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City of Guelph To Make Collected Data Available to Public

Web posted on February 12, 2014

Guelph, On, February 11, 2014 Today the City released its first six datasets on guelph.ca/opendata for public use.

The datasets, or collections of raw, electronic information currently include Guelph Transit bus stops; municipal election polling stations and subdivisions; Guelph's ward boundaries; and recreation program information. Later this week, an additional six datasets will be added to the catalogue.

"As we adopt new open government practices at the City, we will continue to release more public information in a variety of different ways," said Blair Labelle, City Clerk. "By sharing the City's data we can partner with innovators in the local tech sector and other interested community members to repackage it into helpful tools and analysis for Guelph residents."

Individuals, groups, or businesses interested in using the data are to agree to the terms of use in the City's open government licence. The licence including data publishing guidelines have been adopted from open standards used by other municipalities as well as the federal and provincial governments.

"As a municipality, we collect a lot of data, and we recognize that this data can be useful in all kinds of ways," said Mayor Karen Farbridge. "The City's progressive open government licence offers very open terms of use for City data, allowing interested parties to use it in new and better ways while creating social and economic value."

The licence and datasets are considered beta, which the City will work to improve based on feedback from the community.

In celebration of the internationally-recognized Open Data Day later this month, the City and University of Guelph will co-host a hackathon for students, local application developers, and other interested individuals to use this City data to create mobile and web-based applications for Guelph community members.

A greater emphasis on making civic information more readily available and relevant to Guelph residents is one of four focus areas the City is pursuing as part of its open government efforts.

The City's first open government action plan is currently underway and will provide recommendations and a five-year schedule for a more accountable, transparent, and engaging City of Guelph. More datasets will be released based on availability and community interest.

For more information, visit guelph.ca/opendata.

About Guelph's open government
Guelph is setting a new standard of openness in municipal government and aims to be the first in Canada to develop an open government action plan at the municipal level.

At the City of Guelph, open government means becoming a more transparent and accountable government; making the best use of technology; and empowering staff, Council and the community to actively participate in solutions that improve municipal services and life in Guelph. Learn more at guelph.ca/opengov


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