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Canadian province develops open data portal with open source

The provincial government of Alberta launched its open data portal as part of its efforts to promote government transparency and citizen engagement.

01/06/2013

The portal, which was built by the provincial government staff using open source software, serves as a central access point for high quality and machine readable raw data collected from various provincial government agencies.

“The portal is the next step we are taking down the open government road as we continue to build Alberta,” said Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Service Alberta.

“This government is committed to a new way of doing business - one that values the proactive sharing of information - and this portal builds on that commitment.”

From groundwater activity to health indicators to birth statistics, the portal provides access to useful information, while ensuring privacy and proprietary information remain protected.

Prior to its launch, data was stored and shared within individual ministries and was often difficult to find. Furthermore, most of the data was in unsearchable, processed formats like PDFs and fact sheets.

“In today’s digital landscape, data is a powerful resource - one that can unleash enormous social and economic innovation,” said Bhullar.

“By opening up government data, we are helping to make this innovation possible.”

The open data portal currently contains about 280 data sets. New data will be added to the site on an ongoing basis as departments identify what data is available and ensure it does not contain any personal or proprietary information.

Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar, will be speaking at the FutureGov Forum Alberta on 12-13 June at Sutton Place Hotel, Edmonton.

The event, which is supported by the City of Edmonton, will welcome over 150 senior civil servants and representatives from the technology industry to talk about new developments in government transformation and service delivery.

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