Redford government opens door on data
“The portal is the next step we are taking down the open government road as we continue to build Alberta,” said Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Service Alberta. “This government is committed to a new way of doing business - one that values the proactive sharing of information - and this portal builds on that commitment.”
The portal acts as a central access point for high quality, machine readable, raw data collected by the provincial government. All the data available through the portal is searchable and subject to an open licence. This means there are no technical or legal restrictions for using the data.
From groundwater activity to health indicators to birth statistics, the portal provides access to useful information, while ensuring privacy and proprietary information remain protected. Researchers and academics will be able to use the data for their research. Entrepreneurs can use the data to inform business decisions; developers, to build apps.
“In today’s digital landscape, data is a powerful resource - one that can unleash enormous social and economic innovation,” said Bhullar. “By opening up government data, we are helping to make this innovation possible.”
The Open Data Portal increases transparency of government business, promotes economic opportunity and increases citizen involvement in government. The portal is part of Alberta’s open government strategy that focuses on access to information and data, and better conversations between citizens and government. The government has already taken action on open government by implementing the nation leading expense disclosure website, new protections for whistleblowers, and a commitment to a comprehensive review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
TEC Edmonton, one of Alberta’s leading business incubators, hosted the launch event for the open data portal.
"TEC Edmonton exists to support local tech entrepreneurs for whom access to resources and knowledge is vital to making strategic decisions," said Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton. "The Government of Alberta’s new Open Data portal will be a tremendous resource to researchers, innovators and the business community, empowering them to maximize commercialization opportunities for the benefit of Alberta's economy."
The open data portal currently contains about 280 data sets. New data will be added to the site on an ongoing basis as departments identify what data is available and ensure it does not contain any personal or proprietary information. The public can also request data sets through the portal.
The portal was built by provincial government staff using open source software. A mobile app gallery has also been built to house all official Government of Alberta apps.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
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