The Future of Open Data flows from a multi-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant project that set out to explore open government geospatial data from an interdisciplinary perspective. Researchers on the grant adopted a critical social science perspective grounded in the imperative that the research should be relevant to government and civil society partners in the field.
This book builds on the knowledge developed during the course of the grant and asks the question, “What is the future of open data?” The contributors’ insights into the future of open data combine observations from five years of research about the Canadian open data community with a critical perspective on what could and should happen as open data efforts evolve.
Each of the chapters in this book addresses different issues and each is grounded in distinct disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. The opening chapter reflects on the origins of open data in Canada and how it has progressed to the present date, taking into account how the Indigenous data sovereignty movement intersects with open data. A series of chapters address some of the pitfalls and opportunities of open data and consider how the changing data context may impact sources of open data, limits on open data, and even liability for open data. Another group of chapters considers new landscapes for open data, including open data in the global South, the data priorities of local governments, and the emerging context for rural open data.
INTRODUCTION: The Evolution of Open Data
CHAPTER 1: Looking Back Toward a “Smarter” Open Data Future
CHAPTER 2: Open Government Data and Confidential Commercial Information: Challenging the Future of Open Data
CHAPTER 3: Reusability of Publicly Accessible User Data on Platform Websites
CHAPTER 4: Challenges to the Access of Government Open Data by Private Sector Companies
CHAPTER 5: Open Data and Government Liability
CHAPTER 6: Examining the Value of Geospatial Open Data
CHAPTER 7: Data for Development: Exploring Connections Between Open Data, Big Data, and Data Privacy in the Global South
CHAPTER 8: The Future of Open Data Is Rural
CHAPTER 9: Reflections on the Future of Open Data
Pamela Robinson (Editor) Pamela Robinson (MCIP RPP) is Professor and Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). Throughout her career as a planner, her research and practice have focused on complex, emergent challenges that Canadian communities face. Her current research focuses on the question: who is planning the Canadian smart city? Pamela writes for Spacing.ca about sustainability, technology, and civic engagement in Canadian cities. Robinson was a member of Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel and an inaugural member of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum for the Government of Canada’s Open Government Partnership work. She is an Advisor on the Toronto Public Library’s Innovation Council.
Teresa Scassa (Editor) Teresa Scassa is the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. She is the author or co-author of several books, including Digital Commerce in Canada (LexisNexis, 2020), Canadian Trademark Law (2nd edition, LexisNexis, 2015), and Law Beyond Borders (Irwin Law, 2014). She is co-editor of Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada (LexisNexis, 2021) and Law and the Sharing Economy (University of Ottawa Press, 2018). She is a member of the Canadian Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence and of the Geothink research partnership. She has written widely in the areas of intellectual property law, law and technology, and privacy.