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Architecture & Design: see also, Open Data

Subject Guide and Course Reading Lists

What is Open Data?

  • Open Data is research data this is freely available on the internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyze, re-process, pass to software or use for any other purpose without financial, legal or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. 
  • Select data platforms include government data, data from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), topical data, and crowdsourced data. The guide focuses on spatial and temporal data related to demographics and designing the built environment.
  • See Related Guides for more information on acquiring data in other research areas.

Locating Spatial Data & Information


• Look in general GIS data repositories
• Search the internet – Include “gis”, or “data” in the search terms AND Search by location and/or topic
• Search for governmental (see below) statistical agencies or open data sites from local to global perspective.
• Contact GIS departments, universities, or researchers in your area of interest.
• Search for articles on your topic and look for the sources of the data.

Global Dataset Search Engines



County and City Data Portals

  • Locate County and Municipal Data on the Web, use search terms, "geospatial" "Open Data" "GIS" plus the municipality name (County, State, or Province) to locate these data repositories.
  • Use translation to navigate pages from local governments often written in different languages.
  • Know that topics including Environment, Business and Economy, Food and Housing, GIS, Infrastructure, Health, Boundaries, Culture and Education are often similar but not standardized. 

Example Collections:

Data Citation

  • Citing Data ensures,
    • Data creators receive credit.
    • Datasets are replicable, accessible, and impactful
    • Whenever provided, use the recommended citation for the dataset.
  • When your style format does not include specifics for datasets, the format for books is considered the general format to follow. 
  • Dataset creators may prefer the citation points to the publication in which the data was published rather than the data without this context.
  • Essential Information for properly crediting a dataset include:
    • Creator, Producer, and Distributor of the Data
    • Published Year
    • Title
    • Edition or Version
    • Data format
    • Identifier or permanent URL (pURL) for the Data Source
  • Check out the library's for help with the various styles used on campus:

See Also, related guides...

Further Reading on Open Data Governance and Policy

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