The Future of Open Data in Edmonton
Library Theatre, 1:00 – 2:00, Matt Dance, Mack Male, Elise Stolte
Open data is a key plank on the City of Edmonton’s Open Government policy and is uniquely positioned to act as a core tool of accountability of our elected officials and City administration. This panel presentation will, through the lens of accountability and social benefit, address future trends of Open Data in Edmonton and explore the potential for collaboration between journalists and data analysts of various disciplines.

Matt Dance
Matt Dance is an urban geographer and an open data advocate. He is an urban and environmental policy consultant and he holds a Masters in Urban Geography from the University of Alberta. His work uses GeoWeb tools and open data as a means of gleaning the meaning and importance of place.

Mack Male
Mack is a self-described Edmonton geek. He is the co-founder of Taproot Edmonton, a home for local stories about Edmonton created with the community and not simply for it. Mack is a well-known local blogger, writing about urban affairs in Edmonton at, and has been a champion and active user of open data in the city since 2008.

Elise Stolte
Elise Stolte built her reputation as a reporter to follow by digging deep and relying on community connections. She covers urban affairs and city hall for Postmedia (the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun) and has collaborated with data enthusiasts on several ground-breaking initiatives.
Her own data project on First Nations school attendance won her an honourable mention from the Canadian Hillman Foundation.
In her view, the most interesting data sets are often not open. But by working together early on to check our assumptions and define the story, we can often find the data needed and tell those stories that create lasting, positive change. She’ll speak about how to approach that relationship. You can contact her at, or @estolte.

Integrating Volunteer Civic Technology Initiatives into City Services: a Prototyping Model
Centennial Room, 1:00 – 1:25, David Rauch, Lydia Zvyagintseva
BetaCityYEG is a civic technology meetup for the Edmonton region. We have been meeting monthly for two years and have undertaken dozens of civic-minded projects using technology in new and fun ways. We’ve been successful in getting our work into city and nonprofit services in a way that is quite unique in North America. In this presentation, we discuss the emergence of the civic technology group based on a model of Code for America’s Brigade system. We also explain our project workflow through examples that include poverty reduction, public art, music, and more. Ultimately, we argue for access to open data as key element work in digital civic engagement that brings volunteers, city employees, nonprofit leaders and local developers to prototype solutions to city issues and advocate for a more transparent, usable, and accessible government.

David Rauch

David Rauch is the co-founder and current lead for BetaCityYEG, the Edmonton region civic technology meetup. Rauch works for the City of Edmonton in the Analytics Centre of Excellence and his involvement with BetaCityYEG is in a volunteer (unofficial) capacity.

Lydia Zvyagintseva

Lydia Zvyagintseva is currently a Digital Exhibits Intern Librarian with the Edmonton Public Library. She has been involved in open data initiatives for several years, including being a project manager with the Open Data Institute, Toronto Node, organizing HackYEG, an open data hackathon as well as co-founding and leading BetaCityYEG with David Rauch.

Fracking and Earthquakes – What’s the Risk?
Edmonton Room, 1:00 – 1:25, Alastair Muir
Using a variety of public data sources, a firm link between hydraulic fracturing and seismic activity has been established in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Now that operators and the AER are on the lookout, we will show how existing real time data can be used to warn of the increased risk of >4 magnitude quakes during fracking. I will show how to combine earthquake data, public fracking records, well locations and some fancy statistical wizardry to forecast (not predict) the increase in seismic risk while fracking. It’s worked pretty well for data from Fox Creek.

Alastair Muir

I combine operations research, customer demand patterns, product and supply chain design, process improvement, Lean Six Sigma, data science and Business Intelligence. Give me the data, I will figure out how to return intelligence and insight. I have worked at Deloitte, GE, Emerson, and hold a PhD.

