Open Data Interview: Joseph Plessis

Open Data Wordcloud
Open Data Interview: Part Two
Joseph Plessis

GIS Technician,
City of Fernie, BC

We contacted Joseph to discuss Open Data at the City of Fernie. Below are highlights from our conversation.

Q: What is your interest and experience with open data?

A: I believe open data is the key to a nation's success. It gives citizens access and the opportunity to research. In turn, the data owners can review the results and possibly improve the quality of data all around. Many have data restrictions because they fear the data will be abused or used for malicious practices, or someone may make money from the data they worked hard to create. But the reality of it is, data trolls can be filtered out. There is no sense in being greedy over something that exists in digital space, with the potential to help or expand society.
I worked on Selkirk's open data project as a student, and during that time I developed a crowd-sourced wildlife data collection app to promote data usage in rural communities. The future scope of this application is to provide BC Wildlife with improved knowledge and understanding, so that conservation practices can become better.

Q: What level of interest or feedback have you received in your work regarding open data?

A: Usually cadastral, or lidar. I requested lidar with the hope of creating a video game around Fernie, but don't have the motivation for such a project at the moment

Q: Do you collaborate with any agency or company on open data policy or practice? Would you participate in a BC Rural Open Data Network to share best practices and develop standards?

A: I wish!!

Q: What challenges and opportunities do you perceive in the further development of municipal open data?

A: Convincing others in the organization that this is a good thing.