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Project CKAN

- October 18, 2013 in ckan, development, getting involved, membership, News, Roadmap

Over the last few years CKAN has seen impressive growth in technology, uptake, number of deployments and in the vendor and developer communities. It is now the basis of dozens of major sites around the world, including national data portals in the UK, US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Austria and Norway. Once, almost all core CKAN development was done by the Open Knowledge Foundation; now, there are an increasing number of developers and providers, deploying, customising and working with CKAN. We believe that, as with many open-source projects when they achieve a certain size, the time has come to bring some more structure to the community of CKAN developers and users. By doing so we aim to provide a solid foundation for the future growth of the project, and to more explicitly empower its growing array of stakeholders. We are therefore proposing to create an independent, self-governed CKAN project at the Open Knowledge Foundation, separate from our own CKAN developments and offerings, to guide the future development and direction of the software. The main proposed actions are:
  • To establish a steering group and advisory board to oversee the project and represent the growing number of stakeholders.
  • To establish specific groups or teams to look after specific areas; in particular, a “technical group” to oversee technical development and a “content and outreach group” to oversee materials (including project website) and to drive community and user engagement.
  • To establish a membership model for stakeholders to support the long-term sustainability of the project.
The project will still have its formal institutional home at the Open Knowledge Foundation, and enjoy support and participation from our CKAN team. But it will be autonomous and will have its own independent governance, from a board drawn from major CKAN stakeholders. The Open Knowledge Foundation will continue to contribute at all levels, but this approach will allow others – from government users to suppliers of CKAN services – to have a formal role in the future development and direction of CKAN. Over the next couple of weeks we will be introducing a new structure for development (how to become a core contributor etc) and governance (steering committee and supporting ckan.org as a member) and we would love to hear your ideas and feedback. Please either get in touch or place ideas in this open project ckan document and watch this space for more posts soon!

Civil Society Day and Unconference at the OGP

- October 16, 2013 in Events, Open Government Data

The Open Government Partnership Summit is the primary forum for the global community of openness reformers from all backgrounds – government, civil society and private sector – to come together and engage with each other. We’ve been helping organise the OGP Civil Society Day – the day before the Summit – which will provide an informal opportunity for over 400 civil society actors that are involved in OGP to connect, interact, learn and strategize. If you’re coming along, make sure to join us at the Unconference, which we will be running all day in parallel with the main sessions. IMG_8024
  • What? The Open Government Partnership Civil Society Day and Unconference
  • When? Wednesday 30th October, 8.30 – 17.00
  • Where? University of London Union, Malet Street.
  • Social media: Follow #CSOday #OGP13
  • More details: on the event page

What will we be talking about?

The objective of the day is that the OGP civil society community is energized, broadened, connected and, overall, is prepared for both the OGP Summit and for engaging with the OGP process in their own countries. The day will address these themes: Broaden: why and how to broaden the actors, issues and countries involved in OGP
Deepen: how to deepen the partnerships, push the level of ambition and create better plans
Connect: network with people working in different countries and on different issues, but facing similar realities
Inspire: hear inspiring stories from across the globe and explore new open government frontiers

Unconference

Create your own agenda! Is there a discussion that needs to happen? Do you want to ask questions, present finding for feedback or write up best practices or principles? We will be holding ‘Unconference’ sessions alongside the main agenda for the whole day. Propose a 30 minutes session on the day or sign up to do a 5 minute talk on your project, organisation or cause in one of the two ‘lightning talk’ sessions. Get in touch if you have an idea for this now.

More info

To see the full programme, click here
The event is now fully booked. Open Government Partnership (OGP) Logo The OGP Civil Society Day is organised by the OGP, the OGP Civil Society Coordination Team, the Open Knowledge Foundation and Involve. Specific sessions are prepared by Access Info Europe, Alianza Regional, OpenCorporates, Open Rights Group, Publish What You Pay, World Resource Institute and the Transparency & Accountability Initiative.

CKAN Roadmap goes public

- June 24, 2013 in ckan, contributing, News, Roadmap

Now that CKAN 2.0 is out, what should the next direction be for CKAN? New features, easier customisation, more data previews, UI tweaks… we’ve had plenty of ideas and suggestions, and we’d like you, the CKAN community, to help shape the direction and future of CKAN.

So, we’ve created a public CKAN Roadmap using Trello! CKAN is open source and there are lots of ways to get involved:

  • Prioritise features: see something you want? Vote it up (by clicking on the card and pressing the ‘vote’ button)!
  • Specify implementation: comment on a feature card with requirements, edge cases to consider or related work that exists.
  • Contribute code: Are you a coder working on something like one of these features? Let us know! Add a comment to the card, and e-mail the dev list.
  • Sponsor: See a feature listed you’d really like in CKAN, but don’t have the skills to implement yourself? You can sponsor the feature by paying for the developer time needed to create it. Just, write to info[at]ckan.org or using our contact form.
  • Suggest: Is there some great feature that you can’t see on the roadmap? Add it to our github wiki page and kickstart a discussion on the discussion list.