These Librarians Started Playing with Open Data – You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!
Edmonton Room, 1:35 – 2:00, Paul R. Pival, Brian Jackson
In 1854, The Boston Public Library opened with a mission statement that anticipated the idea of Open Data by stating, “Every citizen has the right of free access to community-owned resources (” Public and academic libraries have long been champions of the concept of “open”, be it through traditional media (books), services, or the Internet. When we started looking more closely at the concept of open data within our profession we expected to find that libraries would be leaders in the Open Data movement. While there are certainly some who are leading the way (thanks EPL!), we were dismayed to find that very few of us were actually walking the talk. Libraries often have access to fantastic resources that the general populace does not, and the Data Liberation Initiative from StatsCanada, for starters. Why is the data in these programs not Open Data, available to one and all? Why are more libraries not promoting the use of Open Data on their websites or via workshops to help the general public access and manipulate data that’s of interest to them? Why aren’t more libraries releasing statistics about their own operations as Open Data? And finally, what the heck do YOU want from your local library in terms of support for your Open Data project(s)? Let’s talk.

Paul R. Pival

Paul is the Research Librarian for Data Analytics and Economics Liaison Librarian at the University of Calgary, where he’s worked in various capacities since 2001.

Brian Jackson

Brian is the Data and Statistics Librarian & Technical Services Coordinator at Mount Royal University, and has been deeply involved in Open Data for several years.

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health
Centennial Room, 1:35 – 2:00, Jennifer Skinner
The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health is an international, non-profit alliance formed to accelerate the potential of genomic medicine to advance human health. Bringing together over 400 leading, global organizations working in healthcare, research, disease and patient advocacy, life science, and information technology, members in the Global Alliance are working together to create a common framework of standards and harmonized approaches to enable the responsible, voluntary, and secure sharing of genomic and health-related data. There are currently four active Working Groups, Regulatory and Ethics, Data, Security, and Clinical, charged with producing thoughtful, actionable conclusions and products in their respective work areas. To date, the Global Alliance has produced high-impact deliverables to ensure responsible sharing is possible, such as developing a Framework for Data Sharing to guide governance and research, and a Genomics API to allow for interoperable exchange of data. Working collaboratively with other stakeholders, the Global Alliance is also catalyzing several demonstration projects that aim to share real-world data, such as Matchmaker Exchange, Beacon Project, and BRCA Exchange. These projects aim to ensure relevance by aligning with the most pressing needs within the community. The proposed session would highlight the advantage of collaboration between sectors and work areas as it relates to generating systems of Open Data and their application.

Jennifer Skinner

In 2013, Jennifer became the Operations Manager for the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. She was Employee #2 for this start-up organization and saw it evolve from an idea, into the globally distributed organization it is today. Since January 2016, Jennifer has worked at the City of Edmonton as a Strategic Coordinator.  Jennifer started her career as an epidemiologist at a Public Health Unit in Port Hope, Ontario where she supported many stakeholders in communicable disease surveillance, survey design and analysis, and program evaluation. Jennifer’s interest in project management and business administration prompted her to pursue further education, and in 2011, Jennifer transitioned to the role of Program Manager for the Genetic Epidemiology and Biostatistics Platform at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.  Jennifer received a BA from Harvard University, MSc from Queen’s University, and MBA from Laurier University.

Open Data Storytelling for Resilient Local Food Systems
Centennial Room, 2:10 – 2:35, Kathryn Lennon
The Edmonton Food Council will share the ways that we are using Open Data to tell the story of Edmonton’s food system, and how Open Data can create opportunities for education and analysis, towards championing and supporting a resilient food systems for Edmonton. There are several ways that Open Data interacts with fresh: Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy, and the work of the Edmonton Food Council. From a survey and annual food systems scorecard that tracks Edmontonian’s perceptions of local food over time, to the City of Edmonton Vacant Lot Inventory for Urban Agriculture, these tools create opportunities for telling the story of Edmonton’s local food systems, and improving access to opportunities to engage citizens and institutions alike.

