Canadian Open Data Summit

Canadian Open Data Summit

Canadian Open Data Summit, April 28th 2016 in Saint John, NB.

Canadian Open Data Awards 2016

Tracey Lauriault wins Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year 2016 Award

27 April 2016

Saint John, NB – Dr Tracey P Lauriault of Ottawa has been named the Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year 2016. The award was presented at the opening dinner of the Canadian Open Data Summit 2016, held at the Delta Brunswick, Saint John, NB, in the presence of the Canadian Open Data community from across Canada.

Known in particular as a tireless advocate whose engagement efforts have grown the open data community in Canada, she (as the jury noted) “may not have the high profile of some within the open data movement in Canada,” but “her fingerprints are everywhere.”

Summit attendees from coast to coast gathered to recognize and celebrate achievements in the field of open data through an expanded excellence program. This year for the first time there were six awards in total.

The other big winner on the night was the City of Surrey which won both the Open Data for Democracy Award and the overall Canadian Open Data Excellence Award 2016. “While all the winners demonstrated a variety of strengths, making this decision very difficult, the jury circled back time and again to depth of impact in engagement and innovation relative to size and therefore encourages peers to emulate – and wishes to single out for special praise -The City of Surrey, BC.”

The remaining winners were:

  • Open Data For Accessibility Award: City of Edmonton
  • Open Data for Value: Strathcona County, Alberta
  • Open Data Innovation: Province of British Columbia

The Awards Dinner was emceed by comedian and proud New Brunswicker, James Mullinger, who goes on to a major arena show at Harbour Station on the evening of April 28th.

The Canadian Open Data Summit continues with keynote presentations, expert panels and workshops on April 28th. The Summit is co-hosted by nb+ and the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NB-SPRN). The Summit’s sponsors include the Government of New Brunswick, Bulletproof/Dell, T4G, and Canada’s Open Data Exchange.

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Award winners: Tracey Lauriault (Carleton University), Scott Hardy (Edmonton), Chris Kershaw (Strathcona County), Elaine Dawson (BC), Bill McKay (Surrey).

About nb+

nb+ is a partnership between the Government of New Brunswick and TechImpact, an organization made up of local technology business leaders that advocates for a greater embrace of IT literacy and innovation as a strategy for economic growth.

About NBSPRN

NBSPRN is a partnership between the Government of New Brunswick and the four publicly-funded universities in the province. NBSPRN seeks to advance citizen-engagement and evidence-based policy development through cross-sectoral collaboration.

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Media contacts:

Nick Scott, NBSPRN                            Lorna Brown, nb+

(506) 292-7295                                    (506) 478-7248

nick.scott@rrps-nb-sprn.ca               lorna.brown@gnb.ca


Canadian Open Data Awards 2016

Jury statement

Members of the Jury

Chair: Lorna Brown

Co-Chair Programming, Canadian Open Data Summit 2016

Senior Project Manager, Executive Council Office, GNB

 

Nick Scott

Co-Chair Programming and Co-Host, Canadian Open Data Summit 2016

Executive Director, New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network (NB-SPRN)

 

Jean-Noé Landry

Past host, Canadian Open Data Summit (2015)

Executive Director, Open North

 

Herb Lainchbury

Founder, Canadian Open Data Summit

Dynamic Solutions

 

Erik Waddell

Senior Advisor, Chief Information Officer Branch
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Government of Canada
Preamble

This year, at CODS16, we expanded the excellence program and were happy to present the Canadian Open Data Awards – plural. There were six awards in total. Four of these were known in advance of the awards dinner:

  • Open Data For Accessibility Award: City of Edmonton
  • Open Data for Democracy: City of Surrey, BC
  • Open Data for Value: Strathcona County, Alberta
  • Open Data Innovation: Province of British Columbia

On the night of April 27th, 2016, at the opening dinner of the Canadian Open Data Summit 2016, the winner of the Canadian Open Data Excellence Award 2016 was announced from among the four category winners above and was:

City of Surrey, BC

For the first time, one individual among three finalists was named Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year 2016. The finalists were:

  • Dr Christopher JO Baker, University of New Brunswick Saint John, Computer Science
  • Dr Tracey P Lauriault, School of Journalism and Communications, Carleton University
  • Gillian Vrooman, Open Data Society of BC

The winner was Dr Tracey P Lauriault.

Jury statements

Open Data For Accessibility Award: City of Edmonton

Last year’s winner of the sole Open Data Award, Edmonton is praised again for their commitment to making a great quantity and quality of data accessible to citizens. In 2015 the City of Edmonton continued their dedicated pursuit to expand the use of Open Data both within the corporation and by residents in the Edmonton region. With the support of City Council and the Open City Policy, the City of Edmonton’s data is now open by default.

