Open City

Toronto Launches Open Data Catalogue

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 02, 2009

After the City of Vancouver established an open data catalogue, local citizens jumped on board with a growing set of third party data applications based on the newly-available public data.

The City of Toronto has now joined the movement toward open public data as well, launching the data catalogue to publish public data in accessible and machine-readable formats. (You can follow the city's open data initiative on twitter.)

Toronto Mayor David Miller officially announced the launch of Toronto's open data systm at this year's Toronto Innovation Showcase, a forum to explore how Toronto can "strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative".

Like Vancouver, Toronto is releasing its data under a worldwide, royalty- and warranty-free, non-exclusive licence to use, modify and redistribute city data in all media and formats for any lawful purpose.

The site is still in its early stages with only a few datasets, but the city is committed to "building a city that thinks like the web". We can expect that the city will add more data feeds to the catalogue over time, not only in response to citizen requests but also as opportunities arise to migrate city data into more open formats.

If you want to get involved working with this data, local data enthusiasts have established an online discussion group and an online collaboration website where citizens can share information, request data, and publish tools.

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 wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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