Adapting Open: Exploring the Effective Use of Open Data in the Region of Waterloo

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Skinner, Cody
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University of Guelph

This thesis explored the use of open data in the Region of Waterloo, using assessments of adaptive capacity as a hypothetical use case. Key informant interviews and a systematic review of grey literature were used to survey current perceptions of challenges to the use of open data in small and rural communities. The challenges identified using these methods fell on both the user and supply sides of the open data community of interest, and were presented within three categories: know-how, infrastructure and resources. An inventory of datasets available from relevant levels of government was evaluated for characteristics described in the study's adapted framework for effective use of open data. The three open data portals examined in the thesis were all found to contain data relevant to the case study. However, each portal had strengths and weaknesses when evaluated using the study's framework for effective use of open data.

open data, effective use, public data, climate change, adaptive capacity