DataBC: Easier, better search, new look and more data
Families Monday, February 18, 2013 2:55 PM

VICTORIA - B.C.'s award-winning, open-government data resource, DataBC, unveiled significant upgrades today. The updated site features a new search tool and improved user design to make finding data even easier.

Today's changes feature new search tools and website design that builds on an already impressive track record. Popular features such as the DataBC blog and data mapping and visualization tools are now easier to access.

The search tool now uses Google algorithms so users can more easily search the site's growing library of data. Data catalogue searches can be refined using keywords and attributes such as licence type so users can find datasets that suit their needs.

The new search functionality comes online as the amount of new data posted to DataBC continues to grow. In the 18 months since the site was launched, there have been over 100,000 datasets downloaded. Demand is only expected to grow as BC Stats adds valuable economic and labour data covered under federal open government data licences. This new data joins the thousands already posted since the site's launch.

DataBC is part of the continuing work to make comprehensive government data available to the public for research, analysis or whatever other imaginative uses people can think of. This redesign is part of a plan to continuously improve the delivery of data services to citizens while listening to public feedback.


Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government Ben Stewart -

"I'm pleased we've been able to develop such a passionate user community with DataBC. The engagement we've seen in the last year is fantastic, and it's clear the initiative has become a valuable public resource for students, researchers, media and the private sector. Changing and adapting to the needs of the public is part of how we can provide the best experience for our users and maintain our leadership in this area."

Quick Facts:

  • On July 19, 2011, the B.C. government launched the Open Information and DataBC sites.
  • Since its launch, DataBC has published an average of one new dataset every day.
  • B.C. has already earned multiple awards for its open government efforts, including the Institute of Public Administration in Canada's 2011 Public Sector Leadership Award, the Esri Special Achievement award in geographic information systems (GIS) and the Stratford Institute's number-one ranking in Canada for eGovernment in April.
  • With the launch of DataBC last year, British Columbia became the first province in the country to create a catalogue of open data; it's free, searchable and available for anyone to use.
  • In March 2012, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to release its provincial budget data as open data.
  • 3,069 datasets are hosted on the DataBC site including information from multiple ministries and BC Stats.
  • In the 18 months since DataBC's launch, over 100,000 datasets have been downloaded. That's an average of 21 downloads every 10 minutes each working day.

Learn More:

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contact:

Lara Perzoff
Communications Manager
Ministry of Citizens' Services and Open Government
250 387-0172


Go online to experience open government in B.C.

Since 2011, several new online services have been created to help the public learn, engage and connect with government.

Government of B.C.

The new "front door" of the B.C. government website is now mobile friendly and has been designed to focus on the needs of British Columbians. It is now easier to contact government, find the right forms and learn about government programs - without having to search through different ministries trying to guess where things are.


British Columbia became the first province in the country to create a site like DataBC, a catalogue of government-held datasets that are free, searchable and available for anyone to use. There are currently more than 3,000 datasets available to the public.

Open Information

Responses to general Freedom of Information requests, along with ministers' and deputy ministers' expenses, are posted online. Tens of thousands of pages of requested documents have already been posted there, and the website is updated as FOI requests are released (as frequently as daily).


GovTogetherBC makes it easier for people to get involved in government and their community by bringing together all of government's public engagement projects, as well as volunteer and leadership opportunities throughout B.C.


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Media Contact:

Lara Perzoff
Communications Manager
Ministry of Citizens' Services & Open Government
250 387-0172

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