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BC ELN-BC Data Service Partnership

BC ELN and BC Data Service are partnering to provide public BC ELN partner institutions with no-charge access to four BC Assessment datasets that they would otherwise not be able to access without a contract. Data librarians at the participating institutions will be the points of contact for faculty needing assistance working with the data. BC ELN’s role in this partnership is to facilitate access to the data sets, while BC Data Service manages and assists with the data.

This page details what is included in the agreement and how interested libraries can participate.


For a current list of data librarians and contacts in this area, please see the Data Librarians List.

Please note: Private/for-profit institutions are not able to participate at this time in accordance with BC Data Service's End User License Agreement.


  1. Included Data Sets
  2. Requirements for Participation
  3. Steps to Joining
  4. Training and Assistance
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Key Partners

Included Data Sets

There are four datasets that are supplied by BC Assessment:

  1. Data Advice Files (XML format and CSV Folio Themes) – Complete and Revised Rolls, plus weekly updates.
    The Data Advice data is available as both an annual full-roll XML file plus weekly XML updates, and as full-roll theme-based CSV files (complete (full roll) files, produced weekly).
  2. Commercial Inventory (TXT and CSV formats) – complete report updated and issued quarterly.
    The BCA Commercial Inventory Extract contains a record or row for every building or part of a building in a jurisdictional or area, unless it has been omitted for privacy reasons.
  3. Residential Inventory (TXT and CSV formats) – complete report updated and issued quarterly.
    The BCA Residential Inventory Extract contains a record or row for every building or part of a building in a jurisdictional or area, unless it has been omitted for privacy reasons.
  4. Permit Export (TXT format and CSV formats) – complete report updated and issued monthly.
    The Service (Permit) is a written licence or warrant [e.g. document] issued by a person with authority empowering the grantee to do some act not forbidden by law, but not allowable without such authority. (Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Ed).

The data sets are supplied at no charge to institutions that sign onto to this initiative.

Requirements for Participation

Public BC ELN partner libraries can participate in this initiative.

To participate, the library must:

  • have a librarian able to mediate access for users
  • have their library director sign a license between BC Data Service and their institution

Role of the Data Librarian

The data librarian is responsible for:

  • informing potential users at their institution about the initiative;
  • confirming that all data requests come from authorized users; authorized users are Faculty, Research Assistants and Administrators.
  • educating users on data policies and appropriate use;
  • downloading the requested datasets for their users.
  • insuring that a copy of any publication using the data is sent to BC Data Service. Copies can be emailed to with the subject BCA: Title of Published Article
  • Participating institutions will be asked to submit a contact to BC ELN. The idea is to build a community users amongst the data librarians. 
  • Libraries can request for additional librarians to have access to the data; however, all librarians with access to the service need to use their own BCeID and be aware of the EULA including it's restrictions.

Steps to Joining

To participate in the initiative, institutions needs to:

  • contact Reba Ouimet, BC ELN Licensing Coordinator to request access;
  • have the library director sign the BC Data Service end user agreement provided and return to BC ELN;
  • request a BCeID as per the instructions below;
  • inform BC ELN of the name and contact information of their data librarian.

BC ELN will:

  • provide BC Data Service with a copy of the signed end user agreement;
  • contact BC Data Service to have the librarian's login created for the datasets;
  • act as support if there are issues with registering for the initiative.


The BCeID is an authentication system used by the BC government. It is a personal login for an individual with permission to access certain government websites and services. To obtain a BCeID, the data librarian must contact the BCeID account manager for their institution. The best way to find that person is to look up their institution in the BCeID White Pages. That manager will create the account for the data librarian. BCeID's should not be shared. If a second librarian is to access the service, they will also need to set up their own BCeID.

Contact if you would like additional librarians to have access to the BC Assessment data. BC Data Service assesses this on a case-by-case basis.

Training and Assistance

A training video is available at

  • If you have questions about the data, please use the Contact an Expert link from within the data interface.
  • General assistance can be found on the Data Systems and Services Client Hub.
  • Questions about the initiative and the agreement between BC ELN and BC Data Service? Please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

How can the data be used?

This agreement allows faculty to use the data sets to support their research and publications. It allows instructors to use the data in the classroom. Commercial use is not allowed.

The end user agreement outlines educational bodies may publish the analysis and results conducted using the BC Assessment data provided that: 

i)   the results are published for use in academic research, including in peer-reviewed academic publications, or in non-peer reviewed briefs, papers or research projects (the “Published Research”);
ii)  the Published Research does not include extracts of the Requested Data, except with BCA’s prior written consent;
iii) BCA is cited as the source of the Requested Data; and
iv) the analysis and results stated in the Published Research are expressed to be the views of the applicable Authorized User, not of BCA.

