W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-egov-ig@w3.org > February 2010

Re: [okfn-help] Fwd: Universal distributed open government data catalog?

From: Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock@okfn.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 13:27:41 +0000
Message-ID: <b68e90821002030527r1bc9a08awdf002045a14e8d29@mail.gmail.com>
To: Peter Krantz <peter.krantz@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>, Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>, OKFN Help <okfn-help@lists.okfn.org>, eGov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, William Waites <ww@styx.org>
On 3 February 2010 12:29, Peter Krantz <peter.krantz@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 13:14, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock@okfn.org> wrote:
>> Peter: I know we're already in contact regarding CKAN and
>> opengov-catalog stuff. Using an Atom-based format like the one you
>> outline above might be a good wayt to start pushing and pulling info
>> between the two systems?
> Let's try it out! The only thing that differs I guess is that the
> opengov catalogs will contain datasets that are not (yet) considered
> open and that we need a way to distinguish those from the pure ones
> that CKAN is interested in. So license type may be a key area to agree
> on.

To clarify here, we're currently fairly liberal in what we allow into
ckan.net, and do not confine ourselves to datasets/packages which are
open (in the sense of conforming to http://www.opendefinition.org/) --
when we start 3 years ago so few datasets had *any* license info that
if we had stuck to strictly open (which requires an explicit license)
we would have had nothing! Thus ckan.net license list contains a whole
set of options for non-OKD-compliant cases including license absent,
CC-noncommercial, standard copyright/DB rights etc. The current list
of license options we use is at:


Furthermore I should note the CKAN system is designed to be very
generic and can catalogue any type of package/dataset (not just open
ones). In particular the license list is completely configurable (just
add more items into the License table!) so you can install a CKAN
instance with any list of licenses you want.

> In earlier discussions I have been thinking about a process model
> where opengov-catalogs highlight datasets and discussion around those
> in order to make them open (and transferable to CKAN).

That sounds a good process :)

I don't know whether you've seen our service (in alpha since last
summer and about to go beta -- fingers crossed):


The idea was for this to be linked into ckan.net or other sites (such
as opengov-catalogs) and allow people to easily make "open this up"
requests to data holders.

> As soon as I manage to find some more VoiD examples for simple
> datasets in our use case it should be fairly straigtforward. Are there
> VoiD people here that could provide some pointers?

We've been considering using VoID on semantic.ckan.net (we're
currently at the half-way house of scovo). Will Waites (in cc now) who
has been doing the work on semantic.ckan.net may have more to say on

Open Knowledge Foundation
Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age
http://www.okfn.org/ - http://blog.okfn.org/
Received on Thursday, 4 February 2010 12:27:38 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:00:42 UTC