The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today launched the Government of Canada’s much anticipated next-generation Open Data Portal, data.gc.ca on XMG’s rooftop padio. The new Open Data Portal enables private app developers to easily navigate the mountain of collected information that is available for unrestricted commercial use in their projects.
Ray Sharma, XMG’s Founder and President and a long time admirer of Minister Clement’s use of social technology in political services, set the stage for the big announcement saying: “Historically, there are two fundamental ways to increase economic growth: either by an increase in population, or an increase in productivity. Clearly our Government understands the power of Open Data and it’s potential to impact Canada’s overall economic growth by increasing individuals and business’ productivity through increased efficiency. I speak with personal conviction confirming The Honourable Tony Clement in calling this data Canada’s New Natural Resource.”
The examples on ways that Open Data will make Canadians more efficient is numerous. Waiting times for public transport will be shortened, immigration processing information transparency increased, border crossing times for transportation reduced by the ability to redirect routes, open disclosure to scientists of traffic satellite imagery or environmental information. There are countless opportunities to turn any of the freely available datasets into tools and applications that Canadians will use to improve their daily lives. An excellent example for the financial potential impact of datasets applied well is the geospatial data – the foundation of popular map and weather applications – which is believed to have unlocked an estimated $90-billion in value in the US alone.
Symbolically overlooking Toronto’s skyline and facing the many cameras and journalists that enjoyed the announcement on the sunny patio The Honourable Tony Clement concluded: “As developers, entrepreneurs and business people, your dedication to creating the Canada of tomorrow is inspiring. And I would like to thank Ray Sharma and XMG Studio, a great example of Canadian entrepreneurship, for hosting us today. … Open Data is truly an opportunity to spur innovation and economic growth and improve the lives of everyday citizens. … I encourage everyone, every Canadian, to take part in this new resource bonanza. The sky is the limit when technology and information come together.”