You may have seen hints of it before, but the US government data portal, data.gov, has just announced officially that its next iteration – “data.gov 2.0” – will incorporate CKAN, the open-source data management system whose development is led and co-ordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation. The OKF itself is one of the organisations helping to implement the upgrade.
Like all governments, the US collects vast amounts of data in the course of its work. Because of its commitment to Open Data tens of thousands of datasets are openly published through data.gov. The new-look data.gov will be a major enhancement, and will for the first time bring together geospatial data with other kinds of data in one place.
CKAN is fast becoming an industry standard, and the US will become the latest to benefit from its powerful user interface for searching and browsing, rich metadata support, harvesting systems to help ingest data from existing government IT systems, and machine interface, helping developers to find and re-use the data. The partnership is also excellent news for CKAN, which is being improved with enhancements to its features for ingesting and handling geodata.
As it happens, CKAN itself is also moving towards a version 2.0. In fact, after months of hard work, the beta-version of CKAN 2.0 will hopefully be released in a couple of weeks. To keep up to date with developments, follow the CKAN blog or follow @CKANproject on Twitter.
Mark is the Open Knowledge Foundation's Open Data Evangelist. Follow him at @opendatamark on Twitter.