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Open Data in Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton is a small city in Alberta, Canada on the North Sasketewan River; The city has a smart city focus on data, turning garbage to biofuels, and is working towards becoming a carbon neutral community. The Open Data Initiative in Edmonton makes all of the city's data accessible to the public. The general goal of this is to better connect citizens and the government and facilitate a more responsive government. 

Edmonton’s Open Data Initiative allows it to function as a smart city in many ways...

  • The project itself focuses on making government data accessible to the public, and creating a culture of accessibility and accountability between the government and its citizens.
  • The project uses apps to curate user generated data, the Edmonton Public Library’s resources and metadata system, and a database to house and implement this data.
  • The projects main benefits are that it is sustainable, it informs the choices of citizens, and ultimately leads to a safer city.
  • As the goal of the Open Data Initiative is to increase flow of information and trust between the public and the government, the primary stakeholders and decision makers are the government and city managers themselves as well as the average citizen and other users of the city, including visitors.
  • Ethical complications of this project include the ever-expanding definition of social contract theory, and the implications of collecting data about those who may not realize this data is being collected. In addition to this, it is important to consider how various correlations may be used, and to be aware that data is ultimately correlational. 

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