Government of Canada Open data Pilot Project – access to thousands of GIS data products and more
The Government of Canada has a serious, ongoing movement towards providing more OpenData and Open Government. Part of the initiative is an ongoing OpenData pilot.
About the pilot project… The Open Data Pilot is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to open government, which is being pursued along three streams: open data, open information and open dialogue, and aims to drive innovation and economic opportunities for all Canadians. The Open Data Pilot seeks to improve the ability of the public to find, download and use Government of Canada data. You are invited to search the catalogue, download datasets and explore the possibilities of Open Data.
The resource provided by the "Feds" enables the public to search through more than 11,000 "general" datasets (like weather and immigration data) as well as some 26,000+ geospatial (GIS) data products including road layers, census data, Landsat Imagery, and the entire Atlas of Canada library.
As an example, I searched the spatial data holdings for all products that had something to do with "Victoria". A number of products showed up including one hit of interest, the Landsat Image Mosiac of Canada. Following the data returned by the search, I was presented with a complete product description, related weblinks, purpose of the data product, complete metadata, and pointers to download the data (MrSID files in this case).
For more information on OpenData in Canada see http://www.open.gc.ca/index-eng.asp
Of interest, in Canada the OpenData initiative and policies are being carefully examined. Once contentious issue currently is the issue of the elimination of the Census long form questionnaire. The public is being consulted on the future efforts and this is being supported by a public consultation effort. See more Open Government PartnershipSee also details of the latest consultations.
See also the Open Government Advisory Panel http://www.open.gc.ca/open-ouvert/aop-apgo-eng.asp
OpenData is about offering government data in a more useful format to enable citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations to leverage it in innovative and value-added ways.