Open City

Open Data in the Spec

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 05, 2011

Today's Hamilton Spectator has a large section dedicated to an exploration of open public data and an editorial case in its favour. Shameless plug: the cover article by Bill Dunphy features an interview with your humble RTH editor.

Read more:

I'm really excited to see the Spectator recognize the value and importance of open public data.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 12:58:04

I just came over here after reading the article! I really enjoyed it. And I was very excited to see the article on the front page of thespec.com.

EDIT : To put some actual content here... I really hope that traffic information is part of what is to be made public. It would be great to get that sort of data to help citizen activism on transport issues.

Comment edited by Tybalt on 2011-02-05 13:02:25

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted February 05, 2011 at 13:09:07

Nice beard!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 10:12:25 in reply to Comment 59310

I'd go so far as to suggest it's an ineffable beard!

I'm very jealous.

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By Give Me a Break (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 13:46:28

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 16:01:18 in reply to Comment 59311

There is at least one way that Hamilton is like no other city on earth. Only in Hamilton could artists be considered fat cats and parking lot attendants be considered the 'leisure intelligensia (sic)'.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 07:53:15 in reply to Comment 59327

In terms of The Spectator calling me a parking "gatekeeper," the statement is inaccurate.

I don't really care what title I'm given as my writing and work represents itself.

I work four hours each morning as the parking supervisor at one of the hospital locations in Hamilton. It's a job I held prior to being hired by Maclean's and have kept because it enables me to pay the bills if I ever needed to resign as a journalist.

Presently, my employment there enables me to write for The Globe part-time online and engage in my activities locally.

Without this part-time position locally, I would be unable to make the push for streaming of City Council and Open Data.

In short, even if I were a parking "gatekeeper", it should not be held against my work in the community. We need everyone to be involved in making Hamilton a better place. Even the "lowly" parking gatekeeper.

For the record, I've been working in parking for a decade and many of the "gatekeepers" are highly educated hard working immigrants who could be contributing more to society if we added recognition of their foreign credentials.

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 15:04:09 in reply to Comment 59350

Calling you a parking lot attendant instead of reporter was intentional. This is what they do-- diminish others to elevate themselves.

And despite all the great ideas of free & public info, have we not watched The Spec dive on profitizing the City Hall cam..? They sell ad space on all this effort.

Comment edited by Wentworthst on 2011-02-06 15:05:41

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 15:11:27 in reply to Comment 59365

Sorry if I seem a bit slow, but what has The Spec done to profit off the City Hall web stream. (I haven't had a chance to tune into the live-stream since JC's last one)

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By Wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 16:13:59 in reply to Comment 59367

Samething I do at http://hamilton-on.ca/hamilton-area-traffic/ ..Combine public assets to create something you can sell ad space on to retail.

And I know it works because they are just starting to figure what I have done professionally for over a decade-- earn revenue running a business online.

What I object to is high-minded individuals who think its ok for The Spec to sell our own feeds, but the rest of us should work by the hour doing something else, writing for free.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 16:25:11 in reply to Comment 59372

Thank-you.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 08:29:40 in reply to Comment 59350

Maybe what we're getting in "gatekeeper" is a malformed metaphor intended to play off of the "walled city" of government data. Longtime readers know that the Spec's standards for poetry are even more lax than they are for prose.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted February 05, 2011 at 16:56:46 in reply to Comment 59327

Shhhhh... There is no reason to discuss issues or ideas anymore. I've heard the majority have things well in hand. 84% agree.

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By Jo6Pack (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 13:52:29

intelligensia?! That's a big word, you must be one of those no good smart folks that heal people and keep the electricity flowing. Go back to your ivory tower "Give Me A Break"!

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 14:24:49

I'd like to think that these stats & information will help & perhaps they can, but...
The amount of decisions made @ City Hall that are passed through Quickly -To avoid public discussion/criticism/outrage, etc. are increasing daily!

By the time you obtain the information (assuming that you knew 'something was up' previously) everything is a done deal. All you can do @ that point is question the process, & What's Done is Done!

There have been lot's of public outrage lately about these kinds of decisions. The fav. tactic lately is, "Do it Around Christmas" when nobody is looking too closely. By the time things would get documented & released (that big 1 week or more Christmas Break @ City Hall), you might as well say, 'It's all over but the shouting."