Who are the authorized users within the agreement?

The EULA states that "Only you, your employees, officers and directors (collectively, the “Authorized Users”) are authorized to use the Requested Data in accordance with the terms of this Letter Agreement".

The authorized users are the faculty and staff, who are employees of the institution. Faculty are free to pass these data on to students and researchers, provided it is something the faculty member directs and signs off on.  Anyone using the data, including students under the direction of faculty, must follow the terms set out in the EULA. Students and researchers wishing to use the data for personal research or experience without a faculty member involved will need to contact BC Assessment directly.

Can the data be modified?

The agreement does allow for the data to be modified; however, the derivate data still falls under the EULA, and the rights and responsibilities still apply. The modified data can only be shared with other parties who have signed the End User License Agreement (EULA).

How should data be stored or transmitted?

Information on data security can be found in section 9 of the EULA. Authorized users must take all reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality, security, accuracy and integrity of the Requested Data. Users must comply with the BCA security requirements for data licensees, which can be found on the BC Assessment website, as BCA may amend from time to time by publishing a revised version without notice, currently as follows: That document broadly contemplates the licensing relationship between BCA and its direct licensees. For the purposes of this End User Letter Agreement, all necessary changes are deemed to be made to that document for it to apply to the licensing relationship between you and Data Systems and Services.

Can older versions of the data be stored? 

Older versions of the data can be stored provided these data are “secure”, as defined by the agreement, and only accessible to people who have signed the EULA.

Full details are available in the License Terms and Conditions page and documents. See here (i'll add a link to the final agreement here).

Is there any indication of the size of the data files?

The weekly update XML files range from 1-5 MB each.
Residential building files, produced quarterly: 420 MB for the most months.
Commercial building file, produced quarterly: 15 MB
Permits files, produced monthly: < 1 MB

The downloadable packages may be over 1 GB zipped. As an example, the “January 2022 Data Advice update to 2023 roll” is a 1.2GB zipped download which includes five sets of the weekly CSV files.
The annual XML file- “Assessment Roll Data Advice (annual, revised – March 31 2022)” is an 800MB zipped download that balloons to more than 15GB when unzipped. 

Each week, BC Data Service produces a snapshot and makes them available for a year. Those are zipped CSV files that are created by loading the XML file and all updates. The size is roughly 300MB for a set of 6 zipped files.   

Are use statistics available for insitutional access of the data?

Librarians should record their own use statistics. While the BC Data Service does collect access statistics, the reports may not be formatted in a way that is useful to individual libraries.

In the case of joint research projects between instituions, or with external researchers, can a subscriber share the BC Assessment data?

No. The data is only available to researchers of the institution that signed the EULA. At this time, the data is not available to researchers outside of BC and cannot be shared with researchers from institutions outside of the signing institution.

How can I get assistance with the data?

Data librarians can reach out to BC Data Service directly for assistance. General assistance, and help using the data can be found on the Data Systems and Services Client Hub.

Key Partners

BC Data Service is working on behalf of BC Assessment, in partnership with BC ELN, to provide access for BC post-secondary partner libraries to 4 data sets that are not available on the open web.

BC Data Service

BC Data Service provides technical tools and services to maximize data’s use and value for government and the broader public sector. It is responsible for the BC Data Catalogue, where the BC Assessment data is catalogued.

BC Data Service has taken on the role of distributing BC Assessment data in order to standardize and streamline the process for members of the B.C. Government and certain individuals within post-secondary institutions. An added benefit of this agreement is that the data is now available without cost to individuals for the service. The data is still owned by BC Assessment, and they have certain criteria that must be met in order to use these data, which are identified in the End User Letter Agreement.

BC Assessment

BC Assessment operates as an independent, provincial Crown corporation, governed by a Board of Directors and is accountable to the Government of B.C. It develops and maintains real property assessments throughout British Columbia in addition to providing real property information. BC Assessment has a level of information available at no costs on the open web, while other data sets require an intermediary to access.

BC Electronic Library Network

The British Columbia Electronic Library Network (BC ELN) is a consortium of 33 private and public post-secondary libraries. BC ELN's purpose is to develop and support system-wide mechanisms that allow post-secondary libraries to equitably meet the expanding information needs of learners, educators, and researchers at the lowest possible cost. These mechanisms ensure learners in British Columbia have equitable access to resources and services that support their academic success.


Questions about the BC ELN-BC Data Service Partnership? Contact Reba Ouimet at