City Introduces Open Data Catalogue and Opens City Hall to Host Open Data Day “Hackathon” Saturday

The City of Victoria is opening the doors of City Hall to the local open data community for International Open Data Day on February 23. The event, also known as a “hackathon”, will see the local open data community review and utilize various sets of raw data from several organizations, which can then be harnessed for meaningful electronic applications.

One example of open data at work is the City's new online garbage collection calendar . Nearly 3,000 residents have subscribed to this new web-tool designed by enterprising developers who used raw data on garbage collection schedules from local governments to develop a marketable application that sends a text, email or phone reminder prior to garbage day, and syncs with online calendars. The result is a practical tool that improves customer service for residents receiving service from their local government.

The hackathon will also include a Webmaker Hack Jam, a fun and creative opportunity for youth to learn the potential of the open web, moving from passive users to innovators and directors of technology. Using Webmaker tools participants will create stories, share ideas and make cool things happen with open data.

In anticipation of the event, and timed with the one year anniversary of launching the improved City website, the City is introducing its new online Open Data page today. The page contains a variety of data and mapping files outlining, among other things, property boundaries, City parks and recreation facility locations, City archival information and garbage collection routes. The City will continue to add to the catalogue on a regular basis, and as new data becomes available.

In the coming weeks, the City will also be launching a new GIS web mapping system that will provide not only multi-layered maps, but will enable citizens to directly download raw data sets that inform the maps. Webstreaming of Council meetings will come online later this spring.

Visit the Open Data event page on Facebook.