Open Data Day opens up government information to the public
The Charlottetown event was one of 257 similar ones being held worldwide
A year after Premier Wade MacLauchlan committed to making government data more open and accessible, tech types in Charlottetown took to their computers Saturday in celebration of International Open Data Day.
The group spent much of Saturday building applications based on open data offered up by the province, a main sponsor of the event.
Organizer Dustin Sparks said the day is about making information more accessible to the general public.
"It's something that's gaining a lot of attention here and momentum," he said. "And that's why the government was happy to sponsor this event, it's an on-going conversation that is pretty exciting."
The Charlottetown event was one of 257 similar ones being held worldwide as part of International Open Data Day, but the only one being held in the Maritimes.
Participant Christian Southgate said it's a great opportunity to generate ideas and work together to build new apps.
"Hopefully, with some luck, some of these ideas can go on to be proper useful products that contribute to the community," he said.
Southgate said open data is important because there's a lot of useful government information out there, but it's no good to anyone, if people can't access it quickly and easily.
"More people need to know about the open data movement," he said. "Governments around Canada are becoming more open, they are opening up data to the public, that enables exercises like this, and enables people to make useful tools using government data."
Sparks said the goal was to see what projects they could come up with using the data they had.
"Data by itself sometimes doesn't always have a lot of definition, but when you get people together, and they start using their imagination, things emerge, people have a lot of creative ideas," he said.