Citizens for Open Access to Civic Information and Data

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= CivicAccess is an Open Government Data group in Canada.



"Formed in 2007, Citizens for Open Access to Civic Information and Data is a loose grouping of academics, activists, and citizens concerned with promoting data liberation in Canada. The grouping includes lawyers, copyright experts, librarians, archivists, cartographers, engineers, communications activists, open source programmers, and new media designers. The two main objectives of CivicAccess are as follows:

  • encourage all levels of governments and sectors (police, health, environmental, treasury board, statistical agency, etc.) to make civic data and information available to citizens without restrictions, at no cost, in usable open formats
  • encourage the development of citizen projects using civic data and information

This article aims to bring these issues to a wider public. The long-term vision is a country in which citizens, specialists, professionals, academics, community groups and even businesses can work together, developing innovative information access and visualization tools, better decision-making models, and more tools responsive to the needs of the citizens. Liberating data will spur grassroots research on important social, economic, political and technical areas, currently hampered by lack of access to and high cost of civic data. Further, we want to link the debate about data to questions of government transparency and accountability, which pivot on access to accurate, reliable, and timely data." (

“ is about liberating public data from public institutions and finding new ways to make data accessible and useful. Individual members are doing incredible things; however, as a collective we have not tackled any big projects. We provide a mailing list with over 150 members across the country that exchange information on issues, innovations, projects and ideas.

The authors of this paper also co-author, a inspired blog, to fill a Canadian information void on this topic. Its readership has been increasing and we are seeing traffic coming from key players in the open access movement, the open data and open source communities, along with members from library and archives associations. Ultimately, is firing up the conversation on access to public data in Canada and we hope to discover and support the creation of innovative open public data projects. “ (