Vancouver has vastly expanded the amount and functionality of city information that it shares openly with the world.

The city’s open data catalogue,, which launched quietly in September with 18 sets of information, has now increased to more than 120 datasets.

“The data catalogue is about four times bigger than the last one we put out, in sheer number of datasets,” said Coun. Andrea Reimer.

“But it’s exponentially bigger in terms of the impact of this data.”

The information ranges from apartment recycling to zoning districts and even has orthophotos of the city that were flown at taxpayer expense in 2008.

The data, Reimer said, is now more accessible as much of it can be opened in Google or Bing maps, in addition to the more specialized GIS (geographic information systems) software like Arcinfo.

Researchers, advocacy groups and average citizens can use the datasets to create new services and hopefully better public policy.

So far, Reimer said, about 15 or so applications have been created.

Among the most ubiquitous created so far, said Reimer, is, which sends an email notification to homeowners to remind them to put their garbage out.

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