Can Open Data lead to Open Government?

The relationship between Open Data and Open Government is one that fascinates me. I’m curious as to how Open Data – that is, data that is easily accessible with a minimum of restrictions governing use or reuse, can be used as a conversation or focus point to increase the involvement of citizens in government. If government data is being collected to support decision-making, shouldn’t that data be shared with citizens? Wait, not only shared with citizens in a passive, uni-directional manner, but shouldn’t that data form the foundation of a two-way conversation between citizen and government? On November 14th of this year, I was invited to give a keynote address at the University of Waterloo GIS Day. GIS Day is an annual, global event that celebrates spatial information and showcases exciting research and teaching using and advancing Geographic Information Systems. I’ve embedded a slideshare of my presentation for this event.

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