I had the amazing opportunity recently to attend the 2017 Esri User Conference (UC) in San Diego, California. The Esri ‘UC’ as it’s known is an annual event that showcases what’s new and hot in the Esri GIS world, and provides a chance for over 16,000 GIS and map nerds to get together, learn from each other, and generally celebrate everything geospatial.

I’ve recently been successful with obtaining five years of funding from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Early Researcher Award (ERA). This generous funding will allow me to measure the value and impact of open data initiatives, assessing how open data is accessed, used, and exploited.

This is a guest post by graduate student Qing (Lucy) Liu about her team’s experience at the Esri Canada App Challenge:

The ECCE App Challenge is a coding completion held by Esri Canada. Started in February 27, 2015, teams of participants were given one week to develop an innovative app using open data and Esri software. The apps to be developed should be on some aspect of government services in Canada, for any of the following themes:

I’ve recently been awarded funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ontario Research Fund (ORF). I’d like to thank both of these government funding agencies for their support of a new research and training initiative that I call the ‘Geospatial Mobility Lab’. This effort is also co-sponsored through direct contributions of equipment and services from Esri Canada and Dell Computer.

Yes indeed, after one of the longest, snowiest winters in recent memory, I’m eagerly anticipating the upcoming Association of American Geographers meeting in sunny Tampa, Florida. I’m going to be presenting in two venues, first the alt.conference on Big Data where I will be discussing (quickly – like lightning) different models of government adoption of crowdsourced data. Second, I’m doing a more conventional presentation on the challenges of jurisdictionality in government adoption of the Geoweb. See a trend here?

Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a team that has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Grant for a 5-year study of “How the Geospatial Web 2.0 is reshaping government-citizen interactions”, also called Geothink. This is an unparalleled opportunity to make a long-term impact on emerging research themes of open data, citizen digital participation, and to trace the changing nature of geospatial data creation and use.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Can open data lead to open government?

The relationship between Open Data and Open Government is one that fascinates me. I’m curious as to how Open Data – that is, data that is easily accessible with a minimum of restrictions governing use or reuse, can be used as a conversation or focus point to increase the involvement of citizens in government. If government data is being collected to support decision-making, shouldn’t that data be shared with citizens?