May 2009

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National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, NRC-CISTI launches Gateway to Scientific Data.

This is very exciting news. The Gateway includes data, data management and curation content.

Access & Curation

Access & Curation

Scientific data generated during the research process can be an important resource for researchers, but only if it is accessible and usable. Thanks to a new initiative of the NRC Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (NRC-CISTI) researchers now have a central gateway for easier access to Canadian scientific, technical and medical (STM) data sets and other important data repositories.

The Gateway to Scientific Data will help ensure that the valuable data generated by Canadian researchers [are] more easily accessible so that it can be re-used for other research endeavours. With the ability to access and use data from a multitude of sources, researchers will be better positioned to turn research into discoveries and innovations. …

Along with links to data sets, the new Gateway provides links to selected policies and best practices guiding data management and curation activities in Canada. It also includes links to selected journals and upcoming conferences and meetings.

The Gateway to Scientific Data is part of NRC-CISTI’s contribution to a broader national initiative undertaken by the Research Data Strategy (RDS) Working Group to address the challenges and issues surrounding the access and preservation of data arising from Canadian research. …

Via: Open Access News

Mark Tovey over at World Changing Canada wrote up the notes from the Access to Data Session that I gave at Change Camp Ottawa.

I was most impressed at the composition of the Group (+/30 people) and the nature of the discussion. I have also had some great follow up conversations with officials at various levels of governments as a result of that session. Kudos to the Change Camp organizers!

This is a beautiful thing!

I have spent the last few days dialing for data for a variety of projects. I have called the Feds, the Province of Ontario, Public Health, the City of Ottawa, school boards, MPPs, school trustees, and any number of organizations. No one knows where the data I am looking for are. They assure me they exists however. I have been playing telephone tag, sending emails from government websites and I am being told that the “New Government” does not like to share! Exasperated, at the end of the day, I find the dream tool that gets citizens closer to their public data. We just need the Canadian version!. I know we can – Yes we can!

US Government Data

US Government Data

The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Although the initial launch of provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, we invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless access and use of your Federal data. Visit today with us, but come back often. With your help, will continue to grow and change in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

Looks like the City of Toronto is also considering opening its data. Lets see!

Via: Visible Government Video Announcement by the Mayor

The City of Vancouver will soon vote on a Motion to have:

  • Open Standards
  • Open Source
  • Open Data
  • CBC News: Vancouver mulls making itself an ‘open city’, by Emily Chung

    Via: Digital Copyright Canada

    More at Gapminder
    Via: My Heart’s in Accra

    Of all the people in the world has a grain of rice represent one person and each pile has a theme that represents us. I like how this makes data accessible.

    As you enter the performance space, you will be given a grain of rice. This grain is you. Inside people are waiting. Millions of them. Each represented by a grain of rice. 15 tonnes of rice – over 897 million grains – one for everyone in the Americas. As you explore the extraordinary landscape of rice hills and mountains stretching out in front of you, you discover every pile represents a different population. Together these piles tell hundreds of stories, stories of people and politics, history and current affairs.

    A landmark case that may change how Europe addresses use and re-use of public data has been won in the Netherlands. Landmark Nederland has been struggling for 3 years in court over access to public geospatial data they assembled on environmental risks such as contaminated land. Their obstacle was

    the City of Amsterdam [which] sought substantial compensation for supplying the data and also wanted to limit its reuse, arguing a substantial investment had been made in compiling the original dataset. However, after three years of legal hearings, the Dutch Raad van State, the highest Administrative Court in the Netherlands, ruled that the City of Amsterdam does not bear the risk of investment in the database as this has to be provided and funded anyway as part of the City’s public task. Consequently, the City is not entitled to attach excessive financial conditions and limitations to the reuse of the data by Landmark.

    Article: Landmark Nederland helps to secure future availability of public sector information.
    Via: Vector One

    Some great thinkers and doers are coming together at this conference organized by the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). The conference is organized around the following:

    Sharing research data is essential for effective collaboration. Few scientists, however, have the time or resources to ensure sustainable access to data for joint projects, domain-specific applications or re-use.

    The ICSTI 2009 conference will examine how researchers, librarians and publishers can work together to create structures for managing and communicating scientific data.

    This is very important for Canada at the moment since we no longer have a science council, a science adviser, there are severe cut backs for scientific researcher and science publishing is being cut.

    I will be attending and reporting on the conference.

    Relativity makes the numbers tangible. Sugar Stacks makes sugar content labels that much more easier to understand.

    via: Boing Boing