Offer vital web services as free public infrastructure


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Votes: 11

Ask Canadians what they consider vital web services and add them to the Open Government Portal. I consider geocoding one such service. Most data has a spatial component in the form of an address. By offering a free, national, geocoding web service whose responses are licensed under the Open Government License, that address can be turned into a geographic location which can be displayed on a map and subject to the full range of spatial analysis tools. For example, an Apartment Rental Finder website can take addresses from landlords, convert them to geographic locations, and display them on a map to prospective tenants looking for rentals in a given area. Existing free geocoders don’t have authoritative data and are too restrictive in their terms of use. Commercial geocoders are so expensive, they pose an obstacle to innovation for Canadian web developers.

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