For those interested in the progress around the Open Motion (or Open3 as city staff have started to call it) I’ve a little update.
Last week during a visit to city hall to talk about the motion I was shown a preview of the website the city has created to distribute and share data sets. For those unsure what such a website would look like, the baseline and example I’m measuring the city against is, of course, the Washington DC website. At the moment the city’s prospective website looks more like the (also impressive) beta site the City of Nanaimo set up after ChangeCamp – a little simpler and with a lot fewer data sets, but it is the first step.
As an aside kudos to the City of Nanaimo team which has been pushing open data and especially geo-data for quite some time as this must read Time magazine piece (yes, a must read Time magazine piece) will attest.
Anyway… back to Vancouver. The fact that the city has a beta website with a (very) modest amount of data ready to launch is a testament to the hard work and effort of the City’s IT staff. Rarely in my work with government’s have I seen something move so quickly and so needless to say… I’m quite excited. At the moment, I don’t know when the beta data site will go live – there are still a few remaining issues being worked on – but as soon as it launches I will be writing a blog post.
In the interim, big kudos should also go to the City’s Archives who posted a number of videos from the archives online and created it’s own YouTube Channel. They received so much traffic over the videos that the servers almost ground to a halt. Awesome, I say. It just goes to show how much interest there is out there.
Also exciting is that my post on how open data makes garbage collection sexy has inspired two local hackers (Luke and Kevin) to scrape the city’s garbage calendar and hand created digital versions of the city’s garbage maps to create the app I spec’ed out in the blog post. (I’ll have more on that, including links, in a few weeks) Luke also suggested I start recording other app ideas that come to me so over at the Vancouver Data Google group which was created on the fly by local coders in the audience during my and Andrea’s presentation at Open Web Vancouver. I’ve asked people to share their ideas for applications (mobile or desktop) that they’d like to see created with open data.
Sooooo… if there is an app you’d like to see created please post it to the google group or send me an email or write it in the comments below. No guarantees that it will be created but I’m hoping to help organize some hack-a-thons (or as my city friends prefer… code sprints). Having some ideas for people to sink their teeth into is always helpful.