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  • cqwww 11:59 am on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: angel, creation, data, , funding, government, , , , , open data, public   

    Open Data Society of British Columbia 

    The current premier of British Columbia has committed to supporting the concept of Open Data by creating DataBC. Never before have British Columbians had access to so much public data. If you’ve never heard of Open Data, the open definition is

    Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.

    You can read more about the definition at opendatahandbook.org. I personally have used the data from DataBC for a few fun projects, most recently publishing a map of every government liquor store in British Columbia. What makes this process unique to me is I had the idea for such a map, so I contacted the folks at DataBC and made a request for the data. Once they published it in their data catalogue, they notified me it was now available! DataBC also has a blog that might interest you.

    If you find yourself more creative in the company of your peers, check out hackathons; events where software developers and the community get together and typically in one marathon stretch, to create something that didn’t exist before. My friends at OpenDataBC regularly host hackathons, if you have the chance to participate in one, don’t miss it, even if you have no software development experience. They’ve started a list of projects created at hackathons. If you’ve got a lot of hackathon experience under your belt, you might also want to check out AngelHack, an annual hackathon that spreads 4 major U.S. cities that has angel investors offering advice and funding for your hacks.

    As the concept of Open Data is relatively new, one of the biggest challenges in the community is spreading awareness of the concept, and potential uses for the data. As such, I was excited to hear about yesterday’s launch of the Open Data Society of British Columbia that appears will resolve these issues.

    Can you think of any government data you could use for commercial or fun? Get started today by going through the data catalogue, or contact them and ask for the data you’re looking for, and join the Open Data Society of British Columbia, they’re actively looking for members!



    • cqwww 12:12 pm on November 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
      Tags: ad, advertising, campaign, claim, data, , , , , United Way   

      If only there was a United Way to contact them… 

      For three years I’ve heard an advertisement by the United Way on the radio in Victoria, BC. It claims that they help one in every three people in Victoria. That’s a pretty impressive claim. Where I became suspicious, is that they seem to make the same claim in other cities across the country, and have the exact same statistic every year. For three years in a row, I’ve contacted them and asked to view their source; where they get that statistic from? For three years in a row, they’ve declined to respond to me. I’m not sure why they’re being so secretive, but if they’re making the number up, I respectfully request they remove that specific ad campaign.

      If you know anyone who works at/with the United Way that could provide me with their data source, I would would really appreciate it. Without it, I’m having a really hard time trusting their claim, or their organization in general for not being transparent to the claims they are publicly making. I will disclose here any updates I get on this issue.

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