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We've identified the most useful resources for understanding, managing, providing, and orchestrating open data initiatives—with emphasis on rural regions. Explore resources through the following categories:

  Open Data Primers  |  Community Primers  |  Tools  |  Standards  |  Major Organizations  |  Open Data Portals

What is Open Data?

A two-page document created especially for the Rural Open Data project. Open data essentials in reader-friendly, point form.

What is open?

Open Knowledge International discusses what open data is and why.

Open Data Handbook

This guide covers the legal, social and technical aspects of open data. It is particularly aimed at those who are seeking to open data with in their organisations; discussing the why, what, and how of open data.

Open Government Data: The Book

By Joshua Tauberer. Second Edition: 2014. The principles, practices, and a history of the open government data movement.

Open Knowledge International

Open Knowledge International is a global non-profit organisation focused on realising open data’s value to society by helping civil society groups access and use data to take action on social problems. They provide resources and a community around open data.

Open Data Impact Map

This tool was developed to provide governments, international organizations, and researchers with a more comprehensive understanding of the demand for open data.

Data Standards Directory

A directory for Open Data Standards, giving examples of common attributes/fields for standardizing datasets.

About Open Data Webinar

What is open data? Why is it important to economic development? How can local government work collaboratively to make their data open? What are the challenges and opportunities for open data in the Basin-Boundary region?

BC Open Data Portal Webmap

This map shows the current data portals across British Columbia, along with their data status (open or conditional) and whether they are interactive or included within the RDI's Digital Basin Portal. It also includes a count of datasets and the license they are released under.

Open Data Knowledge Brief

This Knowledge Brief was produced in collaboration with the RDI. It contains the same information as the "What is Open Data" page of this website.

Open North

Open North is Canada’s leading organization specialized in open data, open government, community engagement, open smart cities and civic technology.

Open Data for Development

OD4D uses an ecosystem approach to build the local supply of quality open data, and improve its use by leaders and innovators in government, civil society, the media and business.

Center for Open Data Enterprise

The mission of the Center for Open Data Enterprise is to maximize the value of government data as a public resource, by focusing on data users.

Data Coalition

The Data Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, open data.

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

A global network bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations dedicated to using the data revolution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Open Data Watch

An international organization that works at the junction of open data and official statistics, monitoring open data policies, measuring their success and impact, sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and offering strategic advice and practical assistance to national governments, international organizations, and other NGOs.

Open Institute

Collaborates with governments, citizens, civil society organisations and other players to develop policies, tools and knowledge that strengthen citizens’ voices in the governance and development in their societies.

Open Data Institute

Working with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, where people can make better decisions using data and manage any harmful impacts.

Open Data Charter

A collaboration between governments and experts working to open up data. The aspiration is that data should be open by default, timely and interoperable.

Open Data Barometer

Analyses global trends and provides comparative data on governments and regions using an in-depth methodology that combines contextual data, technical assessments and secondary indicators.

G20/OECD Good Practices

This compendium of good practices was prepared by the OECD at the request of the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group (ACWG), to raise awareness of the benefits of open data policies and initiatives.

Open Data Network

Imagines an interconnected world where data flows freely between the people and machines that need it to better manage public and commercial enterprises, as well as private and personal endeavors.


GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide.

Open Data Standards Directory

An open data standard is a set of specifications for how some sets of data should be made publicly available. Like the data they describe, open data standards are generally developed “in the open”, meaning that anyone who is interested has a way to contribute.


ckan (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) is an open source data management system, providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. Instances of ckan include Canada’s Open Government Portal, the BC Data Catalogue, the Alberta Open Government Portal, and the cities of Surrey, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.


dkan is a Drupal-based, community-driven, free and open source open data platform that gives organizations and individuals ultimate freedom to publish and consume structured information.

World Resources Institute

A global research organization at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being, committed to making our data and the results of our research freely available for all to use.

Open Government Partnership

Bringing together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable.

Code for America

A network of people making government work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century.

Sunlight Foundation

A national organization that uses civic technologies, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.

Open Contracting Partnership

Working across sectors and along the whole process of government contracting to use the power of open data to save governments money and time, deliver better goods and services for citizens, prevent corruption, and to create a better business environment for all.


GovEx (Center for Government Excellence) engages with governments to help them leverage their data in order to improve outcomes for the lives of residents.


ILDA (Latin American Open Data Initiative) seeks to understand and promote open data policies and uses in Latin America to further the inclusive development of the region. ILDA is part of the Open Data for Development (OD4D) initiative as the regional node for Latin America.

Open Data Commons

The home of a set of legal tools for providing and using open data. It is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Open Guide

These guidelines provide context about the Open Government Licence with specific instructions for each clause. The guidelines also include a template of the full licence text for easy conversion to the web.

Open Licence

Just the licence, based on version 2.0 of the Open Government Licence – Canada, which was developed through public consultation and collaborative efforts by provincial and federal governments.

Awesome Public Datasets

A list of high-quality public data sources organized by topic. Most of the datasets are open, however some are not.

Free GIS Data

A categorized list of links to over 300 sites providing freely available geographic datasets. Some sites require user registration.

Google Dataset Search (Beta)

Dataset Search enables users to find datasets stored across the Web through a simple keyword search. The tool surfaces information about datasets hosted in thousands of repositories across the Web, making these datasets universally accessible and useful.

OGP Toolbox

The objective of the OGP Toolbox is to empower public, private and civil society actors worldwide by sharing digital tools and resources, in order to promote democracy, transparency, participation and collaboration.

FNIGC Data Online

Access to the FNIGC (First Nations Information Governance Centre) published data, including First Nations Regional Health Surveys and the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey.


FNIGC (First Nations Information Governance Centre) recognizes that quality data— collected by First Nations people for First Nations people — has the power to change lives. Includes OCAP fundamentals, and online training in the application of the OCAP data standard.


Geothink is a research partnership located at McGill University. It examines the implications of increasing two-way exchanges of locational information between citizens and governments and the way in which technology shapes, and is shaped by, this exchange.

Skeena Knowledge Trust

The Skeena Knowledge Trust is a comprehensive source of information on the wild Pacific salmonids in the Skeena watershed, including water quality, habitat and population data.


Meeting the need for a simplified indexing schema, FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), one of the world's most widely-used subject terminology schemas.

ArcGIS Hub

ArcGIS Hub provides a two-way engagement platform to connect government and citizens.

ArcGIS Open Data

Portal to explore thousands of open datasets shared by ArcGIS Online users.

The Open Database of Buildings

A collection of open data on buildings and building footprints, made available under the Open Government License -- Canada.