – that will allow them to move up the learning curve faster.

All this is also a result of the amazing work by city staff on this project. The fact that the city followed up and launched an open data portal less than 3 months later – becoming the first major city in Canada to do so – speaks volumes. (Props also to smaller cities like Kamloops and Nanaimo that were already sharing data.)

Today, several cities are contemplating creating similar portals and passing similar motions (I spoke at the launch of Toronto’s open portal, Ottawa, Calgary, & Edmonton are in various stages of exploring the possibility of doing something, over the border the City of Seattle invited me to present on the subject to their city councilors.). We are still in early days but I have hopes that this initiative can help drive a new era of government transparency & citizen engagement.

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