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Similar reaction to yours. Environment Canada still has the data that I used, but this tool could be useful to see what else is available, from other departments.

There's a danger of being too negative - e.g. that's a bit of a problem with my MumblingProfessor videos. The people who've worked to make this happen, and potential users, need to be encouraged. I remember sitting at some workshop back in the early 1990s when I was a junior prof, and trying to convince people at StatsCan that, yes, charging $1000 for micro data *was* a problem for Canadian academics and *did* discourage access. It's easy to forget what things used to be like in the bad old days.

But at the same time, if you look at something like gapminder.org and see what is possible it's hard not to go "meh" when you see the gc.ca stuff.

I'm glad they've done it, and I imagine it took an unreasonable amount of work. Any pan department effort, would be daunting. I'll try to build something with it when I get the time, to become an invested user. At least they have a feedback form.

A benefit, from having all the data in one place would be increasing the exposure to the public of the importance of data. eg during budget cuts, I don't know who stands up for data vs jobs, oh ya legislation. This is why commenting is hard, it's almost impossible to come up with a relevant indisputable point.

Basically my preference relation for gov is, data>everything else. And open data is greater still. Allows for more parties to be involved in data interpretation, and then policy. Somewhere on the internet Peter Norvig's unreasonable effectiveness of data, kind of backs me up.

They respond very fast to feedback.

I stated using free CANSIM this year and my feedback is that there should be a comment section for each table, like a blog. I wouldn't worry too much about crazy people posting mad comments, it's a statistics website. In the right place, a comment board is a valuable thing.

I would also like to see users of the data have a good place to post their projects or findings. Perhaps this is the same thing as the comment section. Twitter handles could be used for follow up discussions on the data. @tholloway0619

Thomas - agreed, there's a lot to be learned from search engines and other big sites e.g. youtube.

I think people in government genuinely want these projects to work, and the data to be used, so constructive feedback - especially to the open data portal, which looks like it's still in the somewhat pilot project stage - might help.


If you're learning from youtube, you probably wouldn't add comments (eg), but I think comments are actually helpful. What you do need is a moderator who is happy to enforce standards on the (presumably rare) cases when it's needed.

http://data.govt.nz/ allows comments

Well so much for legislation, the feds are getting out of freshwater. I'm interested in seeing how this works in senate and provincial politics.

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