Lead: Alex Petric

As technology advances, data plays an increasingly large role in how governments, communities, and businesses operate. Greater amounts of detailed data allow governments to make decisions with greater knowledge and confidence. As well, the public availability of data can promote governmental accountability, spur economic development, and increase institutional efficiency. There is a growing tendency for developed countries and their provinces and municipalities to make government data accessible online through Open Data initiatives, and Canada is no exception to this trend. However, at the municipal level, these initiatives are often concentrated in large urban centres.

This project aims to examine the current state of municipal data in Ontario in order to analyze the potential ways that data infrastructure and Open Data can support rural and peri-urban areas. It will include a survey of municipal actors across Ontario and a series of follow-up interviews in the Summer of 2018. This work will seek to understand whether rural communities have an interest in pursuing data projects, what motivates this interest, and whether there are major obstacles that hold them back which can be addressed. Resources and results will be posted here as they are produced.