Report: Open Data Assessment of Geospatial Concession Datasets in Canada

(2017-05-30) Approximately 89% of Canada’s surface lands are public lands and the Crown also owns most sub-surface resources. In an era of open government and open data, Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) decided to assess whether Canadian federal, provincial and territorial government geospatial datasets of natural resource concessions are “open data.” We compiled and assessed the status of geospatial datasets for forestry, mining, and petroleum/natural gas concessions against the Open Data definition, which requires data be free to access, use, modify, and share. In this report, GFWC outlines the findings of our assessment.

We found that the openness of geospatial datasets for the three resource sectors varies by jurisdiction. A limited number of datasets in each of the natural resource sectors met the Open Data definition under all four criteria, and many datasets had licence restrictions. Although many datasets are available on-line, not all government commitments for open data have yet translated into open data for natural resource geospatial concessions. Our recommendations to governments to improve open geospatial datasets for natural resource concessions include that each provincial/territorial government should develop and publish an action plan and timelines for making currently unavailable or non-open datasets open.

Use the links below to download the full report and to access the press release.

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