Monday, February 29, 2016

Open Access Data


I've been asked to identify open access data related to the prairie provinces to be used by groups who will be participating in a digital humanities hackathon. I don't know where to start. I think more is needed than population and education numbers, which were two variables suggested to me.


Statistics Canada Data:

For a hackathon, it might be good to provide a link to Stat Can's summary tables because they give an indication about what kind of data might be available for a given level of geography and they usually link back to CANSIM tables. Sometimes it's good to provide a smaller list of varied data as a jumping point.

Here are the tables by province, and the tables by metropolitan area.

GIS and Other open data:

There is some data available under the open government license:

There are some demographic data sets if that’s what you’re looking for:


Geology – GIS – Alberta Geological Survey (

Misc. Data – Various – Alberta Government (

City of Banff – GIS and Data (

City of Calgary – GIS and Data (

Calgary Region – GIS, Data, and Imagery (

Grande Prairie – GIS and Data (

City of Edmonton – GIS and Data (

City of Medicine Hat – Data and KML (

City of Red Deer – GIS and Data (

Misc.– GIS and Data – Open Alberta (


Misc. – GIS – Government of Manitoba (

City of Winnipeg – GIS and Data (

Geology – GIS and Data – Manitoba Dept. of Mineral Resources (


Misc. Data – GIS and Data (

City of Regina – GIS and Data (


Water Data – Table of Data – Environment Canada ( +

Bathymetry – GIS and Images – Canadian Hydrographic Service (

Soils Data – GIS – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (

Pollution – Data and KMZ – Environment Canada (

Wind – GIS – Canadian Wind Energy Wind Atlas (

Misc. “Basemap” info (Roads, landcover, names, administrative boundaries, imagery) – Geobase (now closed but data still remains accessible) (

Misc. Data – GIS and Map data - Natural Resources Canada – (

Census Boundaries – GIS – Statistics Canada (

There’s quite a few open GIS and data files at these links:

Also, there might be something of interest in GeoGratis (

Don’t forget non-Canadian sources. NASA has quite a few data sets which may be useful in a humanities context:

Returning back to Canada . . . Environment Canada has historical climate data:

The Bank of Canada also has some statistics by province: