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CKAN 2.6.0 released, patch versions for 2.3.x, 2.4.x and 2.5.x available

- November 2, 2016 in Releases

We are happy to announce that CKAN 2.6.0 is now released. In addition, new patch releases for older versions of CKAN are now available to download and install. CKAN 2.6 The 2.6.0 release includes improvements on how private datasets are shown on search results, as well as several other minor improvements and over 50 bug fixes. You can check all individual changes on the CHANGELOG. Thank you very much to all the almost 30 community members that have submitted patches since the last release. If you have customizations or extensions, we suggest you trial the upgrade first in a test environment and refer to the changes in the changelog. Upgrade instructions are below. As there aren’t many major changes since the last version upgrading should be relatively straight-forward. Note that as previously announced, starting from this version, CKAN requires at least Python 2.7 and Postgres 9.2. CKAN patch releases These new patch releases for CKAN 2.3.x, 2.4.x and 2.5.x (2.3.5, 2.4.4 and 2.5.3) fix important bugs and security issues, so users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest patch release for the CKAN version they are using. For a list of the fixes included you can check the CHANGELOG. Upgrading For details on how to upgrade, see the following links depending on your install method: Upgrading CKAN. If you find any issue, you can let the technical team know in the mailing list or the IRC channel.  

CKAN 2.5 released, patch versions for 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x and 2.4.x available

- December 17, 2015 in Releases

We are happy to announce that CKAN 2.5 is now released. In addition, new patch releases for older versions of CKAN are now available to download and install. CKAN 2.5 The 2.5 release (actually 2.5.1 as we skipped 2.5.0) offers speed improvements to the home page, searching and several other key pages and API. In addition, CKAN extensions can provide language translations in a more integrated way. And it’s now easy to customize the file uploader to suit using different cloud providers. 2.5 also includes plenty of other improvements contributed by the CKAN developer community during the past 4 months, as detailed in the CHANGELOG. If you have customizations or extensions, we suggest you trial the upgrade first in a test environment and refer to the changes in the changelog. Upgrade instructions are below. CKAN patch releases These new patch releases for CKAN 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x and 2.4.x fix important bugs and security issues, so users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest patch release for the CKAN version they are using. For a list of the fixes included you can check the CHANGELOG. Upgrading For details on how to upgrade, see the following links depending on your install method: If you find any issue, you can let the technical team know in the mailing list or the IRC channel.  

CKAN 2.5 released, patch versions for 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x and 2.4.x available

- December 17, 2015 in Releases

We are happy to announce that CKAN 2.5 is now released. In addition, new patch releases for older versions of CKAN are now available to download and install. CKAN 2.5 The 2.5 release (actually 2.5.1 as we skipped 2.5.0) offers speed improvements to the home page, searching and several other key pages and API. In addition, CKAN extensions can provide language translations in a more integrated way. And it’s now easy to customize the file uploader to suit using different cloud providers. 2.5 also includes plenty of other improvements contributed by the CKAN developer community during the past 4 months, as detailed in the CHANGELOG. If you have customizations or extensions, we suggest you trial the upgrade first in a test environment and refer to the changes in the changelog. Upgrade instructions are below. CKAN patch releases These new patch releases for CKAN 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x and 2.4.x fix important bugs and security issues, so users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest patch release for the CKAN version they are using. For a list of the fixes included you can check the CHANGELOG. Upgrading For details on how to upgrade, see the following links depending on your install method: If you find any issue, you can let the technical team know in the mailing list or the IRC channel.  

New Report: “Open Budget Data: Mapping the Landscape”

- September 2, 2015 in digital methods, Featured, financial transparency, issue mapping, open budget data, Open Data, Open Government Data, Policy, Public Money, Releases, research

We’re pleased to announce a new report, “Open Budget Data: Mapping the Landscape” undertaken as a collaboration between Open Knowledge, the Global Initiative for Financial Transparency and the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam. The report offers an unprecedented empirical mapping and analysis of the emerging issue of open budget data, which has appeared as ideals from the open data movement have begun to gain traction amongst advocates and practitioners of financial transparency. In the report we chart the definitions, best practices, actors, issues and initiatives associated with the emerging issue of open budget data in different forms of digital media to navigate this developing field and to identify trends, gaps and opportunities for supporting it. In doing so, our objective is to enable practitioners – in particular civil society organisations, intergovernmental organisations, governments, multilaterals and funders – to navigate this developing field and to identify trends, gaps and opportunities for supporting it. How public money is collected and distributed is one of the most pressing political questions of our time, influencing the health, well-being and prospects of billions of people. Decisions about fiscal policy affect everyone-determining everything from the resourcing of essential public services, to the capacity of public institutions to take action on global challenges such as poverty, inequality or climate change. Digital technologies have the potential to transform the way that information about public money is organised, circulated and utilised in society, which in turn could shape the character of public debate, democratic engagement, governmental accountability and public participation in decision-making about public funds. Data could play a vital role in tackling the democratic deficit in fiscal policy and in supporting better outcomes for citizens. The report includes the following recommendations:
  1. CSOs, IGOs, multilaterals and governments should undertake further work to identify, engage with and map the interests of a broader range of civil society actors whose work might benefit from open fiscal data, in order to inform data release priorities and data standards work. Stronger feedback loops should be established between the contexts of data production and its various contexts of usage in civil society – particularly in journalism and in advocacy.

  2. Governments, IGOs and funders should support pilot projects undertaken by CSOs and/or media organisations in order to further explore the role of data in the democratisation of fiscal policy – especially in relation to areas which appear to have been comparatively under-explored in this field, such as tax distribution and tax base erosion, or tracking money through from revenues to results.

  3. Governments should work to make data “citizen readable” as well as “machine readable”, and should take steps to ensure that information about flows of public money and the institutional processes around them are accessible to non-specialist audiences – including through documentation, media, events and guidance materials. This is a critical step towards the greater democratisation and accountability of fiscal policy.

  4. Further research should be undertaken to explore the potential implications and impacts of opening up information about public finance which is currently not routinely disclosed, such as more detailed data about tax revenues – as well as measures needed to protect the personal privacy of individuals.

  5. CSOs, IGOs, multilaterals and governments should work together to promote and adopt consistent definitions of open budget data, open spending data and open fiscal data in order to establish the legal and technical openness of public information about public money as a global norm in financial transparency.

CKAN 2.4 release and patch releases

- July 22, 2015 in Releases

We are happy to announce that CKAN 2.4 is now released. In addition, new patch releases for older versions of CKAN are now available to download and install. CKAN 2.4 The 2.4 release brings a way to set the CKAN config via environment variables and via the API, which is useful for automated deployment setups. 2.4 also includes plenty of other improvements contributed by the CKAN developer community during the past 4 months, as detailed in the 2.4.0 CHANGELOG If you have customizations or extensions, we suggest you trial the upgrade first in a test environment and refer to the changes in the changelog. Upgrade instructions are below. CKAN patch releases These new patch releases for CKAN 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x and 2.3.x fix important bugs and security issues, so users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest patch release for the CKAN version they are using. For a list of the fixes included you can check the CHANGELOG: Upgrading For details on how to upgrade, see the following links depending on your install method: If you find any issue, you can let the technical team know in the mailing list or the IRC channel.  

Presenting public finance just got easier

- March 20, 2015 in Extensions, Feature, Featured, Releases, visualization

mexico_ckan_openspending CKAN 2.3 is out! The world-famous data handling software suite which powers data.gov, data.gov.uk and numerous other open data portals across the world has been significantly upgraded. How can this version open up new opportunities for existing and coming deployments? Read on. One of the new features of this release is the ability to create extensions that get called before and after a new file is uploaded, updated, or deleted on a CKAN instance. This may not sound like a major improvement  but it creates a lot of new opportunities. Now it’s possible to analyse the files (which are called resources in CKAN) and take them to new uses based on that analysis. To showcase how this works, Open Knowledge in collaboration with the Mexican government, the World Bank (via Partnership for Open Data), and the OpenSpending project have created a new CKAN extension which uses this new feature. It’s actually two extensions. One, called ckanext-budgets listens for creation and updates of resources (i.e. files) in CKAN and when that happens the extension analyses the resource to see if it conforms to the data file part of the Budget Data Package specification. The budget data package specification is a relatively new specification for budget publications, designed for comparability, flexibility, and simplicity. It’s similar to data packages in that it provides metadata around simple tabular files, like a csv file. If the csv file (a resource in CKAN) conforms to the specification (i.e. the columns have the correct titles), then the extension automatically creates the Budget Data Package metadata based on the CKAN resource data and makes the complete Budget Data Package available. It might sound very technical, but it really is very simple. You add or update a csv file resource in CKAN and it automatically checks if it contains budget data in order to publish it on a standardised form. In other words, CKAN can now automatically produce standardised budget resources which make integration with other systems a lot easier. The second extension, called ckanext-openspending, shows how easy such an integration around standardised data is. The extension takes the published Budget Data Packages and automatically sends it to OpenSpending. From there OpenSpending does its own thing, analyses the data, aggregates it and makes it very easy to use for those who use OpenSpending’s visualisation library. So thanks to a perhaps seemingly insignificant extension feature in CKAN 2.3, getting beautiful and understandable visualisations of budget spreadsheets is now only an upload to a CKAN instance away (and can only get easier as the two extensions improve). To learn even more, see this report about the CKAN and OpenSpending integration efforts.

If ‘Change’ had a favourite number…it would be 2.3

- March 11, 2015 in Featured, Releases

There’s something about the number 2.3. It just rolls off the tongue with such an easy rectitude. Western families reportedly average 2.3 children; there were 2.3 million Americans out of work when Barrack Obama took Office; Starbucks go through 2.3 million paper cups a year. But the 2.3 that resonates with me most is 2.3 billion. That was the world population in the late 1940’s, and growing. WWII was over and we were finally able to stand up, dust off the despair of war and Depression, bask in a renewed confidence in the future, and make a lot of babies. We were on the brink of something and what those babies didn’t know yet was that they would grow up to usher in a wave of unprecedented social, economic and technological change.
We are on the brink again. Open data is gaining momentum faster than the Baby Boomers are growing old  and it has the potential to steer that wave of change in all manner of directions. We’re ready for the next 2.3. Enter CKAN 2.3.
Here are some of the most exciting updates:
  • Completely refactored resource data visualizations, allowing multiple persistent views of the same data an interface to manage and configure them. Check the updated documentation to know more, and the “Changes and deprecations” section for migration details: http://docs.ckan.org/en/ckan-2.3/maintaining/data-viewer.html

  • Responsive design for the default theme, that allows nicer rendering across different devices

  • Improved DataStore filtering and full text search capabilities

  • Added new extension points to modify the DataStore behaviour

  • Simplified two-step dataset creation process

  • Ability for users to regenerate their own API keys

  • Changes on the authentication mechanism to allow more secure set-ups. See “Changes and deprecations” section for more details and “Troubleshooting” for migration instructions.

  • Better support for custom dataset types

  • Updated documentation theme, now clearer and responsive

If you are upgrading from a previous version, make sure to check the “Changes and deprecations” section in the CHANGELOG, specially regarding the authorization configuration and data visualizations. To install the new version, follow the relevant instructions from the documentation depending on whether you are using a package or source install: http://docs.ckan.org/en/ckan-2.3/maintaining/installing/index.html If you are upgrading an existing CKAN instance, follow the upgrade instructions: http://docs.ckan.org/en/ckan-2.3/maintaining/upgrading/index.html We have also made available patch releases for the 2.0.x, 2.1.x and 2.2.x versions. It is important to apply these, as they contain important security and stability fixes. Patch releases are fully backwards compatible and really easy to install: http://docs.ckan.org/en/latest/maintaining/upgrading/upgrade-package-to-patch-release.html  

CKAN patch releases 2.0.5, 2.1.3 and 2.2.1 now available

- October 15, 2014 in Releases

We are happy to announce that new patch releases for CKAN 2.0.x, 2.1.x and 2.2.x are now available to download and install. These patch releases fix important bugs and security issues, so users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the latest patch release for the CKAN version they are using. For a list of the fixes included you can check the CHANGELOG: Patch release upgrades are very straight-forward and do not contain any backwards incompatible changes or involve any change in the requirements, database or Solr schema. As stated in the release policy, the latest patch release is the only one officially supported. For details on how to upgrade, see the following links depending on your install method: If you find any issue, you can let the technical team know in the mailing list or the IRC channel.  

