“We were quite thrilled that we were on the top of the list,” said Open City Edmonton director Wendy Gnenz, “especially because we beat out Calgary and Toronto.”
The practice of open data means making data available to the public in a free and accessible way. In many cases, citizens take that data and create their own research or websites, reuse or redistribute it.
“We’ve put out close to 1,000 data sets and visualizations related to city data that allow citizens to download the data in a machine-readable format and do very innovative and interesting things with it,” Gnenz explained.
Projects like Open Data, Open Information and the Citizen Dashboard have made the City of Edmonton a leader in open data. It has shared information in easy-to-read ways about everything from 311 complaints to snow clearing to traffic.
“We are surprised at how many citizens are interested in things like rain fall data, the bike rack location data and other tidbits of information many people don’t even know the city has,” Gnenz said.
This isn’t the first honour the city’s received for its open data efforts; it also won the 2015 Canadian Open Data Award. Gnenz says that recognition means more and more people are looking at and using the data.
READ MORE: City of Edmonton launches new traffic tool
Toronto came in second place, followed by Surrey, Ottawa and London.
Scroll down to view the complete Public Sector Digest rankings.
“These cities have placed open data at the centre of their strategies to open up government, while providing the private sector with valuable data for analysis and reuse,” the Public Sector Digest news release explained.
Edmonton received an overall score of 78 per cent for its open data program, with the highest score under the Implementation sub-category of Innovation (89 per cent).
“From government spending data to zoning data (GIS), Edmonton has made a wide variety of its data available to the public online, with most sets being free, up to date, and machine readable,” PSD said.
Edmonton aims to expand its Open Data Catalogue with new datasets and visualizations on a monthly basis.