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David Eaves's Blog – February 2012 Archive (14)

Joining the Canadian Government’s Advisory Panel on Open Government

Some people have already noticed, so wanted to share the news here as well. Yesterday, the Canadian Government announced the Advisory Panel on Open Government to which I was asked to join.

The purpose of the panel is to serve as a challenge function to the government as it developers its ideas and policies - so I see my role as that of pushing the government on where I believe they could be doing more. Obviously, I've…


Added by David Eaves on February 29, 2012 at 3:22pm — No Comments

The Ground War for Control of Public Space

My partner stumbled on the quote below attributed to Banksy (wikipedia), the English street artist who many consider to be one of the great a modern day satirists.

It's an interesting take on advertising in public space - for some it will be a familiar call to arms, to others it will feel revolutionary. I find it particularly interesting given the age of customized advertising is coming our way.…


Added by David Eaves on February 28, 2012 at 3:48pm — 1 Comment

Inferring Serial Killers with Data: A Lesson from Vancouver

For those happily not in the know, my home town of Vancouver was afflicted with a serial killer during the 80's and 90's who largely targeted marginalized women in the downtown eastside - the city's (and one of the country's) poorest neighborhoods.

The murderer - Robert Picton - was ultimately caught in February 2002 and convicted for the murder of 6 women in December 2007. He is accused of murdering an additional twenty women,…


Added by David Eaves on February 27, 2012 at 2:15pm — No Comments

Media Watch: The Globe and Mail’s Shifting Headline

Earlier today the Globe and Mail had one of these truly terrible "balanced" articles about the proposed federal crime bill. The headline screamed: Quebec expert backs Tory crime bill amid U.S. warning on sentencing. (Image below)

So who was…


Added by David Eaves on February 22, 2012 at 8:39pm — No Comments

More on Google Transit and how it is Reshaping a Public Service

Some of you know I've written a fair bit on Google transit and how it is reshaping public transit - this blog post in particular comes to mind. For more reading I encourage you to check out the Xconomy article Google Transit: How (and Why) the Search Giant is…


Added by David Eaves on February 22, 2012 at 1:39pm — No Comments

The Surveillance State – No Warrant Required

Yesterday a number of police organizations came out in support of bill C-30 - the online online surveillance bill proposed by Minister Vic Toews. You can read the Vancouver Police Department's full press release here - I'm referencing theirs not because it is particularly good or bad, but simply because it is my home town.

For those short on time, the very last statement, at the bottom of…


Added by David Eaves on February 21, 2012 at 2:09pm — No Comments

Transparency isn’t a cost – its a cost saver (a note for Governments and Drummond)

Yesterday Don Drummond - a leading economist hired by the Ontario government to review how the province delivers services in the face of declining economic growth and rising deficits - published his report.

There is much to commend, it lays out stark truths that frankly, many citizens already know, but that government was too afraid to say aloud. It is a report that, frankly, I think many provincial and state governments may look at with great interest since the challenges faced by…


Added by David Eaves on February 16, 2012 at 9:37am — No Comments

Data Wars: A mini-case study of Southwest Airlines vs. TripIt and Orbitz

As a regular flyer, I'm an enormous fan of TripIt. It's a simple service in which you forward almost any reservation - airline, hotel, car rental, etc... to and their service will scan it, grab the relevant data, and create a calendar of events for you. While it's a blessing not to have to manually enter my travel plans into my calendar, what's particularly fantastic is that I give my partner access to the calendar - so she knows when I'm…


Added by David Eaves on February 15, 2012 at 12:07pm — 1 Comment

I Stand for My Rights & Privacy: The Coming Online Police State

“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”

This was Mr. Toews’s, the Minister of Justice, counterattack to a question in the house regarding concerns of letting the police monitor citizens internet use without a warrant.

Apparently this is our choice: a big brother state or child pornography.

This is, of course, ridiculous. Not to mention frightening. But this is the world Canadians will be entering in a few short weeks once the new…


Added by David Eaves on February 13, 2012 at 7:05pm — No Comments

Two Reasons I love blogging: Helping out great communities

Non profits and governments... this is how open source works: If someone is doing something that is of value to you, help make it better.

There have been two great examples of this type of behaviour on this blog over the past week.

On Monday, I blogged about Represent, a project by OpenNorth that seeks to track all…


Added by David Eaves on February 8, 2012 at 11:03am — No Comments

The Exciting Launch of and What It Says About Open Data in Canada

Last week a group of volunteer programs from across Canada announced the launch of - a website that tries to map all of Canada's boundaries. Confused? Don't be. It's simple. This is a nifty piece of digital infrastructure - try visiting the website yourself! After identifying where you are located it will then tell you which MP riding, MLA/MPP district and census subdivision you are located in.

So why does this…


Added by David Eaves on February 6, 2012 at 8:59am — No Comments

Requests for Endorsements: My Application to Attend The Open Government Partnership

Dear friends,

Below (first in english then in a rough french translation - my spoken is much better than my written so I've relied on Google translate) is my application letter to attend the April 16-18 Annual Open Government Partnership meeting in Brasilia as a…


Added by David Eaves on February 3, 2012 at 5:27am — No Comments

Use The Economist’s Data to Find the Best City in the World

Yesterday The Economist Intelligence Unit and Buzzdata launched a $10,000 contest to help enhance The Economist's "Best city in the world" index.

Yes. It's a data and visualization competition to identify the best city in the world to live.

As part of the contest, The Economist Intelligence Unit has shared two data sets, its “liveability” and "cost of living" indices for 140 cities around the world. This is, in of itself,…


Added by David Eaves on February 2, 2012 at 8:55am — No Comments

Adapting KUALI financials for cities: Marin County is looking for Partners

Readers of my blog will be familiar Kuali - the coalition of universities that co-create a suite software  core to their operations - as I've blogged about several times and argued that it is a powerful model for local governments interested in rethinking how they procure (or really, co-create) their software.

For some time now I've heard rumors that…


Added by David Eaves on February 1, 2012 at 9:24am — No Comments

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