I have NEVER been in any city or town that is so secretive about it's problems, public health issues, traffic accidents, public land use, & on & on...

I'm Very Glad that there are people who can look into things for us, like Mr. Coleman, Mr. Jelly, & the entire RTH staff!
Where would we be without them? In the dark, & trying to fight battles that we have already lost & quite possibly didn't know anything about it!

(WikiLeaks may get a Nobel Prize! Hurray for that! :)

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 05, 2011 at 14:41:35 in reply to Comment 59316

Cityjoe:

As what you're talking about falls within the realm of what I'm addressing a lot these days, and as I have regular contact with a small assortment of Councillors, is there any way to give me some examples of what you're talking about? Not generalities, but specific examples that fully illustrate your point?

Personally, I think there's a whole discussion worth having from this portion of your comment:

I have NEVER been in any city or town that is so secretive about it's problems, public health issues, traffic accidents, public land use, & on & on...

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-02-05 14:42:22

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 00:46:05 in reply to Comment 59320

Where do you want to start?

Legionnaire's virus spewing out of a downtown A.C. unit some years ago, & it was not reported until long after the fact. Should we blame the media, Public Health, or City Hall for not being forthcoming?

Fire in Dundas that put a type of rat poison into Spencer Creek. The fact of the toxins was not reported for some weeks, the extent of the damage not reported for many weeks after. Residents in some cases did not know about the spill or the fire, & many also did not know to keep their kids & pets away from the creek. Would it not be in the public interest to inform people of the fire, the spill & damage to Spencer Creek right into Cootes Paradise & the ongoing danger to residents?

Fire in Ancaster that produced some nasty fumes for miles away. Many residents were woken by the acrid fumes, but few were warned to close windows & take precautions. The extent of the toxins is still not known.

Destruction of the home of Upper Canada's oldest newspaper. Demolition began & was finished on Christmas Eve. Initially, this building was supposed to be 'saved' & incorporated into the design of an expanded existing structure. And why Christmas Eve?

The Deer Hunt in Dundas conservation area (Iroquois Heights) was hastily o.k.'d pre-Christmas to 'avoid controversy', if I understood the article that explained why it was carried out during the Christmas Holidays, when many people expected to walk those trails with kids & grand kids. The entire process is still a sore point with many who live in the Dundas Valley, & they wonder if a conservation area is now an ongoing meat shop for Aboriginal Peoples. They also question if there was still ongoing & unresolved scientific debate about deer populations, forest succession & what damage, if any had been caused by the deer, why was there such a hurry to carry out a hunt at all?

Sign in local public park that actually threatens prosecution for trespass if you are found in the park after 11 p.m. (This is a new one on me! I have never heard of such a situation Ever, except in the case of public pools that would present a danger to trespassers.) I do not recall this ever being published before the decision was made, or discussed with local residents at the time.

Many people are complaining about the rush to implement Ancaster's new traffic plan. Many of these complaints are based on the fact that public discussion was very brief, & held during the Holiday season. Pedestrians & cyclists feel left out of the process, or so say they in local papers.

I feel uneasy about the amount of meetings at City Hall that are reported to have gone "in Camera", after the initial public meetings & discussions.
A number of these took place during the Stadium debate, & some have happened since on other issues.
It is our city & it is our money & we do have the right to know how decisions are formulated, after the fact of our input.(or lack there of)

Traffic accidents that go for the most part, unreported in some areas. Yes we must respect people & families, but there is an element of secrecy here that is unusual in it's frequency.

I did mention in another thread 1 such recent incident, involving a pedestrian hit on Wilson St. E. in Ancaster. I have found no published information about this. She was walking in an area with no sidewalks, & appears to have been hit while attempting to walk in the bicycle lane on the shoulder of the road. There have been several recent incidents, some involving fatalities, but beyond this, we know nothing about what happened & why.
If we need more traffic enforcement, more speed traps, & more RIDE checks in some areas, these accidents could at least give us some idea what to ask for & at what locations should be given more attention.
My fingers are tired... :{

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 07:51:24 in reply to Comment 59342

Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail.

I will claim no familiarity with the incidents you've mentioned. I'd be curious to hear responses from those in positions of responsibility within whose remit these events fell.

Have you ever enquired to the various Councillors' offices?

Even before you posted a response, I was wondering how what you came up with would compare with other cities. (Especially seeing as you were so scalding in your comment "I have NEVER been in any city or town that is so secretive about it's problems, public health issues, traffic accidents, public land use, & on & on..."

Is Hamilton any worse than other comparably-sized communities?

Anyone have any empirical evidence to either prove or disprove the accusation?

I'm not saying that we should just 'suck it up' and accept what we're given. But there needs to be perspective. And context.

By the way, regarding your reference about your local park and its access hours: there's a park in my neck of the woods which has the same ground rules. And unless I'm mistaken, the by-law for it has been in effect for decades. Nothing new there.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 13:45:36 in reply to Comment 59349

I'm going to try to copy & past to reply on each point, Stoneycreek.

Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail
***You're welcome.

I will claim no familiarity with the incidents you've mentioned. I'd be curious to hear responses from those in positions of responsibility within whose remit these events fell.

***Well, good luck to you in that matter!

Have you ever enquired to the various Councillors' offices?
***The 1st few years that we lived here, I did try, with not much in the way of results or real answers.
*** I did have an incident that really took me aback.
I actually had a person @ a constituency office mock me, berate me, & generally attempt to humiliate me on the phone. We had a similar episode with someone who I believe was the same person, working as a scrutineer at a polling station. Nasty, Rude, Loud & overbearing individual!

Even before you posted a response, I was wondering how what you came up with would compare with other cities. (Especially seeing as you were so scalding in your comment "I have NEVER been in any city or town that is so secretive about it's problems, public health issues, traffic accidents, public land use, & on & on..."

***I lived in many areas of Toronto, also a (then) borough of Toronto, Haliburton, & several towns both north & west of the Haliburton area. (so you have Ontario - big, small, & an area somewhere in between to compare.)
***I have spent not quite a year in the Yukon Territory. (Haines Junction) & correspond regularly, (sometimes about local politics)with people in rural Manitoba, Saskatchewan, rural (Gulf Coast) & urban (Dallas/Fort Worth) Texas, & rural Missouri.
***It's been my experience in other places that if you ask a question, you will get a proper reply. If things are not right, you can & often will be able to 'beat City Hall' by using simple common sense, & logic, if you have a valid point.

Is Hamilton any worse than other comparably-sized communities?

***Hamilton is an 'odd size'. Bigger than small, but are you talking population, or geographical size?
***I don't think many communities have the kinds of diversity that Hamilton has in terms of rural & urban, diversity of lifestyles, & income. (It's a match made in HELL! :D

Anyone have any empirical evidence to either prove or disprove the accusation?

*** No, but do you have an empirical evidence to disprove it?
***What are your experiences of living outside of Hamilton & how do you compare your experiences here?

I'm not saying that we should just 'suck it up' and accept what we're given. But there needs to be perspective. And context.

*** Is it not possible that part of the apathy, voter & otherwise, stems from people sucking it up, for decades & generations?

By the way, regarding your reference about your local park and its access hours: there's a park in my neck of the woods which has the same ground rules. And unless I'm mistaken, the by-law for it has been in effect for decades. Nothing new there.

***I have never seen anything like that sign/law outside of Hamilton. Even parks in the roughest areas of Toronto don't try that kind of thing. What they Do try is getting residents into the parks during the night. You'd be surprised how quickly drug dealers, gangs, & vandals leave an area with People watching them. We live in a 24/7 world. Parks are not just for Sunday afternoons anymore.

***The local park in East end Toronto, near where I lived @ the time had problems. We had a solution! Late night potluck dinner parties in the park. People stayed for desert, & glass of wine, you got to know their neighbours, & the druggies left for good. (Don't you think that's better than charging residents with trespass, or asking police & politicians to do all the work for you?) Trespass laws = Privatization of Parks. Can you not see that? Name one other Public Space that we 'forbid' people from gathering after dark. Nobody has suggested that we close Hess St., or Yonge St. because 'things might happen there' after midnight!

***If you work shifts,or are retired you may want to get your biking, walking, or jogging at night, early mornings, or evenings. If you want to walk your aging hairy dog in July, you may want to do that late night too. If you are aging & hairy, you may want to walk, jog, or cycle during the night or early morning during the Summer.
*** The park area that was "Closed After 11 p.m." is the only paved route to get to the homes, park & stores south of here. This would have been a excellent bicycle/walking route to get from here to there without having to get onto heavy traffic areas. Yet another lost opportunity!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 17:30:40 in reply to Comment 59357

Cityjoe:

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond with such thoroughness and clarity. And without 'attitude', to boot! Much appreciated.

You seem to have some sound first-hand experience in this arena, both in Hamilton and elsewhere. This is precisely the sort of invaluable, empirical input the dialogue requires. I don't want to tie up any more space here than is necessary, so I'll reply in point-form as I'm able.

-I've forwarded your 'observations' to a small handful of Councillors I have regular contact with. I'll be intrigued to hear their general responses...but of course, there won't be any incident-by-incident followup. That's something best left to either the individual Councillors involved, an official Ombudsman...or maybe some kind of ad hoc citizen version if it appeared that this kind of behaviour is rampant. (A variant on the Matt Jelly 'Bylaw Crawls' efforts.) I've tried to determine if City Hall has an 'ombudsman', but I haven't yet. (Maybe I'm just dense.)

-Again, I'd like to see data on communities of a similar size as Hamilton (I'm referring to population). And no, I'm not putting this on you. Nor am I being argumentative. I'm simply saying that it would be vital compare apples with apples.

-The 'proving or disproving' point had to do with the notion that Hamilton is particularly bad at doing what it does, in comparison with similarly-sized communities.

-"Is it not possible that part of the apathy, voter & otherwise, stems from people sucking it up, for decades & generations?" Sure. this is why my thrust these days on my site is examining how we can change this by changing how people see local governance. It's the only way forward to a systemic and longstanding solution.

-Regarding the park bylaw... It's extant elsewhere in Stoney Creek, I've seen it in Norfolk, VA, I've seen it in Brighton & Hove, UK. It's not that unusual. But I do salute your strategy of making use of spaces in order to keep the 'anti-citizens' out. (My phraseology.)

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By highwater (registered) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 16:08:17 in reply to Comment 59357

*The local park in East end Toronto, near where I lived @ the time had problems. We had a solution! Late night potluck dinner parties in the park. People stayed for desert, & glass of wine, you got to know their neighbours, & the druggies left for good.

You're talking about Dufferin Grove aren't you? Why would you ever leave?

This would have been a excellent bicycle/walking route to get from here to there without having to get onto heavy traffic areas. Yet another lost opportunity!

Only if you obey the sign. Let's face it, Hamilton isn't exactly known for its crack bylaw enforcement. I haven't noticed any signs to that effect in my neighbourhood park, so I don't think it's universal, but nonsense restrictions like that are rightly honoured in the breach.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2011 at 01:05:08 in reply to Comment 59370

Nope Highwater, Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen St. E. at Booth Ave.. (& yes.. Why did I ever leave! Answer: 2 sets of aging relatives in the Western 'Burbs who needed help.)

I kind'a think it would be enforced. The fact that it was invoked at all says something about either a group who wanted to lay claim to a piece of public park, or maybe just the nut-job that lives at the corner. The guy has some kind of surveillance equipment going on for his house, the street, & the park. He will start screaming at you when you are walking on the street, 25 feet from his property line. He also feels that he can follow people around the park, lurking behind bushes, & doesn't seem to think that he might appear to be 'dangerous or peculiar'.
He would phone the cops in a heartbeat & they'd probably come, just in case there was an altercation.
(This guy also claimed to see a person in the park,& walking past his house 'all the time', who had been dead for over 2 years! I guess he 'See's All', including.. dead people??)

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By Paranoiac (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 16:54:01

Really CityJoe, you can't be looking very hard or asking the right questions. The only one who would lose from Open Data which we have to support (it's like apple pie) would be the Spectator reporters who make bonuses out of FOI information and if they turn up on the front page, it's even more money....otherwise, what secrets really exist in this town?
Really?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 02:38:19 in reply to Comment 59331

Paranoiac, it's not asking questions that I have a problem with. It's getting answers.(truthful, honest answers) Also, there is the problem of hearing a bald faced lie, & not getting upset with the person who imparts that to you. That is Difficult!