A specification for Budget Data: Introducing the Budget Data Package

- July 17, 2014 in #contribute, Releases

As we descend into the buzz of the biggest week of the open calendar at OKFestival, the OpenSpending team wanted to quickly drop you a line about a piece of research we have been collaborating on together with the International Budget Partnership, Omidyar Network, and Google: a draft specification for budget data. As members of […]

The Open Knowledge Data Packager

- June 9, 2014 in Releases

Today we’re launching the Open Knowledge Data Packager! Data Packager is a web app for quickly creating and publishing Tabular Data Packages from collections of CSV files on your computer. You can register for a free user account and start creating data packages now, or take a look at a sample data package. With Data Packager’s simple interface you can create a data package, upload CSV files to it, enter some metadata, and get a web page where users can explore and download your data package. When you login, you’ll be taken to your dashboard, where you’ll see a list of any packages you’ve created so far and Add package button:
Data Packager dashboard screenshot

My Data Packager dashboard

Click the Add package button to create a new data package and you’ll be taken to a form where you can enter the title and other metadata for your package:
Creating a new data package

Creating a new data package

Click on Next: Add CSV files and you’ll be taken to a form where you can upload one or more CSV files to your data package:
Uploading CSV files to a new data package

Uploading CSV files to a new data package

Finally, click on Finish to create your data package. You’ll be taken to your data package’s page:
Browsing your newly created data package

Browsing your newly created data package

You can publish the URL of this page, or share it with anyone who you want to share your data package with.

Why Tabular Data Packages?

Tabular Data Packages (defined by the DataProtocols.org Tabular Data Package spec) are a simple and easy-to-use data publishing and sharing format for the web. A Tabular Data Package is a collection of CSV files with a datapackage.json file. The datapackage.json file contains metadata about the package (title of the package, description, keywords, license, etc.) and schemas for each of the package’s CSV files. The format is a good compromise between CSV and Excel, providing the simplicity and ease-of-use of CSV with some of the expressivity of full-blown spreadsheets. The schemas for the CSV files use the JSON Table Schema format, a simple format for tabular data schemas. It includes metadata for each of the CSV file’s columns (column name, type, description, etc.) and optional primary and foreign keys for the file.

Data Packager Features

After you’ve created your data package and uploaded some CSV files to it, Data Packager has a few nice features for you…

Download data packages

The Download Data Package button on your data package’s page will download a ZIP file including all of your package’s CSV files and the datapackage.json file containing the metadata you entered for your package and files, plus schemas for each of your files: Screenshot of Download Data Package button

Schema browser

Data Packager automatically generates a JSON Table Schema for each CSV file that you upload. The generated schema includes:
  • Column names for each of the file’s columns (taken from the CSV file’s header row, if it has one)
  • The type of the data in each column (string, number, date…), inferred from the values in the columns
  • Some descriptive statistics calculated for numerical columns (minimum and maximum values, mean, standard deviation…)
  • Temporal extents (earliest and latest dates) for date and time columns
By clicking on one of the CSV files on your data package’s page, you can browse the file’s schema using the schema browser. Each file’s page shows a preview of the CSV file contents, and by clicking on the columns in the preview you can inspect the schema for each column:
The schema browser

The schema browser

Schema editor

By clicking the Edit button on one of your CSV file’s pages, you can edit the file’s JSON Table Schema and add your own custom attributes. Data Packager validates all the changes that you make and gives helpful error messages if you try to save an invalid schema.
The schema editor

The schema editor

Primary and foreign keys

If you add primary and foreign keys to a CSV file’s schema, they’ll also be shown on the file’s page.
Primary and foreign keys

Primary and foreign keys

API

All of Data Packager’s features can also be used via its JSON API.

Open Source

Data Packager is 100% open source. You can:

Built with CKAN

Data Packager is built using CKAN, the highly-customisable open source data portal platform. All Data Packager features are implemented by a CKAN extension, ckanext-datapackager.