Canadian government revamping open data portal
Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board, says the federal government plans to improve its open-data portal.
At the World Congress on Information Technology in Montréal, Clement announced today (October 24) that the revamped portal will launch in spring 2013. It will feature better search capabilities and interactive tools, according to a Treasury Board news release.
"We are on the cusp of some truly exciting opportunities and this new portal underscores our Government's commitment to the growing open data movement around the world," Clement said in the release. "Our Government's plan to move to an improved platform is a result of open, international collaboration that not only strengthens best practices among governments, but bolsters transparency and citizen engagement."
In March 2011, Data.gc.ca launched as a one-year pilot project. The government says that 21 agencies have uploaded 273,000 datasets to the portal, and there have been about one million user sessions.
The portal was "re-launched" today with some new content and links. On the portal, feedback is being sought on a revised open-government licence that aims to "promote the re-use of federal information as widely as possible".
"The new licence will remove restrictions on the reuse of published Government of Canada information (data, info, websites, and publications) and align with international best practices," a webpage about the proposed licence states.
While the portal drew criticism at launch for not being all that "open", Vancouver-based open-government advocate and public-policy entrepreneur David Eaves told the Straight in September that the government went on to resolve his initial concerns. Eaves sits on the federal advisory panel on open government, chaired by Clement.
"Open data is structured information that the government has—that doesn’t have privacy or security implications to it—that it chooses to share with the public for free," Eaves said at the time. "And that the public is allowed to reuse, to analyze, to build applications, and do whatever they want."