TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/01/13 -- The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today hosted the Government of Canada's first "Google Hangout," engaging in an hour-long live-stream discussion with high tech innovators and Open Data experts to discuss the Government of Canada's Open Data portal.
"Open Data is all about using new and emerging technologies to access raw, previously unavailable government data and re-imagine it in ways that spur innovation and improve peoples' lives," said Minister Clement. "Google Hangout is a fitting platform for discussing Open Data's amazing potential not only with innovators, but all Canadians."
Participants in the Hangout, which is a virtual, live-stream discussion, included Ray Sharma, Toronto mobile app developer; Edward Ocampo-Gooding, co-founder of Open Data Ottawa; Albert Lai, Toronto game developer; Kevin Merrit, a Seattle-based Open Data platform developer; and Ashley Casovan, Strategic Coordinator for Information Technology for the City of Edmonton.
"The opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs to utilize Open Data to develop innovative applications has amazing potential," said Ray Sharma, President, mobile games developer XMG Studio Inc. "I see not only the opportunity for developers but there is a greater potential impact. And that is to the Canadian citizens who should be able to literally experience a benefit in economic productivity. We are just at the cusp of this emerging phenomenon, and participating in the Google Hangout was a great beginning."
The Hangout discussion explored some of the 273,000 datasets currently available on the Government's Open Data portal, as well as plans to launch an updated, next-generation portal later this year. Participants provided feedback on what data they would find useful, as well as what some of the key features of the new portal should be in order to encourage greater data uptake.
The Portal, which will use an open source code platform, will feature better search capabilities, more Web 2.0 features and interactive tools.
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