Mark Kuznicki hosted the Toronto Open Data Lab at the Toronto Innovations Showcase this week.Â This was the official launch of dataTO.org, Toronto.ca/open and the release of several open data sets.
I was pleased to meet so many folks working at the city of Toronto and at the province of Ontario who showed so much interest in Open Data.Â There were many great conversations going on, from the exhibition floor at the city hall rotunda to the mixer at a local pub later.Â All of these are great signs of a new open-awareness at the city and I see it as overwhelmingly positive.
Being new to the world of Open, the city wanted some feedback regarding for what applications people would use this newly available data.Â As Toronto Transit Commission data, addressing data and road centrelines were all released I thought immediately of the travel planner for London from mySociety.
I had that chance to talk to many folks about OpenStreetMap through the course of the day and I was pleased to share my enthusiasm for a travel planner like this using the Toronto data.
Travel planner using Toronto Open Data
The data we have now is imperfect but rather than critiquing the quality of the dance steps of this bear, let’s marvel that Toronto released open data at all.Â Most of the data sets grew up in separate silos in Toronto departments.Â The folks at the city are as new to these data sets from other departments as we are.Â They’ll get used to working with each other in an open environment and that will move them to more of the open tools, standards and practices that we take for granted.Â I’m sure we’ll see a bug tracker soon.Â We’ll see increased use of open formats rather than proprietary lowest-common-denominators.
Bravo, Mayor Miller, for recognizing the benefits of Open.Â Bravo, Mark Surman for challenging Toronto to become a city that thinks like the web,Â This is an important step along that way.
Toronto City Hall Photo is licensed cc-by-nc-sa by Vlastula on Flickr
London Travel time map is licensed cc-by-sa by Tom Carden.