Awesome Simple Open Data use case – Welcome Wagon for New Community Businesses

A few weeks ago I was at an event in Victoria, British Columbia at event where people were discussing the possibilities, challenges and risk of open data. During the conversation, one of the participants talked about how they wanted an API for business license applications from the city.

This is a pretty unusual request – people have told me about their desire for business licenses data especially at the provincial/state and national level, but also at the local level. However, they are usually happy with a data dump once a year or quarter since they generally want to analyze the data for urban planning or business planning reasons. But an API – which would mean essentially constant access to the data and the opportunity to see changes to the database in real time (e.g. if a business registered or moved) – was different.

The reason? The individual – who was an entrepreneur and part of the local Business Improvement Area – wanted to be able to offer a “welcome wagon” to other new businesses in his community. If he knew when a business opened up he could reach out and help make them welcome them to the neighborhood. He thought it was always nice when shopkeepers knew one another but didn’t always know what was going on even a few blocks away because, well, he was often manning his own shop. I thought it was a deeply fascinating example of how open data could help foster community and is something I would have never imagined.

Food for thought and wanted to share.

 

3 thoughts on “Awesome Simple Open Data use case – Welcome Wagon for New Community Businesses

  1. Pingback: Awesome Simple Open Data use case – Welco...

  2. GAW

    Dave,
    I’m working on a story on open data and would like some practical applications. Have you got the Victoria person’s contacts? I’m from Victoria and it would make me proud to have a little VIctoria content in this article for http://www.harbourtimes.com in Asia’s World City (Hong Kong). Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Chris McLuckie

    Dave – check out civicinfo’s work on data.civicinfo.ca. It’s a province wide data catalogue with API (DKAN). Still early days but with the right momentum could be something great.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s