The City reached 927 datasets in January 2016 (a 56% increase from 2015); obtained 538,000 views in 2015 (a 72% increase from 2014), and registered 96,000 downloads (an incredible 854% increase from 2014).The growth of the Open Data Portal brought not only new datasets but also new ways to consume data. For example, a dataset of real-time locations of buses was added, and citizens immediately began using this data for their own applications. Accessibility is king in the City of Edmonton, and we applaud them for it.

Open Data for Democracy: City of Surrey, BC

The City of Surrey, BC, with a population of under half a million, is extolled for punching above their weight in their commitment to increasing engagement for open data. They were named one of the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities of 2015 by the Intelligent Community Forum. The list is too long to include here but they are a member of the first intake for the Public Sector Digests Open Cities initiative, a cohort of 9 other first intake municipalities collaborating on Open Data industry challenges; they have direct engagement with academia at three major Universities in Canada; they have established outside agency partnerships, such as with Fraser Health and the RCMP, and are active in partnerships such as BC Dev Exchange, MISA, Open North, Place Speak, and Open Data Meet-Up Groups. They have put in place custom daily scripting to ensure data is current without manual intervention. They provide over 1 Terabyte of remote sensing data including orthophotos and hyperspectral imagery, and are of the few organizations who provide free lidar data. All in all, theirs is a huge, practical, and innovative commitment to transparent government relative to their size.

Open Data for Value: Strathcona County, Alberta

Strathcona County is worthy of note for one initiative in particular. Building permits data that was previously accessible only in a paper format, to be viewed in person at their office, is now available to the public as a very rich data set containing 41 columns over 16 years, which is updated nightly. It is now possible for businesses to access, query, filter, visualize, and download the data directly from the Open Data portal at any time. Local hardware store requests are now fillable by the capacity to establish an RSS feed to notify them of any specific changes.

This initiative also provides a major internal efficiency as the Tax and Assessment department no longer has to wait for a biweekly spreadsheet to be emailed with the latest building permit report. As customers of this data they utilize the built-in capabilities of the platform for visualizations and analytics, which is faster and easier than their previous process. In fact, this initiated a new project to upload property tax information, which will also be automated and reported for both internal and public use. Strathcona County has even implemented a Single Sign On solution to the Open Data platform. This worthy winner demonstrated an upward spiral of positive impact from their commitment to providing value to their external and internal customers.

Open Data Innovation: Province of British Columbia

The innovative new BC Data Catalogue provides efficiencies and new capabilities for data suppliers for data asset cataloguing, hosting and visualization. The project enabled DataBC, among other things, to:

  • Consolidate and rationalize multiple data catalogues including an open data catalogue and geospatial data discovery service;
  • Support multiple licence types;
  • Support a broad array of spatial and non-spatial dataset visualizations;
  • and lead the Province in use of Open Source on GitHub and participate in a global development community.

The B.C. Government also launched the Physical Address Geocoder to help ministries easily locate their assets based on civic address and to achieve the goal of “One Address-One Location” in British Columbia. The data output by the Geocoder is licensed under the Open Government License – British Columbia (OGL-BC). Over three years, users have processed more than 157 million address records. The Geocoder is innovative custom software that has been designed to use the province’s road network and address data most efficiently. A suite of accompanying tools enables users to geocode address lists and to integrate the Geocoder into their web pages. The jury applauds the Province of BC, though Data BC, for their commitment to innovation in Open Data.

Canadian Open Data Excellence Award 2016

While all the winners demonstrated a variety of strengths, making this decision very difficult, the jury circled back time and again to depth of impact in engagement and innovation relative to size and therefore encourages peers to emulate – and wishes to single out for special praise –

The City of Surrey, BC

Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year 2016: Dr Tracey P Lauriault

The jury praises Tracey for her tireless advocacy for open data, her research into open data, her ability to communicate the results of this research to diverse communities, her critical approach to open data, and her enthusiasm and support for others engaged in open data. Although Tracey is from the academic sector, she is also actively engaged in civil society.

Tracey has long been an advocate for open data. She is a Founding Member of CivicAccess, and runs the DataLibre blog. Both the CivicAccess listserv and blog are important vehicles for sharing information about open data in Canada and for building connections between individuals interested in these subjects. Tracey is also the Founder of the Community Information Mapping System of Ottawa, which is an infrastructure to support community-based research on population health.

