Certain terminology exists to identify the various data sets posted to This glossary explains a specific interpretation and definition of these terms.


Application Programming Interface (API) is a language and message format used by an application program to provide information upon request. For more information on API click here.


Atom is an XML-based feed format, similar to RSS, that allows other readers to subscribe to the website content updates


The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) is an open source data management system for storage and distribution of data across the web. For more information on CKAN click here.


An organized collection of data. Datasets can be presented in tabular format or non-tabular formats such as an extensible mark-up language file, a geospatial file or an image file, etc. For more information on datasets click here.


Provides background information about data. In other words, metatdata describes how, when and whom a particular dataset was collected and how the dataset was formatted. For more information on metatdata click here.

Open Data

Open data is the idea of making data openly available for everyone to use and republish as they wish, without the restrictions from copyrights and patents.

Open Government Data

Open data produced by the government. This is generally accepted to be data gathered during the course of business as usual activities which do not identify individuals or breach commercial sensitivity. Open government data is a subset of Public Sector Information, which is broader in scope. See Open Government Data for details.

Data File Formats

CSV file

> A comma-separated values (CSV) file is a Text file that stores tabular data (numbers and text) in plain-text format. Each line represents a record with individual fields typically being separated by a comma character.

ESRI Shapefile

> The ESRI Shapefile or simply a shapefile is a popular geospatial vector data format for geographic information systems software, developed by ESRI


> GeoJSON is an open standard format designed for representing simple geographical features, along with their non-spatial attributes, based on JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). See Wikipedia for more information.


> The General Transit Feed Specification defines a common format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information

JSON file

> A JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) file, is a lightweight text-data format file that is language-independent. It uses attribute-value pairs to define data and is used primarily to transmit data.

PDF file

> The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to publish documents, independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.

Text file

> A text file(sometimes spelled “textfile”: an old alternate name is “flatfile”) is a kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines.


> An API that is designed to work over the Internet.

Web service

> Web services are typically application programming interfaces (API) or web APIs that are accessed via Hypertext Transfer Protocol and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services

XLS File

> A XLS file is a spreadsheet that simulates a paper accounting worksheet. It displays multiple cells that together make up a grid consisting of rows and columns, each cell containing alphanumeric text, numeric values or formulas.


> Extensible Markup Language (XML) defines rules or standards for encoding content in a format that is easily readable for both human and machine. XML can be used by any individual or group that wants to share information in a consistent way. For more information on XML click here.