Kathryn Lennon

As a volunteer committee of the City, the Edmonton Food Council’s primary role is to advise and act on matters related to the ongoing implementation of fresh : Edmonton’s Food and Agriculture Strategy. Kathryn Lennon works with CITYlab at the City of Edmonton, as the Principal Planner responsible for the stewardship of fresh : Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy. Fresh is a high level strategy that will help guide Edmonton towards the vision of a resilient food and agriculture system that contributes to the local economy and the overall cultural, financial, social and environmental sustainability of the city. It was developed in consultation with citizens, interested groups, businesses and organizations, and was approved by City Council in November 2012.

Supporting Open Data! – An Overview of the U of A Libraries’ Research Data Management Services
Edmonton Room, 2:10 – 2:35, Larry Laliberté, Michelle Brailey
The University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) has designated research data management (RDM) as an essential priority, and thus is recognized as a hub for RDM services on campus. UAL offers a wide range of RDM services spanning the research lifecycle, including data management planning consultation, research data management training, data discovery and the further research use of existing library data collections/subscriptions, guidance on metadata standards and creation, creation of digital object identifiers, data citation, and data storage/archiving, preservation and open access. This session will provide a general overview of the UALs’ research data management services, with specific focus and demonstrations of those directly relating to open data. These services will include Dataverse, UAL Open Data, and the UA open-access Education and Research Archive, which all promote research discovery, archiving, and preservation.

Larry Laliberté

Larry Laliberté is a librarian with over ten years’ experience working with GIS and spatial data. Currently he is the Geospatial Data Services Librarian at the University of Alberta where much of his work revolves around analyzing and synthesizing spatial information at numerous scales, across many disciplines, in various formats. Additionally, Larry manages the UAL Dataverse service.

Michelle Brailey

Michelle Brailey is a librarian in the second year of the Academic Libraries Residency program with the University of Alberta Libraries. Michelle’s role coordinates open data resources and supports data services, research data management and open educational resources. She has completed research on policy and research data management in Canada and has published on the topic of community attachment and civic engagement for youth.

Differentiating Your Small Business Through Open Data
Library Theatre, 2:10 – 2:35, Elisse Moreno, Roberto Moreno
Open Data is like a library of information waiting to be explored and utilized, however, the biggest challenge is in the readability of it for the general public. Since Real Estate is considered a “hyper-local  commodity” – Open Data presented a unique opportunity for TruHome to differentiate themselves from the competition and provide greater value to their customers by making information more accessible and transparent. Elisse & Roberto look forward to sharing their strategies/insights in terms of how their company benefited through the use of Open Data and innovation. They will also share tips and secrets on how Open Data can help disrupt your industry to increase your opportunities for growth.

Elisse and Roberto Moreno

Elisse and Roberto Moreno, founders of TruHome (formally Home Tribe), are advocates of utilizing Open Data for the greater benefit of society and business. Their first application TruHome Match launched with the vision of “how can we use Open Data, Big Data & Analytics” to enhance the Real Estate industry and make buying a home better. By allowing buyers to enter lifestyle-based recommendation engine along with traditional real estate purchase criteria our advisors can help find a better match in less time. Beyond TruHome, Elisse & Roberto own and operate Redman Technologies Inc – a Real Estate software as a service company in which they have developed top of the line Real Estate software sold to thousands of Realtors across Canada and providing coaching a guidance to many top professionals. Both entrepreneurs have been passionate about technology: Elisse from the point of view of how technology can impact society, having majored at the University of Alberta in STS (Science, Technology & Science) and Roberto from being the leading force between their R&D team. Since launching TruHome, they have had significant success  (90% success rate) in both matching buyers to their TruHome in less time and being recognized in various publications such as the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Examiner, CTV, Canadian Geographic and to name a few.

Application of Machine Learning Algorithms to Improve Resource Allocation for Municipal Services
Library Theatre, 2:45 – 3:10, Koosha Golmohammadi
I present some of the analytics that we developed at the Analytics Centre of Excellence (ACE) to improve city operations. These methods extract data from Open Data using different channels and APIs. We use machine learning algorithms to build models on the data to optimize resource allocation and scheduling of services.

