Tag: opendataottawa

Developers Use Open Data to Make Government Services More Accessible


open data ottawa
Pic courtesy of @opendataottawa. Click to enlarge

Open Data Ottawa’s hackathon kicked off today along with the International Open Data Hackathon. Ottawa’s Open Data event is of particular importance considering it’s not only the capital of Canada, but Ottawa itself has gone through several periods of tech recession and explosion, making for a city with quite a few talented programmers.

Over 50 cities participated in today’s International Open Data Hackathon and we have coverage of the Ottawa event as well as some notes about why this event should be of particular importance to RIM.
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Open Data: The Role of Government in Fostering Smartphone Applications


The private sector has been doing an incredible job of creating useful applications for smartphone users. Much of the success and boom of the app economy can ultimately be attributed to Apple pioneering the embedded on-device App Store, and showing the average consumer what a smartphone can do. Apps have been available for a long time before the App Store, but they were always something that only the uber-geek knew about. Other smartphones have done an excellent job of creating an app market for developers including RIM. If there is a problem that a smartphone can help solve, it’s almost guaranteed theses days that someone will create an application and try and make a dollar. But what about government? Your local government can play a crucial role in fostering more useful smartphone applications through a movement called Open Data.

Your local government collects an incredible amount of data on daily basis. Everything from real estate conditions, crime rates, weather reports to public transit schedules and maps. Open data is about taking all of this data and making it available with a license that gives users the right to use the data, merge it with other data sets, modify it, and re-distribute it. Open data is also about encouraging governments to package this data in a format that is easy for programs to read and manipulate.
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