Kyle Wikstrom
Kyle Wikstrom, GIS Solutions Specialist

The 26th annual MN GIS/LIS Consortium annual conference is just around the corner, and I’m excited to be offering a workshop on a topic that is important to me: Open Data.

open-data-iconIn this pre-conference workshop, we will explore the topic of open data and how it can help the citizens your organization serves. What’s all the hype? Where did this originate?  Should everyone make their data open? How can we make our data Open Data? These are all questions we will explore together.

In 2013, President Obama signed an executive order that made information about government operations more readily available and useful. Specifically, this means making authoritative data available to the public in machine-readable formats, resulting in government becoming more efficient and transparent. Citizens have already paid for government data, and making these resources more open and accessible to the public has released incredible quantities of valuable data. Check out the Federal Open Data Catalog created by Esri.

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Why Should Data be Open?

To put it bluntly, data that cannot be used has little use.

Beyond becoming more transparent and accountable, open data gives control and influence over authoritative data consumed by the public, other government agencies, and the private sector. Open data helps to build a stronger society more efficiently by sharing source knowledge and information.

Esri’s ArcGIS Open Data has enabled many organizations to open up their data. In the workshop, we will look at how the ArcGIS platform gives you capabilities that range from creating basic sites that get the job done all the way to building completely customized and branded user pages. Get a head start by visiting ArcGIS Open Data.


To register for the Open Data Portals: What, Why, How workshop, visit the MN GIS/LIS conference web page.

Find out more about what you can expect from Pro-West at this year’s MN GIS/LIS Consortium Annual Conference.

Already registered for the workshop? If you want to follow along and test drive some of the tools, then get a head start and enable open data for your organization ahead of time! Learn how by visiting ArcGIS Online Help – Enable Open Data.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter or send me an email for more information and new updates.

I look forward to seeing you in Duluth October 26!