Open Data: Make Web Not War

A little while back, I was asked by some of the people over at Make Web Not War and People & Code to participate in a video on Open Data. Of course I said yes, so I was able to be in the video with Keith Loo, Matthew Potter, Bruce Chau, and Bryan Xu. Definitely a lot of fun, and I think it’s worth a look.

The potential for open data is incredible. As I mention in the video, there is the possibility for people to take the data released by governments and businesses, run their own analysis on that data, and then release those results as open data. So long as the quality of the data is high this can result in some very interesting developments. Combining this with abundant and diverse releases increases the benefits.

For a lot of people, this is just a bunch of stats being released into the ether. However, for others (myself included), these open data sets represent possible data sources for apps. Further, from a social perspective, these data sets represent actions by governments to make raw data available to their constituents. Anytime we have access to more data, raw or not, that gives us more insight into the world around us and allows for better decision making.

So go and checkout what is offered for open data in Canada and the United States.

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