Koosha Golmohammadi

Koosha is a data scientist and a program manager at the City of Edmonton focusing on developing advanced analytics projects to improve municipal services and processes. Koosha also leads the Open Science program, an initiative to engage the academic and research communities on various projects to improve planning, policy development and efficiency at the City of Edmonton.

Teaching with Open Data: Strategies for Data Literacy Instruction
Centennial Room, 2:45 – 3:10, Lydia Zvyagintseva
The growth of the open data movement in local governments and its associated discourse assumes that citizens have an innate ability to navigate, access, use and make sense of various data sets released through catalogues and other mechanisms. While calls for the release of open data are important, they make up only one element of the broader open government landscape: that of availability. However, the notion of access incorporates issues related to file formats, mode of consumption, degree of interactivity and capacity to engage meaningfully with data. In this presentation, I argue that teaching data literacy skills is a crucial aspect of this landscape and citizenship more broadly. After defining data literacy, I highlight my experiences of teaching concepts like mapping and network analysis using basic off-the shelf data tools while integrating critical literacy components into the process of working with open data sets from municipalities such as Edmonton, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Specifically, I demonstrate several approaches to finding, interpreting, accessing and manipulating open data sets and position such activities as keys to critical digital and data literacies, which are, arguably, necessary in contemporary society.

Unexpected 4 Year Journey of Open Government at the Government of Alberta
Edmonton Room, 2:45 – 3:10, Mark Diner
From encountering unexpected barriers, to uncovering massive opportunity, this session will explore the past 4 years of open government looking at open data, information and data analytics, and try to predict what the next 4 years might offer.

Mark Diner
Mark Diner was appointed as Chief Advisor and Executive Director, Open Government for the Government of Alberta in November, 2012, and the Queen’s Printer for Alberta in March of 2014. Mark’s goal is to provide vision and energy to enable the Government of Alberta to be more open, engaged and citizen focused. Mark has a Bachelor in Science and an MBA from the University of Alberta. He has been working in the public service since 1999, in evolving positions of responsibility including strategic planning, Enterprise Architecture, Information Management and as a Chief Information Officer (CIO). Mark is married with a 13 year old daughter who keeps him on point with trends, music and technology.

Alberta Municipalities Panel: Calgary, Edmonton and Strathcona County on their Evolution to Open
Centennial Room, 3:30 – 5:05, Walter Simbirski, Yvonne Chen, Michael Houston
Open data leaders from Calgary, Edmonton and Strathcona County will present on the development of their open data platforms, the choices they have made, lessons learned and the successes they have experienced. This will be followed by a panel discussion and opportunity for audience questions and answers.

Walter Simbirski

Walter Simbirski is an Open Data Strategist in the Intellectual Property Access and Marketing group at The City of Calgary and has enjoyed the position for 4 years. He currently facilitates the Alberta Open Data Community of Practice and is the lead for selection and implementation of The City’s new open data portal as well as hackathons that are hosted by The City of Calgary. When away from the office he enjoys fly fishing in the many lakes and rivers in Southern Alberta and is a Master Certified Casting Instructors with the International Federation of Flyfishers.

Yvonne Chen

Yvonne Chen is a Strategic Planner for the City of Edmonton participating in the Open City Initiative and Open City Policy development for the City of Edmonton in 2014. Yvonne previously worked for the Government of Alberta as a Senior Performance and Evaluation Advisor and utilized open data in many of her previous projects. As a Project Manager for the upcoming Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS) 2017, Yvonne is hoping to advancing Open Data in multiple dimensions by facilitating knowledge exchange among key stakeholders.

