News: Prairies News

City of Winnipeg Launches Open Data Portal

July 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
Share |

The Winnipeg Public Service launched its Open Data Portal.

The new site is a hub where City of Winnipeg data is available to the global, online community in machine-readable format for use by such consumers as researchers and software developers. The site will enable the Public Service to be more efficient in responding to requests by providing data in a user-friendly, 'self-serve' environment that is open for business 24/7.

'The launch of the Open Data portal is just the beginning of an open data initiative that will continue to add new data offerings to the catalogue while striving for efficiencies, openness and transparency,' said Mayor Sam Katz.

The initial offering of the open data catalogue features over 60 data sets, maps, charts, and calendars. The catalogue provides searchable access to data including 311 data, building permits, locations of recreation facilities, and census data.

'This new site provides a platform for data upon which software developers can create apps that are useful to all citizens, but won't cost the taxpayer anything to develop,' said Mike Houston, Open Data Portal Project Manager, Corporate Support Services Department.

Open Data is defined as information that is widely available in a format that can be read by a computer, and is made available for anyone to use, transform or republish without restriction and normally only requires that the data source be cited. The practice of providing Open Data must respect all legislation and regulations regarding freedom of information and protection of privacy.

The portal's design and construction began when City Council approved the Open Data Initiative at its March 20, 2013 meeting. As part of a commitment to facilitating sharing across levels of government, Winnipeg's Open Data portal uses the Open Government Licence developed by the Government of Canada. This licence, which is used by five other Canadian municipalities, allows users to 'copy, modify, publish, translate, adapt, distribute or otherwise use the Information in any medium, mode or format for any lawful purpose.'