Roadmap screenshot

About the roadmap

On the roadmap, you’ll find four columns of cards:

  • Ideas / requests: there are lots of ideas that have been put forward. Which of them would you find most valuable?
  • Backlog: These are things we plan to work on, but haven’t started yet.
  • In progress: Stuff our developers are working on at the moment.
  • Done: These are features that have recently been developed and will appear in a release of CKAN soon. Click on a card to see more details.

For actual bugs and issues, it is still best to report them on our github issue tracker. For general Q&A please use stackoverflow or drop a note to our open community dev list.

U.S. government’s data portal Data.gov relaunched on CKAN

- May 23, 2013 in ckan, ckan 2.0, data.gov, Deployments, News, Open Source, Releases

Today, we are excited to announce that our work with the US Federal Government (data.gov) has gone live at catalog.data.gov! You can also read the announcement from the data.gov blog with their description of the new catalog.

Catalog.Data.gov

The Open Knowledge Foundation’s Services team, which deploys CKAN, have been working hard on a new unified catalog to replace the numerous previously existing catalogs of data.gov. All geospatial and raw data is federated into a single portal where data from different portals, sources and catalogs is displayed in a beautiful standardized user interface allowing users to search, filter and facet through thousands of datasets.

This is a key part of the U.S. meeting their newly announced Open Data Policy and marks data.gov’s first major step into open source. All the code is available on Github and data.gov plan to make their CKAN / Drupal set-up reusable for others as part of OGPL.

As one of the first major production sites to launch with the shiny new CKAN 2.0, data.gov takes advantage of the much improved information architecture, templating and distributed scalable authorization model. CKAN provides data.gov with a web interface for over 200 publishing organizations to manage their members, harvest sources and datasets – supporting requirements being outlined in Project Open Data. This means that agencies can maintain their data sources individually, schedule regular refreshes of the metadata into the central repository and manage an approval workflow.

There have been many additions to CKAN’s geospatial functionality, most notably a fast and elegant geospatial search:

Geospatial search filter

We have added robust support for harvesting FGDC and ISO 19139 documents from WAFs, single spatial documents, CSW endpoints, ArcGIS portals, Z39:50 sources, ESRI Geoportal Servers as well as other CKAN catalogs. This is available for re-use as part of our harvesting and spatial extensions.

Most importantly, this is a big move towards greater accessibility and engagement with re-users. Not only is metadata displayed through a browsable web interface (instead of XML files), there is now a comprehensive CKAN API with access to all web functionality including search queries and downloads which respects user and publisher permission settings. Users can preview the data in graphic previews as well as exploring Web Map Services, whilst the dataset page provides context, browsable tags, dataset extent, and maintainers.

Web Map Service

As data.gov invites users to get involved and provide feedback, we would also like to say that we are really excited about CKAN’s future. We have a very active mailing list, new documentation for installing CKAN and ways to contribute to the code for anyone wanting to join the CKAN community.

If you’re launching a CKAN portal soon or have one we don’t know about, let us know and we’ll make sure to add you to our wall of awesome!

U.S. government’s data portal relaunched on CKAN

- May 23, 2013 in ckan, data.gov, Featured, News, Open Data, Open Source, Releases

Today, we are excited to announce that our work with the US Federal Government (data.gov) has gone live at catalog.data.gov! You can also read the announcement from the data.gov blog with their description of the new catalog.

Catalog.Data.gov

The Open Knowledge Foundation’s Services team, which deploys CKAN, have been working hard on a new unified catalog to replace the numerous previously existing catalogs of data.gov. All geospatial and raw data is federated into a single portal where data from different portals, sources and catalogs is displayed in a beautiful standardized user interface allowing users to search, filter and facet through thousands of datasets.

This is a key part of the U.S. meeting their newly announced Open Data Policy and marks data.gov’s first major step into open source. All the code is available on Github and data.gov plan to make their CKAN / Drupal set-up reusable for others as part of OGPL.

As one of the first major production sites to launch with the shiny new CKAN 2.0, data.gov takes advantage of the much improved information architecture, templating and distributed scalable authorization model. CKAN provides data.gov with a web interface for over 200 publishing organizations to manage their members, harvest sources and datasets – supporting requirements being outlined in Project Open Data. This means that agencies can maintain their data sources individually, schedule regular refreshes of the metadata into the central repository and manage an approval workflow.

There have been many additions to CKAN’s geospatial functionality, most notably a fast and elegant geospatial search:

Geospatial search filter

We have added robust support for harvesting FGDC and ISO 19139 documents from WAFs, single spatial documents, CSW endpoints, ArcGIS portals, Z39:50 sources, ESRI Geoportal Servers as well as other CKAN catalogs. This is available for re-use as part of our harvesting and spatial extensions.

Most importantly, this is a big move towards greater accessibility and engagement with re-users. Not only is metadata displayed through a browsable web interface (instead of XML files), there is now a comprehensive CKAN API with access to all web functionality including search queries and downloads which respects user and publisher permission settings. Users can preview the data in graphic previews as well as exploring Web Map Services, whilst the dataset page provides context, browsable tags, dataset extent, and maintainers.

