What do skating and eating in Montreal have in common
Both topics are the subjects of web sites inspired by Open-Data Montreal, a grass roots initiative that promotes open access to civic information for the region of Montreal.
The first website is a guide to skating rinks in the City of Montreal.
Patiner Montreal opens up with a map of the Montreal region with City of Montreal skating rinks identified by a particular icon indicating its type Landscaped, Free Skating or Sports. Clicking on the icons shows the status of the rink. The data is gathered with difficulty from PDF and HTML files published by the City of Montreal.
The next website tracks health infractions at Montreal restaurants.
Again Resto-Net opens with a map of the Montreal region with icons showing the location of the offending restaurants. You can zoom in on the map and pick out individual restaurants and the history of infractions and fines paid. A statistics page gives you an overal view of the infractions.
Both web sites are examples of valuable information that should be available to citizens if civic information was more readily accessible. Open-Data Montreal is trying to make that happen.