Michael Houston

Michael Houston is the Open Data Integration Specialist for Strathcona County and formerly the Open Data Administrator at the City of Winnipeg.  He has over 20 years of experience in information management at the local government level and is aware of the trends in data usage and management from a civic perspective.  Within his current role he is responsible for the integration and the movement of both private data and open data.

Data Journalism: Digital Storytelling in the Age of Open Data
Library Theatre, 3:30 – 3:55, Dr. Rey Rosales
This session highlights some of the best practices in digital storytelling using open data or big data. Using a visualization software, the presenter will provide some examples on how to make data come alive or how to make them become relevant to the audience. Audiences can easily get lost in a sea of numbers and codes. This session will offer some tips on finding the key nuggets of information (with the aid of visualization techniques) which can form the basis of a solid journalistic reporting–that is–the compelling story behind the numbers.

Dr. Rey Rosales

Dr. Rey Rosales is currently the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications (FFAC) at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB, Canada. He is also a faculty member of the journalism program.

Rey is an award-winning educator and media advisor, and has received numerous journalism fellowships throughout his career. In 2008, he was one of 20 communications faculty fellows in the United States who were chosen to participate in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) week-long seminar. Rey has also held fellowships with the American Press Institute (API), American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) among others.

In 2007, Rey was named by the Associated College Press as the Online Pacemaker Award winner, the highest national award given to a college publication. In 2005 Rey won the Honor Roll Newspaper Adviser of the Year Award given by the College Media Advisers (CMA) of the U.S.

Developing a Non-profit Data Strategy for Alberta
Edmonton Room, 3:30 – 5:05, Geoff Zakaib
There is a growing awareness of the importance of data in the non-profit / volunteer / social sector. The sharing of data across organizations in the sector has the potential to be a powerful enabler for social innovation. This is the backbone of the open data movement – by sharing data we can see larger patterns (trends, barriers, opportunities, successes) and develop actions in response. This feeds into more thoughtful, responsive and consistent innovation with data providing the feedback to advance outcomes. It is this ability to both unlock and share knowledge that is critical to developing solutions to complex problems.

In Alberta we need to build a foundation to support shared and open data in the sector. This panel discussion will feature representatives from the public, private and social sectors providing their perspectives on the value of developing a non-profit data strategy for Alberta and their insights on how to move this initiative forward.


Geoff Zakaib – Director, Data for Good


Russ Dahms – Executive Director, Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

George Alvarez – Director, Information Sharing Strategy Office, Alberta Human Services

Xinjie Cui – Chief Analytics Officer, Alberta Centre for Child Family and Community Research

Mark Diner – Chief Advisor and Executive Director, Open Government for the Government of Alberta

Larry Svenson – Executive Director and Provincial Health Analytics Officer, Analytics and Performance Reporting Branch, Alberta Health

Richard Williams – Manager, Environmental Scanning and Performance Measurement, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of Alberta

Geoff Zakaib

Geoff Zakaib is an information management consultant and has been involved in a number of initiatives that span the public, private and social sectors. He is a Director of Data for Good and the organizer of the Calgary chapter. Geoff is active in the Open Data / Open Government movements as the Executive Director of Open Calgary and is a community member of the City of Calgary e-Government Strategy Advisory Committee. He leads a group working on semantic technology as the national Chair of XBRL Canada. Geoff has also been involved for many years on projects related to social issues such homelessness, poverty reduction and international development.

Russ Dahms

Russ has been involved in community service for many years – having worked with the City of Edmonton Parks and Recreation Department for over 25 years. More recently, Russ has been directly involved with the voluntary community organizations in the role of Executive Director with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and currently with the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. He has served on numerous community organization boards, coached youth sports and is past president of the Rotary Club of Edmonton South.

George Alvarez

George has been with the Government of Alberta for 30+ years, currently the Acting Executive Director for Knowledge and Information in Human Services, and is responsible as the lead, along with his colleagues, for the implementation of an Information Sharing Strategy across the human or social services sector, including both government and non-government organizations. Prior to this role, George has been the Director of the Information and Privacy Office for Human Services since 1997. George has been involved with a number of cross government initiatives that pertain to the use and management of information and the relationship of that information and the services involved with the existent privacy legislation.

