The Government of Ontario is going to make a master list of 1,000 data sets they collect available, then allow the public to vote on which of those sets should be open.
It’s a growing trend in Canada and other developed countries to make government data open, which means available to the public in its raw form, not carefully crafted reports. However, this isn’t always an easy and simple process (making government data open requires abiding by privacy and security legislation), which can make it important for governments to correctly prioritize which data sets to open first—thus why Ontario is letting its people decide.
“Open data has the power to spur innovative ideas that will encourage economic growth and help people in their everyday lives,” Ontario’s minister of government services, John Milloy, told Canada.com. “Our open government initiative is about increasing public input into government decision-making, including how we open up Ontario’s data.”
Currently the Ontario government has opened 177 data sets. Separately, the City of Toronto has 140 open data sets. Datasets, or “collections,” can include things like crime data, standardized student testing, and traffic infractions.