We’ve been working hard to set up instances of CKAN for open government data – most notably in data.gov.uk but also for open government data in Germany, France, Canada and elsewhere.

We are currently soliciting for feedback on how we can improve CKAN’s user interface and for suggestions for new features. We’re also in touch with other working on other open source platforms for open government data such as Peter Kranz’s opengov.se, the Open New Zealand Catalogue and the Sunlight Foundation’s new National Data Catalogue. The longer term vision is to have data catalogues that are interoperable, and to allow federated searching, sorting and querying of datasets. With CKAN we are also working on things like supporting semantic web technologies, machine automated manipulation of datasets via a command line interface, how to federate between different instance, and internationalisation (i18n).

This Thursday we are having a virtual session to discuss all these things and more! If you are interested in making a data catalogue in your country: whether for open government data, open data in science or otherwise, we’d love to hear from you! Details are as follows:

  • When: Thursday 11th February 2010, 15-1800 GMT (16-1900 CET)
  • Where: Skype + Etherpad + IRC backchannel (connect at #okfn on irc.oftc.net or via web browser)
  • Participate: If you’d like to join, please drop us a line on the ckan-discuss list

For some background information and a list of existing catalogues, see the following post.

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.

3 thoughts on “Interested in making an open data catalogue? Virtual meeting on 11th February 2010”

  1. Hi, sounds like an interesting meeting – not sure if I’ll be able to make it though.

    Maybe I can drop in a couple of my CKAN wishlist items here:

    • when adding a package it would be great to specify a group the package belongs to on the package page (preferably via an autocomplete field)
    • adding autocomplete to the tags field would help reduce the number of similar tags
    • I’d love to see some delete functions added to the API – even if only available in dev mode – it’s hard to write repeatable tests against CKAN when you can’t clean up the test results
    • It would be helpful to have the option to receive the notes data as processed html rather than raw markdown, this would also make it possible to have ckan instances with WYSIWYG notes fields saving html to the database (I realise though that this would be an API change).
    • wildcard searches would be very useful (and search results on partial matches)
    • API – package creation date and package update date in results
    • API – interface to history
    • API – interface to most recent packages – and even better those since $date
    • Validation – ensure URLS are valid (or at least reasonable
    • Extras – allow sitewide definitions – so a CKAN instance can define all packages to have a ‘foo’ field that doesn’t have to be created for each package (ideally these could also have validation rules)

    Well I hope that’s helpful – sorry if it’s a bit of a long list.


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