News: Ontario News

MISA Ontario And OpenNorth Launch Open Data Standards Pilot for Municipalities

February 26, 2018  
Posted by: Jacqueline O'Hara
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MISA Ontario and OpenNorth are partnering together with the goal of establishing priority data set definitions and naming conventions to illustrate the value of standards and to assist in the adoption of those standards.

Many municipalities across Canada have experienced issues and challenges with open data standards. Data that is not standardized in terms of content, structure, and metadata, creates more overhead for application developers and analysts who wish to create value. For example, road network data sets that do not join up between jurisdictions make it difficult to perform network and routing analyses.

In order to address these ongoing issues, The Open Data Standards Pilot for Municipalities will focus on the establishment of priority data set definition and naming conventions to illustrate the value of the standards and to assist in the adoption of those standards.   The project can also be viewed as a supplement to the Municipal DIY Open Data Toolkit.

The project has the endorsement of the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA) Ontario Board of Directors with MISA Ontario President Connie McCutcheon acting as the Project Sponsor, and Vice President Morgan Calvert acting as the Project Liaison.  We will also engage our Open Data Special Interest Group the Project Committee/Special Interest Group to address the following milestones:

  • Undertake an inventory and leverage work of existing open data standards initiatives;
  • Define top 10 core municipal open data set names/definitions;
  • Develop a mapping of current dataset naming conventions;
  • Develop a proposed set of data categories and data set names/definitions;
  • Develop an open data standards adoption strategy for municipalities; and
  • Provide Final Pilot Project Open Data Standards Report

How you and your municipality can get involved

We have started with an initial reach out to over 150 Ontario municipalities to participate in our data survey.  The purpose of this survey is to get a better understanding of what core municipal open datasets could be significant for your organization.   If you are a municipality interested in participating in this initiative you can contact us at

About MISA Ontario

MISA Ontario was established in the mid-1970s to assist municipal government representatives and others interested in the effective use of information technology to provide better and more cost-effective services to municipal taxpayers and clients.

About OpenNorth

Since 2011, OpenNorth's mission has been to create open and accountable government. Over the last year, OpenNorth has shifted its base of impact from the civic tech industry (where it built websites and tools), to operate as an open data social enterprise at different scales, connecting the global open data movement with national and local situations, with a primary focus on cities and applied research.