Web Map Service

As data.gov invites users to get involved and provide feedback, we would also like to say that we are really excited about CKAN’s future. We have a very active mailing list, new documentation for installing CKAN and ways to contribute to the code for anyone wanting to join the CKAN community.

If you’re launching a CKAN portal soon or have one we don’t know about, let us know and we’ll make sure to add you to our wall of awesome!

CKAN 2.0 beta has arrived!

- February 27, 2013 in ckan 2.0, News, Releases

Work on what has become the 2.0 release started back in June last year when we decided that a more user friendly cleaner simpler CKAN was the next step to raise the profile and usefulness of open data portals. We went back to basics and redesigned the theme to focus on the core parts of CKAN: discoverability of data for end users and better data management tools for publishers. Instructions to install or upgrade are below and you can go play around with it on beta.ckan.org – just create an account to try out all the funcitonality. You’ll see a more engaging search page that highlights the use of facets and search result sorting as well as the keyword search; a redesigned dataset page showcasing resources, tags, activity streams and re-use of data (the “related” tab); a new multistep dataset registration process to guide publishers as well as a scalable authorization model for managing access rights to datasets (more info below under ‘Organisations’).

Highlights

Organisations

We’ve simplified the authorisation model for datasets. Previously a dataset was ‘owned’ by the user who added it to the portal – edit or admin access to the dataset had to be manually added one by one. This made it harder to distribute management of datasets for large portals with numerous publisher accounts for multiple publishing organizations (e.g. Departments or Agencies). In 2.0, by default, datasets always belong to an organisation (e.g. Department of Health, Office of National Statistics etc) and access rights are automatically allocated depending on the organisation access level members have. So if your department has 1 admin, 5 editors (add/edit/delete datasets, but no member management access) and 10 members (can see org private datasets, member, editor, admin accounts, but not add or edit anything) then any dataset that one of the editors adds will be editable by any of the other 4 editors or the admin.

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 12.16.54

Activity Streams

Datasets, users and groups now generate activity streams that can be ‘followed’.

Group activity screenshot

Templating

We have switched our templating engine to use Jinja2, making it easier to customize CKAN. We’ve found this to be much more designer friendly and intuitive than Genshi. It’s also generally cleaner and renders faster. We’re also able to extend templates (for example by extensions) in a less invasive way than previously using the {% ckan_extends %} template tag. Note: Jinja2 templates do not support the IGenshiStreamFilter extension point, so extensions should either extend templates or provide template helper functions via the ITemplateHelpers extension point.

Installing or upgrading

This first beta release is aimed mainly at developers, and is only available via source install. You can refer to the “Install from Source” instructions or the “Upgrading a source install” sections on the documentation depending on your needs. In either case, make sure to point the repository to the 2.0 release branch (release-v2.0):
  • For first time source installs, in section 2b use:
pip install -e 'git+https://github.com/okfn/ckan.git@release-v2.0#egg=ckan'
  • For source install upgrades, in section 2 use:
git checkout release-v2.0
Note that this is a major version change and there are significant backwards incompatible changes, so if you are upgrading an existing instance make sure to backup your database before trying to upgrade it. Our supported extensions are currently being upgraded, and the degree of support for CKAN 2.0b varies depending on the extension. If you are using custom extensions on your instance, it is likely that you will need some work to upgrade them to 2.0. We are working on new documentation explaining how to upgrade from 1.X to 2.0, but in meantime to test this beta release we recommend disabling all extensions and enabling them one by one to see which ones will require updating. In case of doubt, feel free to send an email to the mailing list or ask on the IRC channel. As with all beta releases, you are bound to find bugs or things that need improvement. We are still working on the proper stable release, and collecting all pending issues on this milestone on GitHub Issues: https://github.com/okfn/ckan/issues?milestone=1&state=open We would love to hear any feedback and bug reports, feel free to send them to the mailing list or add an issue to GitHub.

What’s coming next

We’re now working on a dataset approval workflow for moving datasets from private to public state as well as support for bulk actions and harvesting management interfaces. We’ll also be adding tweaks and improvements as people use the beta and provide feedback, as well as activity stream support for organisations.

Join CKAN team for Open Government Platform (OGPL) webinar, 19-20th December

- December 19, 2012 in Events, News

The CKAN team will be joining a webinar on the Open Government Platform (OGPL), an open source platform for open data and open government. Jeanne Holme, Evangelist for Data.gov writes:
We’ve been working hard on the Open Government Platform (OGPL), an open source capability for open data and open government around the world. This has been an active collaboration with the National Infomatics Centre of the Government of India and the US Government Data.gov team. The decision to move to an open source platform has been both challenging and rewarding. As with any open source capability, the code is only as strong as the community around it. We are getting close to releasing the first complete package of OGPL and would like to get your ideas, feedback, and commits before we proceed. To help with this, we will be holding two information webinars this week (Wednesday and Thursday, December 19 and 20, 2012), and have updated the code and documentation on Github.
We’re delighted that CKAN will be part of the OGPL (watch this space for further details!). An agenda and further details for how to join the calls are available here.