It’s that time again to showcase the best new open data on DataBC. We selected our top ten based upon the data’s popularity – the number of times downloaded – and our humble opinion of what makes quality data.
Some factors we considered include: an easy-for-machines-to-read data structure; location information that makes the data easy to map, such as an address or latitude and longitude points; and a time-series, such as multiple years of data, so we can see trends over time.
So without further ado:
THE TOP 10:
1. VRI – Forest Vegetation Composite Polygons and Rank 1 Layer – The King Kong of the DataBC Catalogue. If you check our DataBC Download Statistics, you will see that this data holds a firm grip on the most popular dataset, with approximately 4000 downloads. While not technically a new dataset, a few weeks back this data went through its annual update, so one can expect the number of downloads to spike significantly. The popularity of the VRI data reinforces the old adage – location, location, location. When it comes to data value, geographic or location data still rules the jungle.
2. Annual Sales by Region and Product Type – This data about the regional sales of public liquor stores has been a downloaded over 300 times since it was published on September 11, 2012. Recently, Global News used the data in a human interest story about the imbibing habits of various regions in British Columbia.
3. DataBC Download Statistics – Curious about what open data is most popular on DataBC? Look no further then this dataset. It contains the number of downloads, data title, and unique record identification for all of the open data on DataBC. We posted this data on December 20, 2012 and will be updating it on a quarterly basis with the next update planned in the near future.
4. BC Census Data – The new DataBC Catalogue now contains data under multiple licenses, a change which made it possible to publish 25 datasets compiled by BC Stats using Census data from Statistics Canada. This data is under the Statistics Canada Open License Agreement. The central statistical agency of the Province of British Columbia, BC Stats compiles key demographic, economic, labour, and social data that is highly valued by B.C. businesses, researchers, and policy makers.
5. BC Public Library Statistics 2010 and 2011 – We have highlighted the importance of libraries as community platforms in a previous blog. Recently, the Ministry of Education released two-years of rich data for all of B.C. public libraries. The statistics include everything from circulation numbers of various materials to operating costs and revenues.
6. BC Regulatory Requirements Count – British Columbians can search and read provincial legislation at www.bclaws.ca. Now they can also download a list of provincial regulatory requirements and see a breakdown by ministry, sector, and the number of requirements. This data dovetails with a consultation to gather feedback from British Columbians on B.C. regulatory requirements.
7. BC Annual Metal Shipments from 1858 Onwards – While this data was published back in August, it’s a perfect example of how multiple years of data allow us to see trends over time. The data shows the sales and tonnage of copper, gold, silver, and other metals produced in B.C. dating back to 1858. It illustrates the long history of mining in British Columbia. And now that the data is open, citizens are able to freely use and distribute the data in unique ways. For example, check out this bubble graph visualisation by Kevin S. McArthur of the Open Data Society of B.C., which makes the data easier than ever to understand.
8. Guide to Aboriginal Organizations and Services in BC – The first open data released by the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, this data lists over 800 Aboriginal organizations and services around the province. Many of the listings include address information, making this data an ideal candidate for an app to help locate services. The data can also be filtered by organization name, service, and community. We expect this interesting data to only improve with future iterations.
9. Licensed Establishments in BC –The data lists all the liquor licence holders in B.C., including bars, restaurants, private liquor stores, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and UBrews. There are approximately 10,000 licences in total, which can be filtered by business location, name, city, licence type, and capacity.
10. Locations of B.C. Public, B.C. Private Degree Granting and Non-B.C. Degree Granting Post-Secondary Institutions – More location data. This dataset includes locations for all B.C. public, private and non-B.C. post-secondary institutions that grant degrees. And for those who prefer geospatial data formats, this data is also available in KML, making it easy to load into geographic information systems, like Google Earth.
We would love to hear your thoughts on our list. Let us know if you think there are other worthy datasets that should have been included.
Posted by Loren Mullane, on behalf of the DataBC Team