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IVPR / OIC bringing the Weave visualization platform to CKAN

Rufus Pollock - June 5, 2014 in Community, Featured, Visualization

The CKAN Association is always looking to further enhance the visualization options available for the CKAN data management platform. We are therefore delighted to connect with the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research (IVPR) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Open Indicators Consortium who have led the development of Weave (Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment), a richly featured, open source data visualization platform for the web.


WEAVE running using CKAN

Weave is a state-of-the-art system which provides software tools that researchers, educators, analysts, trainers, students, and the general public can use to interactively analyze, visualize and disseminate remote, local or distributed data. Weave is the IVPR’s fifth-generation visualization system and incorporates 20 years of research and embedded patented algorithms. Previous generations of this software were desktop versions. Both the earlier versions and Weave were designed to solve complex problems in a variety of application areas including drug discovery, medicine, economics, and national security. The bulk of Weave’s source code is released under the GNU General Public License (GPLv3), and its core is released under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2).


To facilitate the connection between CKAN and Weave, IVPR recently developed an adaptor for Weave that facilitates bringing CKAN-indexed CSV or XLS files directly into Weave for creating visualizations. The Connecticut Data Collaborative, a founding OIC member, is currently building a site that will integrate CKAN and Weave.


For more information about Weave you can:

  • Visit the Weave wiki which provides everything needed to install and explore Weave.
  • See the many OIC websites using Weave here
  • We will keep you posted on new developments as they arise. In the meantime, interested developers should join the Weave-users and Weave-dev google groups to connect with other developers working with Weave.

Introducing the Technical Team and Contributing to the CKAN Code

Rufus Pollock - May 22, 2014 in Association, Community, News

This post follows up the recent post about the CKAN Association to give more information about the new Technical Team (aka official “committers”) and also gives the latest information on how anyone can contribute to CKAN on the technical side of things.

How to Get Involved in Contributing

There are lots of way to contribute to the technical side of CKAN from filing bug reports to coding up new extensions or improving the core code. We’ve recently created a dedicated guide for folks interested in contributed to the core CKAN codebase, along with a new guide on how to extend CKAN with “extensions”.

Furthermore, contributing isn’t just about the “core” CKAN codebase – with CKAN’s rich API there are lots of things to build that never need to go near the core python codebase and allow you to use any language you want – PHP, Javascript, Ruby, Java etc.

For example, everything from a phone app, a visualization dashboard and integrations with third-party services can be done over the API without touching a line of core code. (If you’re interested in these sorts of contributions the “ideas tracker” on github is the best place to find out what people are doing – or share your own ideas).

The Technical Team

Overseeing, coordinating and directing contributions, especially for the core is the responsibility of the Technical Team. The Technical team is made up of experienced CKAN developers who have contributed back to the main CKAN repositories. The Technical Team meet regularly (currently twice a week) to review pull requests and discuss technical matters.

Technical Team membership is open to anyone and membership is granted based on a proven record of competence and contribution. The Technical Team current lead is Ian Ward who has been working on CKAN for

More about the Technical Team can be found on the Technical Team home page.

CKAN Community Hangout May 2014

Rufus Pollock - May 19, 2014 in Association, Community, Events, Meetups

The next CKAN Community hangout is on Wednesday 28th May and will be chaired by Antonio Acuña of

  • When: Wed 28th May at 4pm London (BST) / 11am East Cost US (EDT) / 5pm European (CET)
  • Where: Online (Google Hangout)
  • Agenda and Signup: online shared meeting doc

Topics to cover include:

  • Community show and tell – people can share what they’re up to
  • Discussion of high-level roadmap
  • CKAN Association updates and discussion

There is an open Google Doc for the meeting with an agenda and more information

We recommend putting yourself down if you’d like to attend so we can plan for numbers.

The meeting will be by Google Hangout and we hope to run it as a hangout on air so it will stream (and get saved) on YouTube.

CKAN Census 2014

Adrià Mercader - May 12, 2014 in Community, Deployments, Featured



Update: We have now also published a Deployment Survey to learn more about how CKAN is deployed and installed:

CKAN is used by hundreds of organizations across the world to publish their Open Data on-line. More and more CKAN sites are going live and CKAN is being used in many new ways, integrating with other tools and being extended with new features.

We want to get a clearer picture of the current CKAN ecosystem to better understand how CKAN is being used and help scope the project roadmap. And if at the same time we can bring the instances page up to date all the better!

So if you are developing or managing a CKAN site or know someone who does, can you spend 5 minutes filling out this quick survey?

Any help in spreading out the link will be much appreciated as well. The results will make a big difference, and of course, they will be made available to the community later on.

This is the first in a series of surveys that will focus on different aspects of maintaining and using CKAN. In the following weeks we’ll send another one around focused on Deployment and Installation.

Let’s map CKAN usage across the world!


Photo by suziesparkle


Introducing the CKAN Association

Rufus Pollock - March 18, 2014 in Association, Community, Featured, News

We are pleased to announce the CKAN “Association”. The Association will manage and oversee the CKAN project going forward, supporting the growth of CKAN, its community and stakeholders. The Association reflects more than a year of discussion and consultation with key stakeholders and the wider community.

Key aspects of the Association are:

  • A Steering Group and Advisory Group which oversee the project and represent stakeholders.
  • Specific teams to look after particular areas such as a “Technical Team” to oversee technical development and a “Content and Outreach team” to oversee materials (including project website) and drive community engagement
  • Membership to allow stakeholders to contribute to the longer-term sustainability of the project – more below

The Association has its formal institutional home at the Open Knowledge Foundation but is autonomous and has its own independent governance, in the form the Steering Group which is drawn from major CKAN stakeholders. The Open Knowledge Foundation, who are the original creators of CKAN, continue to contribute to CKAN at all levels but the Association allows others – from government users to suppliers of CKAN services – to have a formal role in the development of CKAN project going forward.


