Developers spin City of Vancouver’s open data into maps and VanTrash

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      Developers are already putting the City of Vancouver’s new open-data catalogue to good use.

      The catalogue, launched in beta on September 15, makes the city’s geospatial data on a variety of subjects freely available on the Web in standard formats. More data will be added to the catalogue over time.

      One site that’s using the data is VanTrash, which was created by Luke Closs and Kevin Jones. It reminds users when their garbage is picked up. After entering your address or clicking on the site’s map, you choose to receive reminders by e-mail or add them to your calendar. Inspired by a blog post by David Eaves, a public-policy expert and member of the Vision Vancouver executive, VanTrash takes advantage of the garbage collection schedule zones data from the catalogue.

      Thirsty? Tylor Sherman has put up a Google Maps mash-up of Vancouver’s drinking fountains. Sherman has even posted a video that shows how he put it together using the city’s drinking-fountains data and Drupal.

      Kate Chapman of GeoCommons has posted a map of community centres, fire halls, schools, and voting-division boundaries. Data sets for all of these subjects are also available from the catalogue.

      More local open-data projects are listed on the Vancouver Open Data Wiki. There’s no doubt these are just the tip of the iceberg, as more projects will sprout up as time goes by and as more data is released.

      Indeed, today (September 21), Eaves created an Ideas for the Taking page on the wiki and shared six proposals. His ideas include sites or apps that track stolen bikes, record information on Downtown Eastside landlords, analyze data from the Burrard Bridge bike-lane trial, and look at the impact of city services on land values.

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