Documentation and how-to

Downloading data

Last updated: February 29, 2024

Data are downloaded in .csv format in a standardized structure that conforms with the DS-WQX schema for water quality data. This format is machine-readable and facilitates harmonization of data across disparate datasets and monitoring programs.

Data can also be pulled directly from DataStream’s API.

Download a specific dataset from:

Download select data from across datasets using:

Download a specific dataset:

Dataset visualization tool

  • Next, from the pop-up window:
    • Read the dataset license, disclaimer and terms of use 
    • Select the intended data use and click ‘Agree and Download’ 

Two .csv files will be downloaded: one with the data and one with the dataset level metadata (including data licensing and citation).

Dataset page

  • Go to a dataset page from the dataset’s DOI link (this is a link that will never break and will always resolve to the dataset)
  • From the dataset page, click 'Download (CSV)'
  • From the pop-up window
    • Read the dataset license, disclaimer and terms of use
    • Click ‘OK’
  • You can also access dataset metadata from the dataset page in the following standardized formats:
    • ISO 19115
    • DCAT (json, xml)

Download select data from across datasets:

Custom Download tool

Use this tool to search across all the data being shared on a DataStream regional hub and generate a custom dataset that meets your specific interests.

  • Use search filters to customize your data download. These filters include:
    • Region (province/territory or watershed)
    • Monitoring Location Type (e.g., river/stream, lake/pond, estuary, etc.)
    • Characteristic (e.g., pH, mercury, etc.)
    • Media (e.g., surface water, ambient air, etc.)
    • Activity Type (e.g., field or lab data)
    • Timespan
  • Once the request is submitted, you will see how many observations meet your criteria. When the file (.csv) is ready, you will be able to click the 'Download' button. 
  • The first column in the custom download file will contain the DOI for the dataset that the related observation came from. You can use this DOI link to access the dataset level metadata (e.g., abstract, contact email, type of open data license, and recommended citation).

Many datasets on DataStream are published under an attribution license. This means that if you use the data the original source needs to be cited.

DataStream API

DataStream's API supports querying of the database to pull data of interest. Learn more.