In a move billed to increase transparency for the provincial government, the province launched an Open Data Portal, where provincial government data previously kept under wraps is available to anyone.

Starting Tuesday, hundreds of data sources were publicly available online – covering a number of different subjects including the number of driver’s licenses in Alberta, provincial government staff travel and expenses, and population projections in Alberta over the next three decades.

“We’re starting with 250 data sets, and we have an ambitious target of having a thousand data sets up within a couple of years,” Service Minister Manmeet Bhullar said Tuesday.

According to the province, the data is meant to provide raw information for a number of purposes, such as for researchers and academics to apply to research, and for entrepreneurs to use to help with business decisions.

“What we do is we make the information public, and then people can use that information to do with it what they please,” Bhullar said.

Last week, CTV News spoke with Vancouver-based political blogger on the issue; he said putting more information out publicly is something political watchers have been pushing for.

“It’s always exciting when a government makes a commitment that they want to share more information with the public,” Blogger David Eaves said.

The concept of governments posting raw data online has been building momentum around the world – it was introduced in the Obama administration in 2009.

With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith