What started as a brief conversation between myself and Michael Druker almost a year ago has come to life. On Saturday, May 11th people from Windsor to Ottawa are going to come together at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy for GO Open Data, a one day conference.
The conference aims to bring together people from across Ontario and across the various interests related to open data to enjoy 8 talks, 2 panels, and an exhibition called Open Data Alley. Citizens, journalists, developers, administrators, CIOs, librarians, different people from all the areas connected to this fusion of technology and policy will be in attendance. That alone will make for an exciting day.
It is thanks to the many partners from the Region of Waterloo, the City of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo that such a small idea has become so successful. We have amazing speakers like Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Dr. Ann Cavoukian, and up and coming speakers like James McKinney from Open North in Montreal.
You can hear an interview with Dr. Cavoukian on the lawful access episode of Jessie Brown's Search Engine podcast.
The rest of the schedule can be found online: http://2013.go-opendata.ca/
The conference website itself is a source of open data about the conference. Built with Django using Daniel Lindsley's excellent library, Tastypie, to easily transform models into API endpoints. Snow Conrad did an amazing job creating a professional looking logo and helping with the overall look of the website.
Events like this can't be successful unless there is a community behind them. I am grateful there is a strong open data community in Ontario such that when we struck the match a little under a year ago, there was a community to catch fire.
You should come and see what the community is up to. I think it will be a great conference.