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For International Open-Data Hackathon 2010. Montreal Ouvert will facilitate a small event for hackers/designers in Montreal around the available city information.

The event will take place December 4th, 10AM – 4PM at Station-C 5369 St. Laurent

Sign-up here (spaces limited):

More info here:

Sorry, this entry is only available in French.

Nous avions déjà bloggé au sujet de la commission sur les services aux citoyens organisée par la ville de Montréal, dont la prochaine séance se tient demain à la Bibliothèque de Saint-Léonard.

Suite à notre présence lors de la première commission, nous avons publié un mémoire abordant les problèmatiques relatives à la communication entre la ville et les (jeunes) citoyens, et en présentant l’opportunité que représente l’ouverture des données publiques.

Ce mémoire vient tout juste d’être mis en ligne par la ville, vous pouvez d’ailleurs le télécharger directement ici (en PDF).

N’hésitez pas à faire des commentaires, et à suivre le dossier 🙂

Recently, Tim O’Reilly, a web pioneer, presented at the Gov 2.0 conference. In his talk, he talks about “Do it ourselves [government]”. He advocates putting more power in the hands of citizens by transforming the government into a platform for civic action. Essentially, we need to move away from expecting government to do everything for us and start helping government by building tools so that citizens can do things themselves. His position is quite American, but his point that internet technologies now allow us to do more as citizens rings deeply true. To make this happen, the government must provide data and information in an open and accessible way. We encourage you to watch his short talk below.

Saviez-vous que la semaine du 27 septembre au premier octobre est la semaine internationale du Droit à l’Information ? Durant cette semaine, un certain nombre d’évènements sont organisés pour promouvoir le droit d’accès à l’information, un thème touchant de très près l’ouverture des données publiques.

Vous trouverez sur le site de l’évènement tout un ensemble de conférences et tables rondes dans la plupart des grandes villes du Canada, de Victoria à Halifax.

Au delà des évènements, vous pouvez également aller plus loin en lisant et en participant par Internet au travers des liens suivants:

  • Le mot du président de la Commission d’accès à l’Information du Québec (lire ici)
  • Des lettre types à envoyer aux organismes publics et entreprises pour accéder à l’information (télécharger ici)
  • Clavardage en direct avec les Commissionnaires à l’Information du Canada (voir les horaires)
  • Un article (en anglais) discutant du Droit à l’Information et de l’Ouverture des Données Gouvernementales (lire ici)

Mike and I (Sébastien) attended the “Mapping Environmental Issues in the City” workshop held at Concordia University this week, where an international group of cartographers, artists and researchers have gathered to work around a newly created database aggregating socioeconomic, health, soil toxicity and air quality data in Montréal.

This database, which is now available on the workshop website is actually a shining example of the process of taking existing data  and aggregating it in a consistent database that can be accessed and manipulated by tools and custom programs.

During the process of creating this database from many already existing data sources (including statscan), the team faced issues of data accuracy, completeness, resolution and of course, quality — which are issues likely to be encountered when opening a dataset.

Sébastien Caquard, one of the originators of this database, related that they had problems getting the data they wanted, so they had to “scrape” the data from existing material, typically published maps and articles.

Here we have another illustration of the benefits of an open-data policy in public organizations: by commiting to publishing data in open, standardized formats, you lower the barriers to innovation and encourage the re-use of the data. As collecting the data can be a long and expensive process, why let the data rot in locked up computers ? Open the data and let it become the soil for new, innovative projects !

Via Open Government Mailing List

Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority (DECA), has published an analysis of the social and economic benefits associated with a 2002 decision to offer official Danish address data free of charge online for public and commercial re-use.

The study concludes that the direct financial benefits from the agreement for society in the period 2005-2009 amounts to EUR 62 million while the associated costs are only 2 million euros.

For 2010 it is estimated that social benefits from the agreement will be EUR 14 million, with costs of about EUR 0.2 million.

An 8-page memo presenting the study and the results is available in Danish and English at the or through these direct links:



More info :

Here is a good presentation by Flip Kromer on the importance of open-data in government. He runs a site, that tries to offer all the public data sets available. He gives a good rundown of the challenges and benefits of organizing public data.