Tracey has a terrific ability to see the connections between things. This, combined with her great intellectual curiosity makes her an invaluable Canadian open data resource. She is particularly adept at facilitating communication and interaction between diverse groups. She is enthusiastic, engaged, knowledgeable, supportive of others, and completely committed to advocating for, developing, and supporting open data. Although Tracey may not have the high profile of some within the open data movement in Canada, her fingerprints are everywhere. For her contributions to so many aspects of the open data movement, the jury has chosen Tracey P Lauriault as:

Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year 2016

Other finalists

Dr Christopher J O Baker is an innovative leader in bioinformatics creating semantic solutions to uncover hidden data such as that in the Canadian Health Census. He also has created several companies to help promote the technology he has created such as IPSNP Computing Inc. He was hired as the Innovatia Research Chair at UNBSJ in Semantics and was their scientific advisor for 5 years. Dr Baker just isn’t a theoretical teacher. The jury was impressed with his solving practical problems and delivering value, whether it was his:

Dr Baker is a firm believer in using data for making evidence-based decisions and for this we applaud his achievements.

Gillian Vrooman

As an active participant of the Open Data Society of BC Gillian has worked enthusiastically and tirelessly over the past four years to continue to foster and grow the open data community in BC. She was elected as a director of the Open Data Society of BC in 2014 and was elected President in 2015. During 2015 she organized numerous events including hackathons, open data nights, workshops and city, provincial and national conferences. Her positive attitude is infectious and inspiring. She almost single handedly has grown awareness of open data in the Vancouver area from dozens of people to hundreds and likely thousands of people. Her local Vancouver meet-ups and other events regularly draw over 100 attendees and her meet-up group has grown from zero to over 450 members in less than two years. The jury applauds Gillian for always being there to lend a helping hand and apply her community building skills to help make the events successful.


Canadian Open Data Awards 2016 – Call for Nominations

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday April 8, 2016, noon (Atlantic time)

Once again this year the open data community from coast to coast will gather at the annual Canadian Open Data Summit, and we take this opportunity to recognize excellence in the field of open data at the Summit’s opening dinner on April 27th, 2016 in Saint John, NB. This year, at CODS16, we have expanded the excellence program and are happy to present the Canadian Open Data Awards – plural. There will be seven awards in total.

Each submission from an organization will be considered for multiple categories as noted below. There will be an award in each category, and one award for the highest overall score, the Canadian Open Data Excellence Award 2016. For individuals, submissions will be accepted for Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year.

Submissions should be in Word format; should not exceed 500 words in total; and should address all of the following:

  • Improving accessibility (Policies/Processes) = Open Data Accessibility Award
  • Increasing engagement (People/Democracy) = Open Data for Democracy Award
  • Delivering value (Outcomes) = Open Data for Value Award
  • Improving our understanding (Advocacy/Capacity building) = Open Data Advocacy Award
  • Innovation (Trying something new) = Open Data Innovation Award

Individuals may address those of the criteria that are appropriate to their achievements.

For all submissions, there is no date limit on the achievements submitted; they can cover 2015 or an extended period of contributions.

Nominations are accepted from the organizations and individuals themselves or from third parties, but those who nominate others must obtain the nominee’s agreement to be put forward.

Links are encouraged; appendices are permissible; but the volunteer judges’ energy is finite. Submitters are encouraged to get the gist of their story into 500 words. If you feel you have a particular strength in one or two categories more than in others, by all means emphasize those. Keep in mind that that to win the Excellence Award you will need to score strongly overall.

Given the number of awards available, those who submitted in 2015 are strongly encouraged to resubmit (updated) entries for 2016.

Category winners will be advised in advance. To win an award, your organization must be present and willing to be photographed. Travel expenses to Saint John will not be covered but each award includes one free registration to the Summit (maximum two free registrations per winning organization). Winners will be asked to give one minute of remarks if they wish (though there is no obligation to do so). If the judges’ first choice declines to attend, the award will pass to the second choice. At their discretion the judges may decline to offer an award in a specific category.

The Canadian Open Data Excellence Award 2016 will be a surprise on the night and will be awarded to one of the (up to) five category winners. Again, your organization must be present to win.

Understanding that individuals may not have the opportunity to participate strongly in all categories in their work, we offer the Canadian Open Data Leader of the Year to recognize individual excellence in Open Data Work of any kind. The Individual award will have three finalists, who will be advised in advance, with the winner announced on the night. Again, you must be present to win. Finalists will receive free registration to the Summit but travel costs will not be covered.

Eligible – organizations in any sector, and individuals. Ineligible – members of the jury and their organizations.

The judges’ names will appear on the CODS16 website.

Awards will be presented by our guest speaker at the dinner.

Submit your nomination as Word documents attached to an email to: Lorna.brown@gnb.ca

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday April 8, 2016, noon (Atlantic time)

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