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FME in Action Customer Stories City of Surrey empowers citizens with award-winning open data portal

City of Surrey empowers citizens with award-winning open data portal

Providing open data is an essential part of Surrey’s commitment to being a transparent and accessible government.

The City of Surrey had important data they wanted to share with the public

Data sharing enables better healthcare, education, economic productivity, and scientific research – and the more datasets provided, the more benefits to everyone.

Using the open data portal CKAN, Surrey had hundreds of datasets they wanted to share in various formats. They also wanted to perform behind-the-scenes analytics to offer filtering options. The problem was that many of these spatial datasets were massive in size. The only way to upload them was to have an employee dedicated to the assignment (costing over $50,000 a year and taking away from other tasks).

They needed to find an efficient way to upload these spatial datasets and distribute them in various formats, including ones that CKAN did not offer.

How they made it possible – no code required

Using FME, they are able to offer data downloads in formats beyond the few supported by CKAN. They can provide near-real time data and it can be accessed by the public directly from the production database in all desired formats, including LAS, JSON, KML, File Geodatabase, DWG, CSV, MrSID, and PDF. Map previews also allow users to select the precise subsets of data they desire.
The public now has access to four hundred datasets that can be downloaded within a minute. By automating the once manual process with FME, the City of Surrey has yielded significant cost and time savings.

largest city in BC
data downloads a year
“The beauty of FME is that you can download any CKAN dataset, in any format, for any area. In most CKAN implementations, you’d get more than a terabyte, so downloading them for the whole city when you just want a neighbourhood just doesn’t make sense.”
Mark Laudon
GIS Analyst, City of Surrey
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