Re: Public Data Catalog Priorities and Demand

Hi Jose, Antti, all,

A note on catalogues. We are using VoID and SCOVO:

The catalog itself is also stored in a triple store where any person  
or application can fully query it and HTML, RDF, XML and other  
versions are delivered depending on who requests the information. We  
are quite happy with the results so far.

Also a note on Antti's previous message:
> ...
> 1. A easy way to get the BIG PICTURE of what kind of public sector
> information most propably exists (even if it is not open yet)
> in a typical country or city.
> 2. Some priorities from the information re-users point of view

My guess based on current experience is that this is not easy to  
compile. A national (Spain) report on eGov recently released states  
that the two most important information sets at regional (state) level  
for citizens are: organization chart and public job vacancies.
There's interesting RDFa work on the latter in the UK (already  
mentioned in this list):

Said that, there are much more variables that have an impact in an  
open data project. We have identified 20+ important ones, some are  
technical, some are organizational, some are policy-related... it's a  
tough and complicated issue.

I may be stating the obvious but... are you aware of the EC MEPSIR  
report? Can be quite helpful for your first question:

Also, my guess is that priorities shift not only depending on the many  
variables but also on the country and the government level we are  
talking about (local, regional, national...)

Just my 2 euro cents :-)

-- Jose

El 18/12/2009, a las 16:10, Joe Carmel escribió:
> I totally agree with you Antti.  I think and other government
> websites should be looking to use a standards-based data cataloging  
> format
> (e.g., extending AtomXML or OPDS) that allows entries link to be  
> data files
> or other catalogs.  Similar to sitemaps and HTML, governments would  
> publish
> a file at the root of their websites that provides a catalog to the  
> data
> files on their site.  By enabling the catalog format to point to other
> catalogs, a root catalog could point to sub-department level catalogs
> allowing data catalog management responsibilities to be distributed  
> within
> an organization.
> At present, governments use HTML in a variety of ways for data  
> cataloging.
> This looser approach has made it difficult to get one's arms around  
> all of
> the data being published at a given site. (e.g,
>  IMO,  
> if a
> standard data catalog format was used it would presumably be with  
> XML which
> would enable individual catalogs to "look" different from one site to
> another (using CSS or XSL), but the underlying data structures would  
> be the
> same--allowing for machine readability.
> By providing access to remote data storage, the Internet has been  
> used to
> publish data and documents.  Standard file names (index.htm,  
> main.htm) are
> used as HTML entry points for websites.  The default HTML file then  
> uses
> hypertext links to provide access to subsequent files.  In the same  
> way HTML
> provides links to any file, I believe that standardized catalog files
> pointing to sub-catalogs and data files could enable a more  
> searchable and
> usable web of data.
> Joe
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [ 
> ]
> On Behalf Of Antti Poikola
> Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 1:10 AM
> To: Jonathan Gray
> Cc: Steven Clift;;  
> Subject: Re: Public Data Catalog Priorities and Demand
> Hi,
> Please Jonathan, Steven and others, let us know if you find some
> visualization, categorization or prioritization that would clarify the
> "swamp" of public sector information sources.
> I'm looking for two things:
> 1. A easy way to get the BIG PICTURE of what kind of public sector
> information most propably exists (even if it is not open yet)
> in a typical country or city.
> 2. Some priorities from the information re-users point of view
> So far I have found only listings and catalogues that can be re- 
> ordered
> according to some topics (for example CKAN and, but these  
> are
> not really helping to give the big picture. From this kind of  
> catalogues
> it is easy to find some specific data source if you know what you are
> looking for, but if you just want to see what is out there and build  
> the
> overview the catalogues are not so helpful.
> Best regards
> -Antti "Jogi" Poikola
> Jonathan Gray kirjoitti:
>> Just to let you know, we're currently working on this with
>> Also very interested in thinking about how we can track how different
>> datasets are reused.
>> Jonathan
>> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 4:20 PM, Steven Clift <>
> wrote:
>>> Has anyone explored what government data is in highest "demand" on  
>>> the
>>> emerging public data reuse sites? How does interest from different
>>> re-user audiences vary (e.g.  business, media, open gov advocates,
>>> independent coders, etc.)
>>> Also, has anyone started a comparsion chart of what different
>>> governments are providing? It would be interesting to quickly see  
>>> what
>>> different national or local governments are providing now and over
>>> time. This gets to the "what's important" to release for easy reuse
>>> versus what is the easiest or least politically sensitive.
>>> Steven Clift
>>> --
>>> Steven Clift -
>>> Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
>>> Follow me -

Received on Sunday, 20 December 2009 18:51:11 UTC