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Research Data: Finding Data

Finding Data

There are plenty of existing datasets that are available for researchers and students to use in their own projects.

Many of these, like government data, are freely available for anyone to use.

BCIT Library also provides access to certain datasets that you may find useful.

What is Open Data?

Open Data is data that has been made available under a specific licence for others to freely use in their own research and projects. It might be from a researcher, a government body, or another organization. Open Data covers everything from maps to computer code to population statistics. On this page we've linked to some Open Data sources you may find useful.

Data Repositories

Research Data Repositories are used for data storage and access. They may be institution or discipline specific. Generally the data is open.

Government Data

Statistics Canada has just released a new resource for students: the 2021 Census Postsecondary Research Kit. This user-friendly guide explains what kinds of data students will find through StatsCan, examples of census data being used in research, links to Census resources and how to cite StatsCan products using APA! There's also an even more in-depth PDF guide!

Many municipalities make open data available. To find these data sets, search open data and the name of the municipality. A few examples are City of Vancouver Open Data Portal and Burnaby's Open Data Portal.

Other Datasets


BCIT Library provides students and researchers access to several GIS datasets, that due to licence restrictions must be requested through the Data Librarian.

  • Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS)
  • Terrain Resource Information Management (TRIM)

Check out the ICIS & TRIM Data page for more information on this data and how to access it.

International Data