Glossary

API:

Acronym for application programming interface. A set of interfaces, methods, protocols, and tools that application developers use to build or customize a software program. APIs make it easier to develop a program by providing building blocks of prewritten, tested, and documented code that are incorporated into the new program. APIs can be built for any programming language.

Attribute:

Nonspatial information about a geographic feature in a GIS, usually stored in a table and linked to the feature by a unique identifier. For example, attributes of a river might include its name, length, and sediment load at a gauging station.

BitTorrent:

A communications protocol of peer-to-peer file sharing ("P2P") which is used to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet.

CKAN:

A web-based open source management system for the storage and distribution of open data. Being initially inspired by the package management capabilities of Linux, [2] CKAN has developed into a powerful data catalogue system that is mainly used by public institutions to share their data with the general public.

Connectivity:

  • The way in which features in GIS data are attached to one another functionally or spatially.
  • In a geodatabase, the state of association between edges and junctions in a network system for network data models. Connectivity helps define and control flow, tracing, and pathfinding in a network.

Coordinate System:

A reference framework consisting of a set of points, lines, and/or surfaces, and a set of rules, used to define the positions of points in space in either two or three dimensions. The Cartesian coordinate system and the geographic coordinate system used on the earth's surface are common examples of coordinate systems.

CSV File:

A simple file format used to store tabular data, such as a spreadsheet or database.

Dataset:

Any collection of related data and/or information, usually grouped or stored together.

DWG:

A proprietary binary file format used for storing two- and three- dimensional design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD software packages.

ESRI Shapefile:

A vector data storage format for storing the location, shape, and attributes of geographic features. A shapefile is stored in a set of related files and contains one feature class.

Format:

In computing, the structure and organization of digital information.

GTFS:

GTFS feed is composed of a series of text files collected in a ZIP file. Each file models a particular aspect of transit information: stops, routes, trips, and other schedule data. The details of each file are defined in the GTFS reference.

Hackathon:

A design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including subject-matter-experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.

JSON File:

Acronym for JavaScript Object Notation. A lightweight, human-readable data interchange format. An alternative to XML, JSON is language independent but relies on common programming language structures such as objects and arrays.

KML:

An XML notation for expressing geographic annotation and visualization within Internet-based, two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers.

Metadata:

Information that describes the content, quality, condition, origin, and other characteristics of data or other pieces of information. Metadata for spatial data may describe and document its subject matter; how, when, where, and by whom the data was collected; availability and distribution information; its projection, scale, resolution, and accuracy; and its reliability with regard to some standard. Metadata consists of properties and documentation. Properties are derived from the data source (for example, the coordinate system and projection of the data), while documentation is entered by a person (for example, keywords used to describe the data).

Open Data:

The City of Regina Open Data website provides the public with "self-serve" access to City data and information for download or viewing in different formats, allows the public to do simple data analysis, mapping and chart creation and to develop applications.

Open Engagement:

Open Engagement provides the public with a platform for participation in open dialogue. The City uses YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to provide up-to-date and relevant information to citizens. Citizens can also comment, post and interact with the City using these tools.

Open Government:

The City is committed to the principles of Open Government: transparency, accountability, accessibility and public participation. The City's Open Government Program includes three pillars: Open Data, Open Engagement and Open Information.

Open Information:

The City recognizes the public's right of access to information in the possession or under the control of the City, as articulated through The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LAFOIPP). The City proactively discloses internal records that are likely to be of interest to the general public as well as certain records that have been requested through the Freedom of Information process.

PDF File:

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

REST:

Acronym for Representational State Transfer. An architecture for exchanging information between peers in a decentralized, distributed environment. REST allows programs on different computers to communicate independently of an operating system or platform by sending a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request to a uniform resource locator (URL) and getting back data in some format for example, XML, or inside a URL. REST is used in Web services.

RSS:

Acronym for Really Simple Syndication, Resource Description Framework (RDF) Site Summary, or Rich Site Summary, depending on the source. A simple, structured XML format for sharing content among different Web sites. RSS documents include key metadata elements such as author, date, title, a brief description, and a hypertext link. This information helps a user (or an RSS publisher service) decide what materials are worth further investigation. Examples include news feeds, events lists, news stories, headlines, and excerpts from blogs and discussion forums.

SOAP:

An XML-based protocol developed by Microsoft, SAP, and IBM for exchanging information between peers in a decentralized, distributed environment. SOAP allows programs on different computers to communicate independently of an operating system or platform by using the World Wide Web's Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and XML as the basis of information exchange. SOAP is used in Web services and is now a W3C specification. SOAP was originally an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol, but the acronym has fallen out of use.

Tag:

Key words or descriptors used to categorize or classify information (such as images or text) on webpages. Tags enable users to search for content with identical tags.

Text File:

A text file (sometimes called "textfile") is a kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines.

URL:

Acronym for uniform resource locator. A standard format for the addresses of Web sites. A URL may look like this: http://www.esri.com. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use (such as http: or ftp:), while the second part specifies the IP address or the host name (including the domain name) where the website is located. An optional third part may specify the path to a specific file or resource (http://www.esri.com/products.html).

Web Service:

A software component accessible over the World Wide Web for use in other applications. Web services are built using industry standards such as XML and SOAP, and thus are not dependent on any particular operating system or programming language, allowing access to them through a wide range of applications.

XLS File:

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.

XML/XML Feed:

Acronym for Extensible Markup Language. Developed by the W3C, a standardized general purpose markup language for designing text formats that facilitates the interchange of data between computer applications. XML is a set of rules for creating standard information formats using customized tags and sharing both the format and the data across applications.