City of Ottawa passes open data policy, launches site

Ottawa City Council voted last night to adopt the principle of “Open Data,” making all city information that does not violate privacy laws public.

Ottawa joins Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and other cities in adopting such a policy, putting the data online and allowing the public play with it and build their own applications around it.

Along with this decision, the city launched an open data catalogue with municipal information.

Currently the catalog is sparsely populated but more information should be added over time.

This is a huge victory for local application makers who in the past have had to either scrape data from municipal web sites or file Freedom of Information Access requests and wait in order to obtain the data.