Vancouver's Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source Initiative - Roland's Notes

David Eaves (Andrea Reimer was stuck in a Metro Vancouver board meeting) presented a lively, well thought out session on Vancouver's Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source Initiative. Notes after the jump.

  • David Eaves - wants to enable human side of open source, the more people can work together with least possible friction, the more the equation tips into our balance
  • Andrea Reimer - caught in Metro Vancouver board meeting
  • Tim Wilson - citizen & GIS guru & open data advocate
  • thesis - openess & participation created a better internet and also allows us to create a better city
  1. where did this come from
    • toronto barcamp, led to opencities and web 2.0 summit where mayors and councilors showed up
    • vancouver - transitcamp, change everything
    • dc - opened up data - 54 applications on the web, $29 million of value for city with $50K of funding
  2. What
    • open accessible data
    • open source software will be on same platform as proprietary i.e. same level, i.e. provide regulatory environment that is fair to open source
  3. Next
    • identify immediate opportunities to distribute more of its data
    • www.thinkliketheweb.org, i.e. open source the motion itself
    • speak to councillors & public not to ourselves, learn to mobilize politically, want to hear how open source enhances the experience of being a citizen
    • compare to washington dc data sharing website, need vancouver version, this is gold standard
    • good examples of low cost, citizen run, participatory
      • fixmystreet.ca
      • google transit
      • appsfordemocracy.org - once data is released hold apps for x, e.g. appsforgreenercity appsforhousing in Vancouver
      • everyblock iPhoneapp - shows you everything that's going on from within 150 feet of where you are, for vancouver: what is the crime in this block, houses for sale, etc
  4. The Bargain - council (listen, engage, ask for help, make data available as quickly as possible) us (participate, be patient, help, make data come alive for fellow citizens as quick as possible)
  5. Q&A
    1. Q: why is W2 which is open source & open data project being cut back A: cut back
    2. Q: Vancouver everyblock app? A: placeholder for diycity, we need to ask and help move this kind of thing forward
    3. Q: Is there a forum for continuing this discussion? A: ChangeCamp, diycity i.e. http://diycity.org/local-group/diy-vancouver Drupal site and Media Wiki. Want to engage non-techies to design apps
    4. Q: David Ascher, boundaries are opaque. Where does City end and TransLink start, etc. Having a map of data from City A: citation of restaurant closings is Vancouver Coastal health, not City's responsible; think in terms of applications not just raw data; also city may not collect data yet so be patient; also city might not be responsible for data
    5. Q:how do I know the best methods to advocate for open data? A:Sunlight Foundation website has some of this info. Make sure you accredit/attribute city for the data. That helps with ROI and demonstrating value.
    6. Comment: Zak Greant, not about lobbying, need something that uses the data that people actually usetheyworkforyou.com
    7. Comment: Tim - geospatial data is low hanging fruit but can only download PDF, need to lobby for KML and more importantly propose apps and write apps that use the data