And then there are the situations when you wake up, go outside & 'There it is' or maybe 'There it isn't anymore'.

What is the point of asking questions after the fact, except maybe, "Why did you choose to do that?" or-" Why was information not available about this before it happened?"
(...and then we are back to getting a truthful, honest answer from somebody (on all levels of Government in this area) who doesn't have a worry in the world about getting re-elected, no matter what they do or don't do.)

A number of regular contributors to RTH have been unfairly criticized because they are not employed in a high pressure, professional, highly paid occupation.

I think they serve their community in an outstanding fashion here @ RTH, & in activism in the community. We need these people, because most of us cannot deal with that kind of dedication to a dream, the frustrations, & the dogged persistence required to know who to call & ask questions about a 100 topics. There are not enough hours in the day, or enough personal satisfaction for most of us to live that kind of life every day.

I have no desire to beat my head against the brick wall of Hamilton governance for an extended period, & I'm sure that's what many politicians count on. Creeping Apathy.

I will stand up for things that mean a lot to me, but the endless morass of 'who is in charge of what',& the buck passing, & the run-around really wears people out. (& I'm sure that's the desired effect!)

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 01:09:56 in reply to Comment 59331

See Above reply.^

I'm completely in favour of Open Data, but it's not going to tell the whole story. Raw stats will never tell you the whole story, & stats can be fudged to reflect any number of points of view. Remember that old saying about, "Liars, damned liars, & those who quote statistics." ?

Freeing up information to the public is never a bad idea, as long as it doesn't invade individual privacy.

Unless you have been sleeping for a few years, I'm surprised that you are not aware the the Spec., Ch., etc. etc. don't tell us everything we need to know, & there is always they question of: "Maybe they (the media) had no idea either".

Perhaps 'They' are not asking the right questions?
(& they'd be the professionals who are supposed to know the right questions on our behalf & who to ask. I'm not. Are you?)

Really!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 06, 2011 at 08:00:56 in reply to Comment 59343

Open Data is one part of the equation to better local governance. But in the end, all the resources in the world won't guarantee an improved situation unless the people involved are inclined to use what's available. 'You can lead a horse to water...' and all that.

I regularly examine the notion of 'increasing the relationship of engagement between residents and their Councillors'. (In fact, January saw two entire series posted about 'how we can make things better'.) I believe it's the key. No amount of availability of information, of accountability of elected officials and transparency of process will matter one whit unless the citizenry are involved, participating, invested. And currently, people aren't. No matter what might be assumed given discussions such as this one.

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted February 05, 2011 at 19:29:27

as someone who is currently working with a lot of GIS data for Buffalo, NY, I would love to be able to get easier access for data in Hamilton and surrounding GTA. I remember requesting some data from the city, but it is all for internal use only.

I mean if data for US cities is accessible to the public, despite their security concerns of recent years, why isn't data for Canadian cities as readily available?

Comment edited by mike_sak on 2011-02-05 19:32:36

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 07:25:49

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted February 06, 2011 at 21:52:59 in reply to Comment 59348

Do you ever make a comment that doesn't slam someone, or this site??

Sorry, feeding again.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2011 at 01:25:52

StoneyC. Thanks for your efforts on my & other people's behalf. I hope it works, & we can be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Did you notice the item on page 2 of Saturday's Spec about Ancaster's Development Plan, & people who feel it's not doing much of anything for walkers, joggers, or cyclists?

There are some articles, & letters about the Dundas Valley deer hunt in a number of the Mountain News, etc.,etc. papers. (ACK!!) The later issues cover public opposition, scientists (not Bambi-ists) who differed with having the hunt at all, & the legal implications of this hunt becoming a random, on going situation in the future.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2011 at 09:52:27 in reply to Comment 59389

Cityjoe: I'm trying to track down those two issues you mentioned. If I'm able, then I'll respond.

