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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Some Like It Hot

By Keith McDonald
That's some weather we are having here in T.O.this summer.  July 23, in fact, was our hottest day on record ever! At least, since temperatures started being recorded. 

I've said before, you are only as good as your data. So, we may very well have had higher temps in the years before 1937 (when record keeping began at Pearson Airport). We just can't say for sure. I bet lots of people alive in the years before 1937 would swear there were hotter days!

Without the data though, it's impossible to prove.

But, how many of you would say: "Who cares! ... hot is hot!"?

Maybe it doesn't matter in actual degrees (plus or minus a few) but, if you are farming or gardening or even planning an event outside, it does make a difference.

each at sunset with DATA eh? in sand writing on beach

One persons junk is another persons data

Some people ask why some of the data sets posted at toronto.ca/open are there at all. In particular, they argue some of  the data sets are useless to them. But, we would say, it may not be useless to someone else! Who are we to judge that? If the data set exists and meets posting guidelines (e.g. around privacy and format), why not post it? Truly, the old adage: "One person's trash is another person's treasure" applies here don't 'ya think?

One of the goals of the Open Data project is to reach a point where all the data collected (and legally allowed to be released) is released. That's going to mean lots of low-fi stuff along with the hi-fi stuff. 
And, at some future point, who knows how far into the future, people will be comparing our City data for days, weeks or months just like we compare temperatures now.

The "good" old days

If you could go back to pre-1937, there probably was lots of debate around recording the Hi's and Low's. I suspect many  people thought it would be a waste of time and why bother. Maybe the dude who checked the thermometer wanted to keep the info private or only for a select few.  We'll never know. But it's pretty interesting how the Open Data movement, in just a few short years, has ended the debate altogether around "should we or shouldn't we".

Maybe it's just the heat, but that's a huge shift in attitude and pretty awesome when you think about it.

beach umbrella with DATA eh? written on it

DATA eh? # 28

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