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David Eaves's Blog (250)

The Importance of Open Data Critiques – thoughts and context

Over at the Programmable City website Rob Kitchin has a thoughtful blog post on open data critiques. It is very much worth reading and wider discussion. Specifically, there are two competing things worth noting. First, it is important for the open data community – and advocates in particular – to a growing responsibility we have […]

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Added by David Eaves on November 18, 2013 at 10:21pm — No Comments

Government Procurement Reform – It matters

Earlier this week I posted a slidecast on my talk to Canada’s Access to Information Commissioners about how, as they do their work, they need to look deeper into the government “stack.”

My core argument was how decisions about what information gets made accessible is no longer best managed at the end of a policy development or program delivery process but rather…


Added by David Eaves on October 25, 2013 at 3:06pm — No Comments

OGP Rules of the Game – Tactical Mistake or Strategic Necessity?

The other week Martin Tisne, the UK Policy Director at the Omidyar Network, as well as one of the key architects of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), posted a blog post expressing concern that Civil Society participants have misunderstood the OGP. Specifically Tisne is concerned that by focusing on entrance…


Added by David Eaves on July 8, 2013 at 1:13pm — No Comments

The Uncertain Future of Open Data in the Government of Canada

It is possible to state that presently, open data is at its high water mark in the Government of Canada. has been refreshed, more importantly, the government has signed the Open Data Charter committing it to making data “open” by default, and a rash of new data sets have been made available.

In other…


Added by David Eaves on June 25, 2013 at 9:40am — No Comments

Some thoughts on the relaunched

Yesterday, I talked about what I thought was the real story that got missed in the fanfare surrounding the relaunch of Today I’ll talk about the new itself.

Before I begin, there is an important disclaimer to share (to be open!). Earlier this year Treasury Board asked me to chair five public consultations across Canada to gather feedback on both its open data program and in…


Added by David Eaves on June 20, 2013 at 8:08am — No Comments

The Real News Story about the Relaunch of

As many of my open data friends know, yesterday the government launched its new open data portal to great fanfare. While there is much to talk about there – something I will dive into tomorrow – that was not the only thing that happened yesterday.

Indeed, I did a lot of media yesterday between flights and only after it was over to I notice that virtually all the questions focused on the relaunch of Yet, it is increasingly clear that, for me, the much, much bigger story…


Added by David Eaves on June 19, 2013 at 8:37am — 1 Comment

Policy-Making in a Big Data World

For those interested I appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin the other week talking about Big Data and policy making.

There was a good discussion with a cast of character that included (not counting myself):


Added by David Eaves on June 18, 2013 at 4:06am — No Comments

What Traffic Lights Say About the Future of Regulation

I have a piece up on TechPresident about some crazy regulations that took place in Florida that put citizens at greater risk all so the state and local governments can make more money.

Here’s a chunk:

In effect, what the state of Florida is saying is that a $20 million increase in revenue is worth an increase in risk of property damage, injury and death as a result of…


Added by David Eaves on June 13, 2013 at 1:34pm — No Comments

The Past, Present and Future of Sensor Journalism

This weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School for a workshop on sensor journalism.

The workshop (hashtag #towsenses) brought together a “community of journalists, hackers, makers, academics and researchers to explore the use of sensors…


Added by David Eaves on June 3, 2013 at 2:00am — No Comments

Some Nice Journalistic Data Visualization – Global’s Crude Awakening

Over at Global, David Skok and his team have created a very nice visualization of the over 28,666 crude oil spills that have happened on Alberta pipelines over the last 37 years (that’s about two a day). Indeed, for good measure they’ve also visualized the additional 31,453 spills of “other” substance carried by Alberta pipeline (saltwater, liquid petroleum,…


Added by David Eaves on May 28, 2013 at 6:58pm — No Comments

Awesome Simple Open Data use case – Welcome Wagon for New Community Businesses

A few weeks ago I was at an event in Victoria, British Columbia at event where people were discussing the possibilities, challenges and risk of open data. During the conversation, one of the participants talked about how they wanted an API for business license applications from the city.

