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This Week: Obama's executive order and VeloPlan

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  • This week President Obama issued an executive order mandating open and machine-readable formats for all new and modernized government information systems. As the White House blog explains, new data must be served in CSV, XML, JSON or other machine-readable formats and via APIs when appropriate. This order, which will affect procurement of new government systems, is similar to systems put in place by David Cameron in the United Kingdom. The Guardian has compared the two initiatives noting that, unlike the UK, Obama’s efforts mark substantial legislative change. For additional context, see the new White House Open Data Policy.

  • Our transportation director, Stéphane Guidoin, recently launched VeloPlan.net to help cyclists in Montreal get to their destination in the fastest, flatest or safest way possible. VeloPlan reuses Cibi.me by OpenPlans with route calculations provided by OpenTripPlanner. The open source code for VeloPlan is available on GitHub. VeloPlan works great on mobile browsers too for route calculations on the go!

  • Today, Open North participated in the last of five roundtable discussions about the Treasury Board’s Open Data Initiative. These discussions, moderated by Open North board member, David Eaves, aim to provide Minister Clement’s team with feedback to improve the federal government’s open data portal which is set to relaunch this spring. You can read more about our experience participating in the Toronto roundtable in our earlier post.

  • If you live in the Sud-Ouest borough of Montreal, there is one week left to add your input to next year’s budget through www.budgetsudouest.com. So far, over 200 residents of the borough have submitted their own balanced budgets to the borough using our Citizen Budget platform!

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