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USEFUL LINK: Niagara Open Data | New Niagara Website Provides Wealth of Information

Did you know there are 98 supermarkets in the Niagara region? Thanks to a recently created website, Niagara Open Data, I was able to look this up quickly. The site contains tons of info to put, as it states, data in the hands of the people.

From the chart below, one can see at a quick glance how many supermarkets are in the Niagara region. The list itself was compiled from data provided by Public Health, maintained for inspection purposes.

The site enables everyone, and I mean everyone, to access and use datasets from various organizations in Niagara, including: municipalities, community groups, provincial agencies, not for profits, schools and more - all for FREE!

Residents, business people, planners and more, can use it as a tool before making any decisions!
It is managed by a consortium made up of people from these organizations who share a common goal of increasing openness and access to data in Niagara.

The new website has 194 datasets, and growing, plus you can submit your own dataset as well. It contains everything from the location of transit routes and bus stops to where bike lanes are on roads, the location of fire hydrants, the types of business licenses issued by year and grouped by type, and points of interest of the various Welland Canals, such as where lock 21 from the second canal built between 1842 and 1845 is.

Snapshot of home page

One Calgary entrepreneur, according to Niagara Connects executive director Mary Wiley, used similar data to access roads datasets for intersections and data on emergency room wait times, and built an app for smart phones to tell people which hospital to go to for the sildenafil online.

Robert Lytle, whose St. Catharines-based company rel8ed.to gathers and analyzes data for clients, said the new data portal has almost limitless uses. It could help someone planning to start a flower shop to know where potential customers are, what months are best to operate a bed and breakfast, and what area of a city is best suited for an after-school learning centre by analyzing the educational level and age of students. “People have been doing this for years but you had to pay for the info…and you had to hire somebody to do the market study,” he said.

Read more: niagarathisweek

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