Comment 32234

By BitHead (anonymous) | Posted July 01, 2009 at 14:34:58

Excellent article and idea. I too was creating yet more little puddles of data with cut and paste, trying to compare some city numbers. Here are three quick thoughts:

My experience is that, even before the data or the city, there needs to be a framework or taxonomy - a "place" to put the data. Like the system that allows me to find a book in any library using Dewey decimal system, or connect to millions of different email servers with the same command, there needs to be a *common* framework into which the cities can plunk their public data and then have it retrieved. Perhaps some of the taxonomy is already in place or can be borrowed/shared with existing projects?

Data - Often, the data (at least for testing purposes) is populated a few bits at a time by people like us that need some permit or expense data. In the case of the HSR, nothing is stopping us from building a mash-up (website) to show where the buses "should be" (the budget). If the real-time data becomes available (once this catches on), we can add it to the map.

so:

1. Can we form a working group to begin on this?

2. Have you seen the "Ontario Municipal CAO's Benchmarking Initiative". Perhaps they would support this, as their job is to collect information from about 15 cities in Ontario and compare performance (water, waste, rec, police, ambulance, etc). Interesting read to see where we rank. (www.ombi.ca/index.asp)

3. I also enjoyed the article "Municipal Budgeting" by Almos Tassonyi. (www.ctf.ca/pdf/ctjpdf/2002ctj1_tassonyi.pdf)

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