BC Geographic Warehouse

The BC Geographic Warehouse (BCGW) is a central government repository of spatial and non-spatial data. DataBC supports Ministries to publish data in the BC Geographic Warehouse, enabling increased access to data to support data integration, sharing and exchange, analysis and decision-making.

Data currently available in the BC Geographic Warehouse includes themes such as: administrative boundaries, basemapping, cadastre, crown lands, cultural, ecology, economic, environmental, fisheries, forestry, imagery, natural resource operations and planning, mining, parks, soils, water, and wildlife.

Data in the BC Geographic Warehouse is described in the BC Data Catalogue. The catalogue allows users to search for data of interest, view metadata, access web mapping services, and directly download data available in the BC Geographic Warehouse.

Learn more about the BCGW

Accessing and publishing data 

Members of the public can access data in the BC Geographic Warehouse as explained below. Employees of BC Government ministries, central government agencies and crown corporations are able to publish data in the BC Geographic Warehouse.

Data in the BC Geographic Warehouse can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Direct Connect via mapping applications (i.e., ArcGIS, QGIS) using a BCGW account
  • Web Mapping Applications (for spatial data only), e.g., iMapBC, BC’s MapHub (ArcGIS Online)
  • BC Data Catalogue:
    • Web Mapping Services e.g., WMS, WFS, KML
    • Data Download

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Publication of data in the BC Geographic Warehouse is available to government ministries and agencies. When data is published to the BC Geographic Warehouse, it must undergo a rigorous and standardized publication process to ensure adherence to government data standards for quality and consistency. DataBC has well documented Data Standards and Guidelines that are followed throughout the process for data publication. 

The length of time it takes to publish data in the BC Geographic Warehouse is dependent on many factors. The timeline can be impacted by:

  • Source data access
  • Source data readiness
  • Change requests
  • Client availability for data validation
  • Other client responsibilities (i.e., layer file presentation submission, metadata creation)
  • Number of publications in DataBC queue

Benefits of publishing data in the BC Geographic Warehouse are:

  • Provides broad access to data for any authorized user
  • Allows data to be transformed and presented in a format useful to many audiences
  • BCGW handles all user access instead of users connecting to operational systems
  • Integration with other data available in the BC Geographic Warehouse
  • Offers standard access channels, such as: Direct Connect to the database, the BC Data Catalogue, iMapBC, secure iMapBC, ArcGIS Online, WMS, WFS, KML

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Over time, data models published in the BC Geographic Warehouse may require updating. This commonly involves the addition or removal of columns, a change in column name, or a change in the transformation of data.

DataBC works with the data manager to make changes or to refresh data, ensuring data remains accurate and consistent across all access channels.

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When a dataset is no longer being maintained or is replaced by new data, it should be retired from the BC Geographic Warehouse.

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