This is a pretty unusual request – people have told me about their desire for business licenses data especially at the provincial/state and national level, but also at the local level. However, they…


Added by David Eaves on May 27, 2013 at 6:58pm — No Comments

Duffy, the Government and the problem with “no-notes” meetings

So, for my non-canadian readers, there is a significant scandal brewing up here in Canadaland, regarding a senator, who claimed certain expenses he was not allowed to (to the tune of $90,000) and then had that debt paid for by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff (who has now resigned).

This short paragraph in an article by the star captures the…


Added by David Eaves on May 21, 2013 at 9:23am — No Comments

Thoughts on the White House Executive Order on Open Data

As those steeped in the policy wonk geekery of open data are likely already aware, last Thursday the President of the United States issued an Executive Order Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information.

This is, quite frankly, a big deal. Further down in the post I’ve got some links and some…


Added by David Eaves on May 13, 2013 at 7:20am — 2 Comments

LinkedIn is as confused about what I do as everyone else

Often when I meet people, they ask me what I do.

The challenge is, there is no easy answer to that question. I advise companies and non-profits on strategy, I do advocacy work and serve as an expert on open-innovation, open government and open data, I also work a negotiation consultatn and mediator, I do some work with open source communities around community management, and then there are about another dozen projects and boards that I sit on.

In reality, my work actually does…


Added by David Eaves on May 2, 2013 at 12:44am — No Comments

The Value of Open Data – Don’t Measure Growth, Measure Destruction

Alexander Howard – who, in my mind, is the best guy covering the Gov 2.0 space – pinged me the other night to ask “What’s the best evidence of open data leading to economic outcomes that you’ve seen?”

I’d like to hack the question because – I suspect – for many people, they will be looking to measure “economic outcomes” in ways that I don’t think will be so narrow as to be helpful. For example, if you are wondering what the big companies are…


Added by David Eaves on April 26, 2013 at 3:38am — No Comments

How not to sell the Oil Sands

If you haven’t read Tzeporah Berman’s Daily Kos piece – My Government Doesn’t Believe in Climate Change – go check it out. It’s amazing to see how out of sync, and behind the ball, the government has gotten on this issue.

Indeed, the current government really is becoming the best weapon opponents to the pipelines have against their construction and the further development of…


Added by David Eaves on April 22, 2013 at 9:05am — No Comments

You Have No Rights – Because you are Breaking the Law Right Now

For those who missed it, which I suspect is most people, there is a fantastic Op-Ed in the New York Times by Peter Ludlow of Northwestern University.

Titled Hacktivists as Gadflies it is a scary look at how much legal power the US government has over people who use the web (e.g. pretty much anyone) since almost all of us are, via one way or another probably violating law as interpreted by US…


Added by David Eaves on April 18, 2013 at 9:32am — No Comments

Toronto Star Op-Ed: Muzzled Scientists, Open Government and the Limits of Rules

I’ve a piece in today’s Toronto Star ”Rules are no substitute for cultivating a culture of open government“ about the Information Commissioners decision to investigate the muzzling of Canadian scientists.

Some choice paragraphs:

The actions of the information commissioner are to be applauded; what is less encouraging are the…


Added by David Eaves on April 5, 2013 at 11:13am — No Comments

How Car2Go ruins Car2Go

So let me start by saying, in theory, I LOVE Car2Go. The service has helped prevent me from buying a car and has been indispensable in opening up more of Vancouver to me.

For those not familiar with Car2Go, it is a car sharing service where the cars can be parked virtually anywhere in the city, so when you need one, you just use a special card and pin number to access it, drive it to where you want to go and then log out of the car…


Added by David Eaves on March 21, 2013 at 8:56am — 1 Comment

Call For Interest: Toronto Negotiation Unconference 2013

This is cross-posted from a site my friend Misha Gouberman’s created to explore an idea. We’ve been doing some very light scheming thinking about the following event. What follows is a piece he wrote that I’d love to get thoughts or reactions about from friends in the GTA…

A one-day event for people who work in negotiation, ADR, mediation, conflict resolution

Interested? …


Added by David Eaves on March 20, 2013 at 9:55am — No Comments

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