Visible Government

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= Canadian project for Open Government and the accessibility of Open Government Data


Discussion via


Jennifer Bell:

"The non-profit was officially incorporated in December, 2008 to promote online tools for government transparency. One of its founding principles is that while there is a sound case for open government data, a third party organization is needed to raise awareness of the issues and to marshal public support.'s strategy is to build a limited number of pilot projects to gain visibility in Canada for the power of open government data to transform the relationship between citizen and government. The I Believe in Open pilot challenged candidates in the 2008 federal election to pledge to five aspects of government transparency. The site also collected signups from voters, organized into ridings, so that member of Parliament (MP) candidates could see the support level in their area. 400 MP candidates signed our online pledge, 38 of whom were elected.

Another pilot is a tool for visualizing federal government travel and hospitality expenses. The project gathers data from tables published in a variety of formats spread over 100 different department websites, and creates an interface that citizens can use to visualize this information, compare departments, and see trends over time. The project provides an RSS feed so that other groups can use the data to create tools of their own. With help from volunteers in the Montreal high tech community, over 30,000 records have been collected so far. A Montreal web development company specializing in data visualization has volunteered to do the visualization website, which we intend to launch at the Social Media for Government conference in Ottawa this February.

The long term goal of is to direct money and attention to external projects that further our mission via grants and contests. By being a catalyst driving public support of open government data, and pushing the envelope of innovation for ways of analyzing and presenting that data, we hope to create a network of active citizens who believe that open should be the normal state of governments." (

More Information

Movements calling for an open exchange of ideas around using technology to re-define the role of the citizen:

  1. Toronto's ChangeCamp
  2. Montreal's Forum Ouverte

More info via [email protected]