The government of British Columbia recently launched iMapBC 2.0, an upgraded version of their online mapping toolkit. The application will provide the public with access to improved geographical datasets.
Version 2.0 offers increased speed and compatibility with a wider range of web browsers, as well as interactive links that facilitate access to and understanding of map data. The upgrade is also designed to better handle the growing volume of data collected by the government.
In our October 2012 issue of the magazine, editor-in-chief Toby Fyfe spoke with Kim Henderson, Deputy Minister, Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government, about the province’s work toward open government.
“Just over a year ago B.C. went live with Canada’s first approach to open government with an open data platform. At the time we had over 2,400 datasets that citizens were able to reuse and repurpose. We also launched an open information platform where we’ve made available routine releases of information like expenses and also made available any general freedom-of-information requests that are made by applicants,” she said at the time.
With iMapCB 2.0 – and other applications and programs like it – the government has built on the work Henderson mentioned in her comments, and has shown its continuing leadership in the technology sphere. iMapBC has a wide range of uses – it is used not only by municipal, provincial and federal governments, but also by First Nations groups and companies in the natural resource and forestry industries.
Aboriginal communities, for example, use the application to stay abreast of fishing and hunting activity in their territories, while logging companies use it to build new logging plans in timber harvest areas.
In what other ways or areas could government make data available to citizens? Let us know in the comments.