About

Open Data provides the opportunity for you to get unrestricted access to data already sitting on someone's server, in a format easy for Internet applications to consume. Sometimes, this data is public, government-owned (citizen-owned) data. Sometimes it is corporate data. Sometimes it's research data. We're talking about easy access to bus schedules, ferry schedules, climate data, parks, crime stats, permits, licenses, and lots more.

With open data, citizen application creators can work their magic, building great tools to help make our province even better. And there are lots of citizens that are willing to help out. We just have to get organized, and that's what this site is about.

Why BC?

We wanted to create a place that highlights the province as an open data leader. British Columbia has a very strong information technology sector and as a province we have invested in creating excellent data sources for the province. As in other areas of Canada, the issue is much of the data has not been liberated. There are already sites that focus on liberating Canadian federal data and several cities have released their own data but until now the provincial data has not been a focus. We want to change that.

Why now?

Governments around the world from municipalities to countries are realizing that making government data available to the citizens has a huge positive effect including:

  • enhanced citizen engagement
  • improved operational effectiveness
  • reduced IT expenditures
  • stimulated and diversified local economic development
  • supports a robust entrepreneurial community
  • ability to do more with less, faster

Why don't our Governments do it all?

Citizens sometimes expect miracles from their governments. Who said the governments have to do it all? Citizens expect the government to do all of the thinking and all of the doing, and we think that's just not sustainable.

There are a lot of smart and generous people in B.C. Given the opportunity, they will pitch in to help solve some of the tough problems we face. Open Data provides that opportunity.

Governments have thousands of datasets in use within their own servers but that data was never intended for general use. We are asking government to just concentrate on getting the data out there, in raw form, and we will help organize it, assemble it and tag it so it's more easily used by everyone.

Who Are We?

We are independent designers, programmers, data management experts and analysts. We work on this project because we want to. Not because we have to, not because we're paid to.

We want to help make our province even better.

Learn more about the Open Data Society of BC.

Join OpenDataBC

Find out how to become a member of the Open Data Society of BC.