Xinjie Cui

Dr. Cui is the Chief Analytics Officer at Alberta Centre for Child Family and Community Research (ACCFCR) and is responsible for the Centre’s overall data strategy. Dr. Cui was the inaugural Director (for 7 years) of Child and Youth Data Lab (CYDL), a major cross-sectoral data initiative supported by multiple provincial ministries. CYDL team works closely with ministry partners to link administrative data from various sources and provide analytical evidence relevant to policy priorities. Dr. Cui also leads the Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence (SAGE) Initiative to build a data platform that facilitates sharing of existing data including research data, service delivery, data and administrative data for secondary use.

Richard Williams

Richard has been with the Government of Alberta for over ten years, currently the Manager of Environmental Scanning and Performance Measurement for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Richard previously worked for the British Government as a producer and/or user of economic accounts data and labour market statistics, and is part of a working group looking to improve the availability of labour market information for the non-profit sector in Alberta. Richard is also a volunteer at his local community league.

Larry Svenson

Larry is the Provincial Health Analytics Officer and Executive Director for Analytics and Performance Reporting at Alberta Health. He is also an Associate Professor with the Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alberta and a member of multiple expert advisory committees to the Public Health Agency of Canada. He leads a multi-disciplinary team responsible for providing robust analytic services to the Ministry of Health and its stakeholders.

Naming Edmonton: Crowdsourcing an Open Dataset. What Worked? What Didn’t?
Library Theatre, 4:05 – 4:30, Matt Dance
Working in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library, the Naming Edmonton Project sought community input in crowdsourcing details of the Naming Edmonton data set. A number of events were run, including two minihacks, and geocaching & mental map making exercises. This talk will unpack the success and failures of the Naming Edmonton Project with a focus on the process of crowdsourcing this open data set.

How Did Your Councillor Vote? A Case Study on Aggregating and Making Useful Contextless Open Data
Library Theatre, 4:40 – 5:05, Troy Pavlek
Some open data projects are based on providing presentation of existing data – charting, graphing and mapping data points. However, when you have a goal of using multiple Open Data sets to tell a story and provide context, the disparate nature of the points on each data set can cause many breakdowns along the way. Sometimes the dataset fights you directly. This talk will go into the ins-and-outs of extracting (or in some cases inventing!) context and links between data points outside of your control. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, so that you don’t have to!

Troy Pavlek

Troy is a software developer, open data enthusiast, political junkie and all around good guy from Edmonton, Alberta. His claim to relevancy involves the merging of all those traits to create, a website aggregating councillor attendance and voting records using the Edmonton Open Data Catalogue.

Visualizing Open Data with Tableau Public
Program Room, 9:10 – 10:30, Karen Parker
In this hands-on workshop, I will cover the basics of using Tableau Public to create engaging interactive visualizations.

Karen Parker

Karen Parker is a Business Solutions Analyst working in the City of Edmonton’s Analytics Centre of Excellence (ACE). She helps to build a culture of data and analytics throughout Edmonton – for both employees and citizens – though her support of ACE’s analytics projects, as well as her work on Open Data visualizations to make data more accessible to a wider variety of stakeholders.

Exploring Open Data – a Hitchhiker’s Guide to R
Program Room, 11:00 – 11:30, Fahim Hassan
R is an open source programming language use for statistical data analysis and visualization. It is an awesome tool for analyzing open data as it makes it easy to reproduce any analysis on updated data sets. In addition, it can be easily integrated with other languages (e.g. C++). With it’s growing community and several packages on visualization, it is a dream for any data geek to explore the uncharted territory of open data released by public organizations. The purpose of my presentation is to encourage data enthusiasts to use R for their professional or pet projects. I will present a curated set of resources to learn R for free and will introduce the basic packages/libraries to import, analyze and visualize datasets. In addition, I will also share my experience and expertise on storytelling with data and demonstrate the advantages of using R compared to other programming languages through a case study. Although R can be used to analyze a broad spectrum of datasets (i.e. scientific, audio, text , image), the scope of my presentation will be limited to socio-economic data.

