City of Edmonton and Strathcona County, Alberta, Recognized for Open Data Leadership

May 25, 2016 12:00 pm PST | Effective Governing

Last month, I attended the Canadian Open Data Summit, where government employees from across the country descended on the Maritime provinces to share ideas and experiences in the growing field of open data. The city of Edmonton, and Strathcona County, Alberta, are both considered pioneers when it comes to making government data accessible and useful. It was incredible to watch as they accepted two of the four awards presented by the committee at the start of the conference.

Edmonton Portal

The city of Edmonton and Strathcona County each maintain an open data portal, powered by Socrata, to make government data accessible internally and externally, inform public policy, and enable citizen-driven applications. Edmonton earned the Open Data for Accessibility award for excellence in open data policy and processes.

Here’s more from the city’s jury statement:

The City reached 927 datasets in January 2016 (a 56% increase from 2015); obtained 538,000 views in 2015 (a 72% increase from 2014), and registered 96,000 downloads (an incredible 854% increase from 2014).The growth of the Open Data Portal brought not only new datasets but also new ways to consume data. For example, a dataset of real-time locations of buses was added, and citizens immediately began using this data for their own applications. Accessibility is king in the City of Edmonton, and we applaud them for it.

Strathcona Portal

Strathcona County took home the Open Data for Value award for excellence in delivering public policy outcomes using open data. Strathcona County, one of Alberta’s fastest growing communities, is using their open data to serve businesses and citizens. Public safety, transportation, and building data can help residents and workers make informed decisions about where they live and work. The county also provides a readily understandable visualization of two decades worth of building permit data in an understandable way.

More from the county’s jury statement:

Strathcona County is worthy of note for one initiative in particular. Building permits data that was previously accessible only in a paper format, to be viewed in person at their office, is now available to the public as a very rich data set containing 41 columns over 16 years, which is updated nightly. It is now possible for businesses to access, query, filter, visualize, and download the data directly from the Open Data portal at any time. Local hardware store requests are now fillable by the capacity to establish an RSS feed to notify them of any specific changes.

Congratulations to the city of Edmonton and Strathcona County on their open data success.

Interested in learning more about how the power of open data can bring transparency to your community? Check out the open data field guide for more information.

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