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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.

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?

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.