Ever hear the phrase “open data” and wondered what it meant? Well, think of it like this: open data is about providing easy access to information. And not just easy access, but free access. It’s the idea that data should be completely free and open to everyone, so anyone can reference it and use it however they want. As you might imagine, here at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, we collect a lot of information, so we think the idea of open data is great. And thanks to DataBC, sharing our (and other government) data is easier than ever.
If you haven’t heard of it before now, DataBC was launched a little over a year ago as a place for government organizations to share their data with the public.
There have already been a lot of interesting projects started because of DataBC (you can have a look at their Community page to learn about some of them). There have even been a number of “hackathons” – events that bring people together with the sole purpose of figuring out new ways of using data (this video gives you a bit of a flavour for what a hackathon is all about).
Since it began, thousands of files have been uploaded, covering a wide variety of topics. We’ve uploaded quite a few ourselves, and we’ll be continuing to provide more in the future. Want to see what DriveBC has reported over the last few years? We’ve posted annual collections of DriveBC data. Curious about culverts, rest areas, railroad crossings or road structures? You can get data on those, too. And if you’re interested in developing a new application to use that information, DataBC has several sophisticated tools to help you on your way.
Whether you’re a fiend for facts and figures or you just have a passing interest in information, check out what DataBC has to offer. If you have a question, feedback, or you’re looking for more data, you can contact DataBC staff to let them know. You can even follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest.
What new ways can you think of to put all that data to use?