[Talk-ca] Crowdsourcing buildings with Statistics Canada

Bjenk Ellefsen bjenk.ellefsen at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 13:02:26 UTC 2017

A couple of things to consider and what follows is in my name and I do not speak for StatCan:

Open Data is the way Governments are going to release data to be used by the public freely. Many are working hard through consultations to further these initiatives precisely because they are the sole medium by which Governments are going to release data that normally the public would never have access to.

Open Data for Governments are released under licenses, which were modelled after extensive consultations to be as permissive as they can be under the responsibility of these jurisdictions. OGL-Canada was done to allow Canadians and anyone really to use data from Federal Government and that allows anyone to not have to go to a specific group or owner of datasets in Federal Departments and get a personal commitment and permission, which is highly unlikely: no one has that authority. Open Data programs are a wonderful progress and medium which we will all work to support and enhance.

The City of Ottawa has gone through extensive work to revise their Open Data licence so that it is modelled after OGL-Canada as it is stated in their FAQ. The Federal license might become a standard for Canada in the future.

As for the dataset released yesterday: urban buildings, it was released after months of negotiations between the City and StatCan and an internal consultation at the City of Ottawa with lawyers experts in Open Data. They were all supportive of the concepts and principles behind Open data and this dataset was released precisely in support of this project which is a collaboration between municipalities, StatCan and OSM community. This is entirely for the benefit of OSM.

Also, other Departments and Municipalities are joining the discussion and interest is rising for OSM. Open Data initiatives are going to be the main vehicle to provide data to the public.


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