Frequently Asked Questions
What is Open Data?
Open Data is a practice that makes data freely available by way of portals, metadata, and search tools for reuse by
governments, citizens, voluntary organizations, academia and the private sector in new and unanticipated ways.
What is data.surrey.ca?
Data.surrey.ca provides one-stop access to the City of Surrey’s searchable open data and open information, together
with open dialogue, as part of Surrey’s commitment to enhance transparency and accountability. We encourage the
participation of all citizens to make data.surrey.ca better. How can we improve the data.surrey.ca? Give us your
Is personal information protected?
Yes, data.surrey.ca is a public site and all data published here and on related Websites is public data that is not
sensitive in nature (i.e. data which is NOT personal or confidential) and does not identify or provide ways to
identify individuals. For more details on personal information, please see the City's Web Privacy Code.
What are the licence details?
By accessing datasets or tools made available at data.surrey.ca, you agree to the terms of the
accessing any data on this site.
Will all City of Surrey data be released?
No. There are certain datasets that are subject to confidentiality, privacy laws and legal contracts which prevent
the City of Surrey from sharing information. This information will remain as internal use only.
How are datasets selected?
Initial datasets consist of those datasets that are readily available and are free from privacy restrictions.
Priority is given to information being collected or those deemed to be in high demand. If there is a dataset you
wish to see that is not on the Open Data site, please visit suggest a dataset.
Will improvements be made to data.surrey.ca in the future?
Yes. We plan on making use of user feedback, particularly among the open data community, to ensure that
data.surrey.ca meets the needs and expectations of those who will use it most.
What is the liability of the City of Surrey respecting data use?
The City of Surrey shall have no liability for any damage caused by the use of the data, nor for how the data is
used. Please see Open Government Licence – City of Surrey.
Who is responsible for the governance and maintenance of the data?
The data published on data.surrey.ca is made available by City of Surrey departments. While each of these entities
is responsible for managing their own data, the GIS Section in the City of Surrey is responsible for the
governance, including guidelines and policies, applicable to the data.
How regularly is the data updated?
Updates to data are subject to staff constraints and the availability of new information. For the most part,
datasets are either being maintained on an ongoing basis or updated on a routine schedule.
Will I be notified of updates?
Yes, there are a few ways you can be informed. You can follow us on Twitter @SurreyOpenData or subscribe to our
news feed and receive email notifications when a new activity
occurs regarding the dataset of interest.
Are comments at data.surrey.ca moderated?
Yes. All comments related to the datasets, suggested datasets and apps at data.surrey.ca are moderated. The
comments mailbox is monitored regularly.
Will there be future consultations on data.surrey.ca?
Yes, we will continue to reach out to the open data community for their feedback and recommendations on the future
direction of data.surrey.ca.
How can I search for data at data.surrey.ca?
You may find data at data.surrey.ca by using the ‘Search For Data’ box via keyword, and/or browse by category,
dataset name, tags, or file format.
What data formats are used at data.surrey.ca?
Open data formats are intended to be machine-readable and are typically XML-based. Data can also be presented in
human-readable formats (XLS) that can be read using spreadsheet software and that permit data extraction to
facilitate integration with other data sets. You can find more information about the format specifications under
Open Data File Formats.
Can I obtain specific datasets?
If there are particular datasets that you think should be made available please suggest a dataset.
Will there be more public data available in the future?
Yes, this is just the start. Our intention is to continue to expand on the number of datasets made available
What metadata elements are used to describe datasets at data.surrey.ca?
The Open Data Portal Metadata Element Set was developed to support the City of Surrey’s data.surrey.ca Licence
What is the new Open Government Licence?
The new Open Government Licence allows for commercial and non-commercial reuse of information, with only a few
What rights come with the Open Government Licence – City of Surrey?
The Licence allows the licencee to copy,
modify, publish, translate, adapt, distribute or otherwise use the Information in any medium, mode or format for
any lawful purpose. The licencees must, however, identify the source of the data on their derived products.
Who 'owns' the data at data.surrey.ca?
The intellectual property rights of the data belong to the City of Surrey and, exceptionally, to third parties.
Additional information regarding the conditions governing the use of the data can be found in the
What is Open Government?
Open Government is a practice that makes data and information freely available to citizens, businesses, non-profit
organizations, and academia, encouraging information sharing and innovation.
Who can I contact for assistance using data.surrey.ca?
If you encounter any difficulties or notice any errors while using data.surrey.ca, please contact us.