What’s been happening with DataBC Data Distribution Services?

What’s been happening with DataBC Data Distribution Services?

Published by: the DataBC Services Team

The DataBC Team has been busy improving data download services using feedback from the Data Distribution Survey. The service is used by both public and government users to search and download BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) data. The data is transformed, packaged and made available to the user who placed the order.

What we heard you say in the survey?

  • Keep existing functionality
  • Improve User Experience
  • Single place to search and find data about data
  • View and Select Data via a map for Download
  • New formats
  • Direct download via File Transfer Protocol
  • Better training

What we have done with your feedback?

As we are working toward streamlining our distribution services, we have extended the service with an application programing interface (API). The API can be used by other popular service offerings, instead of interfacing with the existing Data Distribution service to search and order data.

What does this mean? Simply put, this allows us to remove our existing User Interface, and allow users to order data directly from iMapBC and the B.C. Data Catalogue. You will continue to be notified via email when your order is placed and ready for pick-up.

iMapBC Improvements

The steps needed to order data have been streamlined. There is no longer a need to go to the BC Data Catalogue and then to the Distribution Service to order data. Now users can order one or more BC Geographic Warehouse datasets from within their iMapBC session.

A new Download tool has been added in the Export Tab.  It shows the layers loaded on the map that a user has permission to download. It is easy to select a subset of data to download using the map area or download the entire dataset.  iMapBC will prepare the order through a classic “shopping cart” interface. The same features users love are still available, so you can choose file formats and projections.

Training videos are being created and will be posted soon.

Images below are of the Data Distribution Service Shopping Cart.

Data Distribution Shopping Cart image1Data Distribution Shopping Cart image2


BC Data Catalogue Improvements

Ordering a BC Geographic Warehouse dataset has also been improved so that you can order custom data packages from the Catalogue Resource page by selecting from the list of available formats. When you click on “Download” a window will open that lets you specify some additional order options.

There are some popular datasets included in this new approach such as the Domestic Watersheds dataset, and more will be configured soon.

What’s next?

 Stay tuned as we continue to improve Data Distribution Services. Any feedback is welcome – please contact DataBC with your thoughts!