Fahim Hassan

Fahim is passionate about applying digital technologies to solve social problems. He completed his Masters in economics from the University of Alberta. He is currently working at the Ministry of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta. As an interdisciplinary researcher, he has contributed to several projects on visual analytics, applied econometrics and socio-economic issues. He is also an active member of the technology community in Edmonton.

Linked Open Data: The Essentials of the Semantic Web
Program Room, 11:30 – 12:30, Sam Popowich
The set of concepts, standards, and technologies known as Linked Data have taken the web and the library world by storm, but are still often poorly understood outside of those fields. This presentation will cover the benefits and application of linked open data, the concepts and data models that inform it, and some of the technologies, tools, and approaches that make it possible to publish and consume linked open data on the web. Specific examples include Google’s Knowledge Graph and publishing data using markup, the RDF data model, graph databases, and standardized controlled vocabularies. Rather than being a talk for technologists or librarians, this presentation will try to make linked data generally understandable and accessible, in support of the inclusivity and interdisciplinarity of the Open Data Summit.

Sam Popowich

Sam Popowich is the Discovery Systems Librarian at University of Alberta Libraries. He is interested in cultural questions surrounding data and computer programming, and the intersection of code and data. He is a member of the Canadian Linked Data Initiative and the Edmonton chapter of Code4Lib (coding for libraries).

Open Tools for Analyzing Texts: Voyant Tools and TAPoR
Program Room, 1:30 – 2:30, Geoffrey Rockwell
It is one thing to have a lot of open data, but how can you analyze it? What tools are out there for analyzing unstructured or semi-structured textual data if you aren’t a programmer. This presentation will demonstrate an open and online suite of tools called Voyant,, used by language and literature researchers worldwide. Voyant is a highly interactive tool that allows you to upload and play with collections of texts be they documents or an RSS feed. At the end we will talk about how to learn more about text tools using the TAPoR database that is also online at

Geoffrey Rockwell

Dr. Geoffrey Martin Rockwell is a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta. He has published on textual visualization and analysis, and computing in the humanities including a book from the MIT Press, Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities. He is a co-developer of Voyant Tools, a suite of text analysis tools, and leads the TAPoR,, project documenting text tools. He is currently the Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Study and blogs at

Make Your Open Data Dance with D3 (What Those Cool Visualizations are Made With)
Program Room, 2:30 – 3:30, Eugene Chen
Those beautiful visualizations you’ve seen online? Chances are, they’ve been made with D3.js. In this step by step workshop, we’ll cover the basics and key concepts around D3, enough for you to get a basic, working D3 visualization that you can modify further to make your own, or to explore other datasets.

Eugene Chen

Eugene is the Chief Technical Officer at Darkhorse Analytics, and loves creating “wow” and “aha!” moments for people by deriving insights and visualizing data differently. Some of his projects include the World Chat Clock (, a story-driven app for finding interesting baby names from Alberta (, and Map In Seconds (, all created with D3. Eugene is also a contributor to BetaCity YEG (Edmonton’s Civic Technology Meetup) with projects like, and a longtime volunteer and committee member of Edmonton’s NextGen (a group dedicated to attract and give voice to the 18-40 year old generation of Edmontonians).

Open Data Jeopardy
Program Room, 4:00 – 4:30, Troy Pavlek
Think you know all about Open Data? Maybe you just know more than the friend you came with? Open Data Jeopardy is the session for you. In this session, two games of Jeopardy! will be played, each with three different volunteers from the audience. Questions will range from all manner of Open Data topics: software solutions, open data policies, organizations with well-known strategies and, of course, a lot of wordplay.