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News from the CKAN team

February 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s been a big week for CKAN, starting with the announcement that CKAN will power a new data portal for the European Commission. This will be a big push for open data in Europe. It will be good for CKAN too, since as part of the agreement we will be developing a number of new features, including closer working with visualisations, better Drupal integration, and more support for multi-lingual content. Of course, once developed, all new features will be available to be deployed on your favourite CKAN server.

Development work

There’s lots of development work in progress. Here’s a round-up:

  • David has started working on the multi-lingual support. Although the CKAN interface is translated into many languages, there is not very good support yet for content in multiple languages. He’s been looking at making search deal intelligently with multi-lingual content and search requests, and at better ways to store translations of dataset records.
  • James and Adrià have been adding some features to the UK Location Programme, a project that allows a range of government departments, agencies, etc to publish geographic data into the (CKAN-powered) data portal data.gov.uk. UKLP pulls in datasets from other sources using an extension to CKAN. Users of this have been asking for new management features for data publishers, and these will be ready in a couple of weeks’ time.
  • Ian is working on various improvements to the web form for editing datasets, including an autosave feature, in-form checking of data URLs, and fancier autocompletes. The features have been requested by data.gov.uk, but as usual will be available for other CKAN instances once they are released.
  • Finally, the CKAN source code will be branched this week for the CKAN 1.6 release. This will include the new Authorisation API, and the ability to mount CKAN at a non-root URL – features requested by CKAN site owners in Brazil and Germany. We’re also trying to ensure as many UI improvements as possible are finished in time for the branch.

The design side

Sam, our new designer, has been working on a smarter look for ckan.org and the community instance at thedatahub.org. If you know of any rough edges you’d like to see cleaned up, get in touch! E-mail the mailing list or tweet to @ckanproject.

Also on ckan.org, Mark has expanded and rearranged the Features section. Read more about topics such as catalogue federation, CKAN’s wonderful API, easy theming and why being Open Source is important.

New CKANs, new users

Last but by no means least, there is also news on the user front.

  • publicdata.eu is a CKAN portal that sucks in (“federates”) datasets from portals in various EU countries. As of last week these include the Berlin Open Data portal, daten.berlin.de.
  • datacatalogs.org is a list of data catalogues, itself powered by CKAN, that keeps on growing. Last week’s additions were official catalogues in Portugal and Chile, and community-run ones at criik.com, a pan-South American version, and catalog.opendata.in.th in Thailand.
  • Finally, Ira gave a presentation on CKAN at an open data workshop that was held in Estonia, where a CKAN open data portal is due to be launched soon.

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