City Enters Age of Open Data to Improve Access to Information
The City of Brandon continues to improve citizen access to government and information with the launch of an Open Data Pilot Project, Mayor Shari Decter Hirst announced today.
The City of Brandon is committed to the principals of having open and transparent government for its citizens. The launch of a new website in the summer of 2011 acted as the platform for supporting such an initiative. A key part of furthering this initiative is today’s launch of the City of Brandon’s Open Data Pilot Project.
With its website, www.brandon.ca, the City already allows individuals to access open data, social media and get information about how to file Freedom of Information Requests. Now, with the launch of the Open Data Pilot Project, individuals will have online access to public information in easy-to-use, machine-readable formats. Often, organizations like municipalities will provide raw, yet standardized data to its public for free that can either be consumed as-is by that public or used by members of the public to create a different end-use.
In making the announcement of the Open Data Pilot Project, Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said she is pleased to be part of a City Hall that is continually working towards greater levels of transparency and accessibility.
“We want to make access to information open and easy. Our Open Data initiative is one step in increasing this ability,” Decter Hirst said. “The data that we have provided in our catalog is free to use under a flexible agreement. Our hope is the community will use this information and develop their own applications that can benefit citizens. Open Government is about being transparent and accessible, and that is what we are continually working towards.”
The initial City of Brandon Open Data Pilot includes the following information:
- Property and tax assessment data;
- Cemetery data;
- Recreation information
The City of Brandon’s Director of Information Technology Todd Burton added that the City plans to provide more types of data, based on availability and what the community would like to see.
“I am excited that the City has joined the Open Data Community and my hope and desire is that the data we are providing is able to benefit citizens and application developers,” Burton said. “Over time, we hope to work with the application development community to provide data and resources that will benefit everyone. As the Open Data Community across Canada evolves, we plan to help move it forward.”
The information provided through the City of Brandon’s Open Government commitment will continue to grow based on information availability and requested information.
People are encouraged to browse through the City’s Open Data Catalog and other information at www.brandon.ca/open-gov and provide their feedback.