Encourage Your City Councillors and Government to Make Data Open

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Open Data is important because it releases tax payer funded data to those that pay for it, allowing passionate developers and citizens to make better use of the data. The City of Ottawa, Canada, is dealing with a publicly funded transportation chief that won’t release data to the tax payers funding them. In this case, the GPS data broadcasted by busses in Ottawa is being held hostage by the transportation bureaucracy, and your city could face something similar.

Open Data

The tax payer funded OC Transpo doesn’t want to release live information on where its buses are because it doesn’t trust outsiders to use the data intelligently and releasing it could harm prospects for making money around the data.

This argument is ridiculous since the private sector and passionate developers will come up with much better apps than OC Transpo ever could. Also, it’s more cost effective in the long run to have this outsourced to other developers. It doesn’t make sense to have a publicly-funded mobile department within your public transportation.

Support your local Open Data group.

Check out the Open Data site for the Government of Canada.

Here is the US Government’s Open Data site.

Read more about the OC Transpo issue at this link.