Did you know that the Government of British Columbia has a place where you can access over 2600 datasets free of charge via the internet, as well as tools and applications to repurpose this data?

Launched in July 2011, DataBC is the first provincial open data initiative in Canada. It is a key aspect of the Provinces’ open government mandate to improve transparency and citizen engagement.

It is also part of the Province’s effort to spur innovation in the private sector. Governments are becoming aware that data – the quantitative information about their services and the communities they serve – is not just a by-product of operations, but a valuable strategic asset. DataBC make these assets available by providing reliable, authoritative and accessible data as an essential ingredient to identify and solve problems.

If you are an entrepreneur, the Province’s open data may fuel your next startup or new product commercialization. For example, the library datasets on DataBC give the location of all of the public libraries in BC. A developer could create a smartphone app that allows users to find BC public libraries. Many of the datasets available in the DataBC Catalogue are similarly geographically enabled, presenting opportunities to create map apps for the growing mobile market.

To make investments, you require as much certainty as possible from government policy. The cornerstone of a solid foundation for investment is the Open Government Licence. With only a few conditions, the license provides certainty and peace of mind as you grow your business. To view the entire OGL, click here.

Follow the link to DataBC and search the Catalogue for data that can help your business. If you can’t find what you are looking for send a data request at data@gov.bc.ca.

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