For those uninterested in the story below and who just want the iCal feed of cultural events in Vancouver, click here.
Also, I had a piece on the Globe site yesterday, was in the air all day, but was told it hit #1 most viewed, which, if true, is nice. You can read it here.
A couple of weeks ago – at a party – I met someone working at the CBC who talked about how they were organizing a calendar of all the cultural events at the Olympics. Turns out the French CBC is placing a strong emphasis on the Cultural Olympiad that is taking place concurrently to the Olympics and they were gathering all the events they could find into a spread sheet.
I commented that CBC views and listeners – French and English – would probably find such a calendar useful and that it would quite interesting if the CBC shared it as an iCal feed so that anyone could download it into their computer’s calendar.
He agreed, but was unsure how to create such a feed. Admittedly, neither was I – but I did know some people who might…
So at Vancouver’s last Open Data Hackathon – kindly hosted by the City Archives and organized by Luke C – I asked around to see if anyone might be interested in converting the spreadsheet into an ical feed. Up stepped Jason M. who did a little trouble shooting, figured out how the spreadsheet needed to be reformatted and then figured out how to convert it.
So now, if you want, you can download a fairly comprehensive list of the cultural events taking place during the Olympics straight into the calendar on your iPhone, computer, google calendar, etc…
It’s got more events than a lot of the other calendars and includes concerts being played at Maison du Quebec, Saskachewan, Alberta, Ontario and Atlantic Canada House.
This is a bit of a shift for the CBC, the kind of shift that I think we need to be supportive of… a little more open, a little more sharing and a lot more useful. Most importantly it is a great example of how the idea of open data spreads – by being useful.