Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Data and The Holidays

by the DATA eh? team 
We think the title of this post sounds a lot like a band name. It wouldn't be that strange to hear somewhere this holiday season: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your entertainment for this evening: Data and The Holidays".

Well, there isn't such a band yet (we don't think so anyway) but, if there were, we think they'd play lots of really interesting music! Riffing on this for a moment, here are a few of the songs we think they might do:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wasting Time Or Just Being Cool Or A Bit Of Both

By Keith McDonald
If you haven't heard yet, you can enter the words: "Do a barrel roll" into the Google search engine and your screen will do just that - a barrel roll! Wow, wo-hoo, OMG - we are spinning!  The whole deal is a sort of a homage to the video game Starfox 64 and you can read more about it here.

But, really, twitter, Facebook and the other usual culprit social media sites are all a buzz about this right now. So, we ask, is it wasting time? Is it just being cool? Is it a bit of both?

At first glance, perhaps, you might think it's a time waster but not so fast. Creativity sparks productivity - at least in my view. The code behind the spin is used in gaming and, often, gaming is one way to explore alternatives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy birthday or is it anniversary?

by the DATA eh? team
November 2, 2011 is the second year anniversary for toronto.ca/open.

We're saying anniversary since it's not exactly the birthday. The original spark for opening data actually dates back to November, 2008 at the Web 2.0 Summit.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winning With Water

By the DATA eh? team 
Just a note on having mentioned in the previous post about the BuzzData story telling contest ... they have a winner!

Congrats to Toronto-based business analyst Martin Madginier who used City of Toronto water data for his entry. Be sure to read his story about water consumption.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Telling stories with DATA

By Keith McDonald
The concept of story telling goes back ... way back ... way, way back to when humans first got together in groups. Story telling isn't new but, when you think about using data as a means to tell stories, I think it opens up a new way to look at Open Data.

How Does Data Tell A Story?
If you are new to this whole "Open Data" thing, you might think it's way too technical. It can be but it doesn't have to be. Especially if you look at it from a story telling standpoint. What can data tell you? Lots!

To get started data story writing you can turn to many of the programs available on the web that make visualizations of data easy - just dump in what you have, hit some buttons and voila - you get a story!

DATA eh? interviews Trish Garner, Manager, Web Strategy, Information & Technology City of Toronto

By the DATA eh? team
DATA eh?: Hi Trish, you are listed on the blog as an author but, today, we want to speak to you in your role as an Open Data champion and strategist for the City of Toronto. Rather than interview yourself, we thought we'd pose some questions for you.


DATA eh?: Tell us why DATA eh? is important to you?

TG: Our Open Data initiative has been around going on two years. We've been hearing from communities beyond the developers and users of Open Data, that we need to provide bridges between the technical and the casual. Kind of like allowing more room for discussion by the users vs. the creators of applications – hence a spot to have conversations and provide links to interesting outcomes around City of Toronto data.

DATA eh?: Aren't they two very different audiences?

TG: Yes, very much so and I'd even add a third: people who understand what Open Data is all about but aren't interested in using it directly but agree it's good.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Welcome to the DATA eh? Blog*

By Keith McDonald
Hi, and welcome to “DATA, eh?” – "the City of Toronto's sandbox to meet, play and chat about data".

You've landed on our interactive space but the whole of  DATA eh? is way more than that. We want you to:

Explore and experience just how the data we collect at the City (and release through toronto.ca/open) makes our lives better and actually is changing the world as we know it. That last part sound too big? Maybe, but, if you stay with us, you just might find yourself agreeing.

We'll give you a chance to use the same raw data we use to make interpretations of information to come up with your own interpretations. 

Let's talk about what you think about the very active Open Data community. Maybe even discuss applications and such. 

Pick up on the news from around toronto.ca that use or leverage City of Toronto data.