Canadian Open Data Summit 2014

Integrate The Data


Why Everyone Needs an Open Data Strategy

Jeni Tennison

Organisations, and even individuals, are learning how powerful data can be. They are creating strategies to guide how they capture, store, analyse and visualise data to help guide their decisions. How does open data fit into a wider data strategy? We'll look at how open data can be used to enhance an organisation's reputation, smooth communication channels inside and outside the company, and bring innovation into an institution.

Open Data Canada: A Pan-Canadian Initiative

Sylvain Latour

Open Government consultations completed over the last few years have frequently identified Canadians' concerns at being unable to find, use, and combine data from the multiple levels of government in Canada. The Government of Canada is preparing the second version of its Open Government Action Plan. Among the additional commitments being considered is "Open Data Canada", a commitment to harmonize and align the diverse range of open data activities across the country in order to facilitate citizen access to data, regardless of which government owns it. This commitment would encompass collaborative activities in five key areas: a common charter of principles, common licensing, common standards, federated search capacity, and joint events for user engagement and outreach.

The ultimate goal is to provide unprecedented access, a "no wrong door approach", to comprehensive open data through a seamless end-user experience, enabling transparency and accountability, and driving research and innovation.

Open Data: Not Just Government data

Paul Norman

Some have a preconception that Open Data means government data, but this is not so. There are a wide variety of open data sources that are not published by governments. After this talk you will know what makes data open, some non-government sources of open data, and some of the exciting products coming out making use of non-government open data.

Open Data, Big Data - Big Deal?

Raj Cheema

This session will showcase examples of open data and big data applications and services running in the Cloud, and how social media can be used to enrich the value of these datasets. In addition the session will provide a demonstration of the BI capabilities of Office365 and the ability to analyse open data and big data sources using Office tools such as PowerPivot, PowerBI, and PowerMap.

Vancouver RentalDog

The mobile app putting City of Vancouver's Rental Standards Database in renter's hands
David Dumaresq

Dave will discuss development of the free iOS app, Vancouver RentalDog, which lists licensed rental buildings and their bylaw infractions in a map each with a sharable profile.

Dave will touch on the benefit of communicating with city staff and councillors as a means to improving the app's functionality and appeal. Early input from staff provided important feedback and usability testing.

As non-profit app developers, Dave's team had initial concerns about liability for defamation.

For developers without a budget, marketing falls to the wayside. Promotion is key; otherwise, open-data apps will not find their audience. This needs a solution.

Dave will close with a summary of future work planned for RentalDog

Disparate data, technology fiefdoms and 65 pictures of your cat

William Cadell

Up in the frozen wastes of the North, well beyond the wall (certainly beyond hope) we organized a hackathon based on the ideas of open data and civic applications.

Our hardy hackathoners pulled together a number of excellent ideas but met with a constant and obtrusive barrier: that open data maybe open but with out some level of standardization its not actually very useful.

Now, no one said that data had to be 'useful', and perhaps if we want the technology utopia of real open data interoperability we will need to "build it" ourselves, but it is worth noting that talking the same language as our neighbors is generally awesome. Indeed, perhaps rather than swearing fealty to our technology overlords and just pressing the "publish document to open data platform" button, we could think about the commonwealth of data. The value of any data increases wildly with density and open data should be more valuable!

The cats? well you'll have to tune in for that bit.

Unknowable Country

Sean Holman

The cultural and political barriers to open data and freedom of information in Canada.

Integrate Web Literacy with Mozilla Webmaker

Emma Irwin

Emma is passionate about bringing digital literacy to communities. Open data combined with the web is an incredible opportunity for learning. In this talk she shows how kids can have fun with open data creating cool projects while learning how data and the web work.

Open Data #FAILs

Alex Benay

What we learned by doing it the hard way!

Lessons from using open data in journalism

Chad Skelton

Vancouver Sun data journalist Chad Skelton discusses how he uses open data in his reporting, how he access other datasets using Freedom of Information requests and negotiation with agencies and how The Sun has become more transparent about the process of journalism.

Real Estate Transparency

How Open Data empowers homebuyers with information
Adam Naamani

Access to real estate data in Canada is highly fragmented, resulting in information asymmetry. Open Data is a pivotal component to evolving an archaic industry, and providing homebuyers transparency when searching for a home online. Municipal datasets allow us to tell a complete story for individual properties and neighborhoods, and the ability to visualize and convey the indicators of value to the consumer.

Open Data and Community Engagement

Perspective From Québec
Jean-Noé Landry

Jean-Noé will discuss how Montréal Ouvert's citizen-led approach successfully built and expanded the open data movement locally while resulting in to the city's policy and political commitments. He will share lessons-learned from the City's working group on open data, a unique consultative body set up by the city of Montreal to engage with open data stakeholders.

Contact any elected official in Canada

James McKinney

Represent is the largest database of Canadian electoral boundaries and elected officials at all levels of government , used by nonprofits, businesses, journalists and individuals to connect citizens to representatives. Building and maintaining this database of 12,000 officials and 7,000 boundaries and counting is a monumental task. I'll tell you how we did it with the help of many others, how organizations are using and contributing to it, the many challenges we face, and the future for this sort of project, and the projects that rely on it, in Canada and internationally.

The Open Data Delusion

Jay Bhalla

The Open data movement has grown exponentially in a relatively short period of time. Many countries and cities have been rolling out initiatives and embracing the potential value that comes with opening up their data. However, as much as open data holds great promise, there is a real danger of initiatives failing. Jay will give a global perspective of lessons learned through a journey of implementing and building open data ecosystems from around the world.

BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: Beyond static datasets

Alex Ritchie

At the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure we have been exploring options to move beyond the static dataset publishing on DataBC. We have seen successes with the data we have released up to this point, and have some ideas on how to get out more dynamic, real-time, and large volume datasets that we think will have significant value as open data.


Catherine Chernoff

Open511 is a standard being developed for sharing road event data. The standard development is being led by Open North, and Collaborators include the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Metropolitan Transportation Commission of San Francisco Bay Area. I will be discussing the current status of the standard and the future direction.