Vancouver, BC's city government posted an agenda for next week's council meeting that outlines its interest in adopting open data, open standards and open source software for all of its data and information resources. Vancouver hopes this new policy will help create new opportunities for its city, recently named "Best City Archive of the World".

What Vancouver Hopes to Accomplish

The motion that was submitted to the city council points out several reasons why endorsing open data, open standards and open source policies is an good idea and city councillors has resolved to:

* Identify immediate opportunities to distribute more of its data;
* Index, publish and syndicate its data to the internet using prevailing open standards, interfaces and formats;
* Develop appropriate agreements to share its data with the Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS) and encourage the ICIS to in turn share its data with the public at large
* Develop a plan to digitize and freely distribute suitable archival data to the public;
* Ensure that data supplied to the City by third parties (developers, contractors, consultants) are unlicensed, in a prevailing open standard format, and not copyrighted except if otherwise prevented by legal considerations;
* License any software applications developed by the City of Vancouver such that they may be used by other municipalities, businesses, and the public without restriction.

Other cities like Washington, DC, Portland and Toronto have expressed interest in adopting open policies for their information and data, but so far Vancouver is the only one to explicitly spell it out in an agenda motion.

Problems with data transferring, usability and licensing issues have kept many municipalities from adopting such policies. Hopefully Vancouver can overcome these issues and become the world's first truly "open" city.