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David Eaves Talks About Vancouver’s Open Data Initiative

What is an Open City?

Back in May, ReadWriteWeb reported on a Motion put before legislators in the Canadian city of Vancouver. Duly passed, the Motion commits the city to three closely related ‘open’ agendas;

the City of Vancouver will move as quickly as possible to adopt prevailing open standards for data, documents, maps, and other formats of media;
  • the City of Vancouver, when replacing existing software or considering new applications, will place open source software on an equal footing with commercial systems during procurement cycles;
  • the City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns.

Last week I spoke with David Eaves, a co-author of the Motion, both to understand the city’s rationale, and to explore intentions for the third area — Open Data — in a little more depth. The result has just been released as a podcast, which is available below.

City of Vancouver

Production of this podcast was supported by Talis, and show notes are available on their Nodalities blog.

 

As more and more data become available as a matter of course, the examples set by organisations such as MySociety become increasingly attainable for us all. Other than ensuring that it is ‘open,’ do we need to be asking for more from those making data available? And once it’s there, will its use and scrutiny move beyond the enthusiasts and activists to encompass the population at large?

David shares his views on these and other questions during our conversation.

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Paul Miller works at the interface between the worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web, providing the insights that enable you to exploit the next wave as we approach the World Wide Database. He blogs at www.cloudofdata.com.