It's easy to get downbeat about 'all this', about the muck, but here's how I look at it: our default regarding our roles in local governance...how much we get involved, how we respond to 'what happens'...is so crap, and has been for years, that the potential for creating a far, far better situation is incredible.

People talk about wanting to increase voter turnout. And this is an admirable goal. (Yet is not the be-all and end-all that some believe, if we take into account what the basis of these additional vote-casters decisions could well be. In the 2006 election, it's said that 60% of votes cast were done so on the basis of 'name recognition'.) If we could double the rate to 75%-80% -and they were 'informed' ballots being cast- then we'd be getting somewhere.

I believe that were we to double our engagement...which really, isn't much, not at all for the average person...would provide a massive ripple-effect in an improvement of local governance. (My 'wish state' is far more than a doubling. Which explains my optimism for how good things could be.)

For now, what matter most to me isn't 'victories', it's sustained dialogue. And input such as yours, to keep us talking.

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By BillDunphy (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2011 at 10:59:29

Quite a thread. Love the points about the secrecy culture in our public institution - that's one of the reasons the Spec is launching this Our City: Our Information project, it runs much deeper than promoting Open Data.

The Spec has spent countless hours - and thousands of dollars - in past years fighting for openness, as we darn well should. But we've been largely re-active in the past. I hope you'll find that over the course of the coming months we're shifting to a pro-active stance - that at least is part of what I hope to be doing.

Permit me too to clear up a few misconceptions: Open data is not going to hurt the Spec - we, like everyone, will benefit from getting access to that information. But frankly there is a community of programmers and designers and the like in our community who have the skills needed to really makes use of that data for EVERYONE's benefit. That's the point of Open Data.

(And pu-lease! Bonuses? For doing an FOI? Or for landing the on front page? Doesn't happen.)

And on a more personal note, calling Mr. Coleman a "gatekeeper" at hospital parking lot was a choice, a deliberate, considered, choice I made as a writer (reporter/journalist/hack). It certainly was not done to "diminish" my colleague in any way. And @Wentworthst your believing that canard, if that wasn't just a glib remark you now regret, sadly says more about your own attitudes towards the service industry than it says anything about Mr. Coleman's life or my intentions.

One of the most exciting things about the times we live in is that people of good will and talent now have access to incredible tools that enable them to take centre stage in our civic life. (Witness the entire RTH community.) That used to be the purview of the wealthy and powerful.

Mr. Coleman's mastery of these tools may give the average Hamiltonian the wrong impression about him - he's not a highly paid professional journalist (at the moment). He's a smart guy who gives a damn and is doing something about it- without the benefit of the wealth and power of a mainstream media outlet behind him (his blogging gigs and Spec internship notwithstanding). I was also tickled by the gatekeeper metaphor as an irony - because so much of what Mr. Coleman does involves throwing gates wide open.

Perhaps I should have foreseen the snob reaction and called him a supervisor or manager or whatever.

Onward and upward.

Comment edited by BillDunphy on 2011-02-08 11:04:00

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2011 at 22:26:14 in reply to Comment 59416

> Perhaps I should have foreseen the snob reaction and called him a supervisor or manager or whatever.

That's not it and if you knew anything about me you'd know it...

He is a Reporter by-trade, and you just stripped of that in every search engine for years to come. YOU should be ashamed.

And why didn't you mention he worked for The Spec last year? For that matter, why not mention everyone working at a website called "Open-whatever" here in town has a T4 from Metroland?

I do applaud your new-found interest in exploiting open-source; it makes my work much easier.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2011 at 09:57:35 in reply to Comment 59424

Okay, now that I've slept, THAT was glib and slightly regrettable.

But I was exhausted, and only came to RTH to post good news in local open-data handling: in working out the English-Arabic issues for on Cairo-ON.info now http://Hamilton-ON.ca can be read 24/7 in ALL languages. I that's huge for a town as mutlicultural as ours. (Try it-- it looks cool to see the text change.)

Instead, its more insults and reprimands from a Spec staffer, now directly posted here.

See, I've personally spent $1000's too, but while supporting 3 kids at Cathy Weaver on doing the work you & Joey can only "advocate". Nobody "Pro-Open" will help, let alone picks up the tab, but wow, they complain (and insult and threaten) and now wants to profit.

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