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GO Open Data brings champions of accessible information to Waterloo Region

WATERLOO, ONT. (Monday, April 15, 2013) – On Saturday, May 11, Kitchener-Waterloo will host over one hundred participants from across Ontario at the inaugural GO Open Data Conference. This event brings together a growing community of policy makers, web developers, consultants, academics, and others who are working to make information more transparent and accessible.

Seen by many as the ideal approach to managing and publicizing information, the open-data movement involves two key components: adopting standardized, machine-readable formats, and allowing anyone to access and use the data under open licensing. This approach can foster better participation of the community in government and vice versa, while also making cross-use of data between different governments more effective.

“By making the huge volumes of information collected and produced by public institutions easily available to anyone with a computer, we can greatly increase the value of this data to society,” says Albert O’Connor, lead organizer for the conference. “Whether it’s a non-profit group engaged in strategic planning, a municipality developing public policy, or a media outlet reporting a story, open data can benefit a wide variety of people and organizations.”

Held at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy in Kitchener, the one-day conference will feature James McKinney from Open North, a Montreal-based non-profit seeking to improve access to government information through collaborative, online tools. Open North works with municipalities and non-profit organizations across Canada and the US, ranging from the City of Montreal to the David Suzuki Foundation.

GO Open Data’s keynote speaker is Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, who will discuss the current issues around access and privacy, as well as Access by Design and Privacy by Design, two home-grown concepts that are putting Ontario are the forefront of the open-data movement. The afternoon will feature a variety of speakers, panels, and presentations, as well as an exhibition of data and applications in the Open Data Alley.

The conference is being organized by representatives from Open Data Waterloo Region, the Region of Waterloo, the City of Waterloo, and the University of Waterloo. Event information and registration are available at http://go-opendata.ca.

About Open Data Waterloo Region

Established in September 2010, Open Data Waterloo Region is a community group that advocates for governments and institutions in Waterloo Region, Ontario to adopt open-data policies. The group wants the default approach to be one of making data available to the public in machine-readable standard formats, to be up-to-date, and under a license that allows its effective use.

Media Contacts

Oriana Sharp
Media Relations
GO Open Data Conference
519-575-4006
osharp@regionofwaterloo.ca

Albert O’Connor
Lead Organizer
GO Open Data Conference
519-781-7482
info@go-opendata.ca

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2014 Conference

Planning for next years conference will begin in September 2013