… and then there were 33

In a series of previous posts, I have been exploring the use of D3 (Data Driven Documents) – a Free and Open Source Software package – to visualize geo-spatial data associated with the Children and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) Service Areas that have been established recently by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) in Ontario. To avoid confusion, I wanted to alert users of some of the resources that I have published of an important development.

The MCYS has been resourcing the administration and functions of the CYMH Service Areas, including the designation of Lead Agencies, over the past few years. During this time, there has been some uncertainty about whether there were to be thirty-three or thirty-four CYMH Service Areas – turning on whether the James Bay Coast would be its own Service Area or would be merged with the Timiskaming/Cochrane Service Area.

When I began to explore the use of d3 to visualize the CYMH Service Areas, the geo-spatial data published by the Ontario government mapped thirty-four Service Areas (e.g. see the Wayback Machine archive of September 6, 2015!) and the resources that I have published reflected this configuration. Now the geo-spatial data published by the government maps only thirty-three CYMH Service Areas.

I’ve completed the revision of resources for users in the past few days – a slight inconvenience for us all. There is a bigger issue, though:

The Ontario government is providing an incredibly valuable resource when it publishes the geo-spatial data associated with the administration of public services, like children and youth mental health services. I would only urge that the government’s web pages that describe and make geo-spatial resources available to us should retain and present the different versions of these resources over time. This approach would not only avoid possible confusion as revisions are made, but the differences between the versions may themselves be of interest to the public.