Yesterday, at 5pm PST the Apps for Climate Action team at the Province of British Columbia released the list of 17 applications created using data from the Apps for Climate Action data catalog.
At the moment anyone can register and vote for the application that they think is the best. I’d encourage people to click over to the website and take a look.
The Apps for Climate Action is a demonstration of what can happen when we begin to make government held data freely available to the public: people can bring to life, even make fun, engaging and useful, what are often boring stats and numbers to bridge what Hans Rosling calls the last 6 inches (the distance from your eyes to your brain, a reference to the failure in design where we make data we can see, but not that captures our imagination).
In a month where our federal government cited imaginary data to justify policies on crime and has eliminated the gathering a huge swaths of effective data necessary for the efficient governing of our cities and rural communities as well as ensuring critical services will no longer reach innumerable Canadians, it is nice to see a province trying to do the opposite: not only understand that effective data is the cornerstone to good policy but to enable everyday, ordinary Canadians to leverage it so as to make smarter decisions, influence policy debates and empower themselves. It’s what a modern democracy, economy and civil society should look like.
The Apps for Climate action team and the government deserve a ton of praise fro striking out and trying something new and different. I hope they get worthwhile acknowledgement.
I for one am looking forward to the tough job of serving as a judge in the competition.