The CKAN Association will have members. Membership is a way for individuals, companies and organisations to support the CKAN Project and be recognised for doing so. By becoming a member you are helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of CKAN.

Member organizations are expected to contribute resources – either through contributing money or providing in-kind resources such as staff time. Members receive recognition for their contribution through display on the website, participation in events etc.

You can find more information about membership here »

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Create the Association?

Over the last few years CKAN has seen rapid growth in terms of technology, deployments, and the community. 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. There also has been substantial growth in the developer and vendor community 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 empower more explicitly its growing array of stakeholders.

Will the CKAN Association be a Separate Legal Entity?

No, at least not initially. The association will retains its legal home at the Open Knowledge Foundation operating as a self-governed and autonomous project. If a strong need for a separate legal entity arises this is something that the Steering Committee will consider in due course.

How will the CKAN Association relate to the Open Knowledge Foundation’s technical consulting around CKAN?

These 2 activities will be strictly separated. The CKAN Services team at the Open Knowledge Foundation will no doubt participate in the CKAN Association as stakeholders similar to other organizations and groups but will have no special rights or privileges.

What “Assets” will the Association have responsibility for?

The Association will have responsibility for items such as:

  • The primary CKAN codebase
  • The CKAN project roadmap including overseeing and steering technical development of CKAN
  • Oversee and drive user and community engagement
  • The website and any related media assets
  • Managing any project finances and resources (e.g. from membership fees)

Will the CKAN Association have dedicated staff?

We imagine that the CKAN Association may appoint dedicated staff on an as needed basis and where there are resources to do so (also note that Members may contribute in kind resources in the form of staff time). However, at least initially, the CKAN Association will not have dedicated staff but will have in-kind support time provided by the Open Knowledge Foundation and other key stakeholders.

Improvements to the CKAN Roadmap Process

Rufus Pollock - March 13, 2014 in Community, News, Roadmap

We have switched to a Github issue tracker for tracking and managing the ideas in the CKAN Roadmap (see also this pretty version).

As detailed previously we have a public process for managing the roadmap for CKAN.

This was being managed in Trello but is moving to a Github issue tracker.

We have also updated the Roadmap page to give more information about the Roadmap and how it works:

The Roadmap provides stakeholders in CKAN, including users, developers and vendors, with the ability to shape and understand the future technical path for CKAN. Specifically, the Roadmap provides for:

  • Suggesting new ideas and features for CKAN
  • Prioritizing these into a schedule for future work especially on “core” CKAN

We emphasize that ideas don’t just have to be about improvements to the core CKAN software – for example, the idea of creating a new phone app client for CKAN would be perfect thing to submit.

Lastly, we should emphasize that, of course, just because an item is in the ideas tracker does not mean it will get worked on. If you want a certain feature implemented then the best way to ensure that happens is to sponsor its development – get in touch for more information

Check out the Roadmap

New ideas and current roadmap itself are managed via an issue tracker on github.

Idea issue tracker along with instructions on now to make new suggestions »

Prettier column-based view of the ideas and roadmap »

Improve how the CKAN Community Works – Your Suggestions Wanted

Rufus Pollock - March 11, 2014 in Community

We want to collect ideas about how to improve how the CKAN Community works — whether that’s a change to the website, creating a new help forum or making it easier to locate relevant documentation.

A key first step is to identify and prioritize the needs of the Community.

That’s where we want your help! We’ve created a shared editable document where people can contribute their thoughts and idea on what is needed and how to provide it:

Shared Document for Our Ideas – Take a Look and Contribute Now »

Please jump in and add your suggestions and thoughts on what you most want (and how that could be provided).

Note: we are not looking for suggestions on how to improve the CKAN the software (if you have ideas there please see the Roadmap page)

2013 – A great year for CKAN

Darwin Peltan - December 20, 2013 in Recaps

2013 has seen CKAN and the CKAN community go from strength to strength. Here are some of the highlights.






  • CKAN 2.1 released with new capabilities for managing bulk datasets amongst many other improvements



  • Substantial new version of CKAN’s geospatial extension, including pycsw and MapBox integration and revised and expanded docs.


  • Future City Glasgow launch prototype as part of their TSB funded Future Cities Demonstrator programme


Looking forward

The CKAN community is growing incredibly quickly so we’re looking forward to seeing what people do with CKAN in 2014.

So if your city, region or state hasn’t already done so, why not make 2014 the year that you launch your own CKAN powered open data portal?

Download CKAN or contact us if you need help getting started.

CKAN meets The DataTank

Pieter Colpaert - December 18, 2013 in Extensions

Today, we at OKF Belgium are thrilled to announce a CKAN extension, integrating DataTank functionality into CKAN.

The DataTank is a data adapter for machine-readable data. It can take data in any of numerous formats, from a CSV file to a SPARQL endpoint, and create an HTTP interface on top of it. This interface is a REST API which lets you read the data in a different format, page it, and query it. The latest version of the DataTank was released two weeks ago.

We asked ourselves: what if we could combine its power with CKAN, a great data registry which stores metadata for all kinds of data (machine-readable or not), with great search functionality and integrated data storage? This new CKAN extension is the answer.

To use the extension, you need to be running both The DataTank and CKAN. When you add a JSON or XML resource (file) to CKAN, it will automatically be added to your DataTank instance, making it instantly usable by app developers. The DataTank also can also export metadata using DCAT.

We’re currently working on more, smarter integration of The DataTank into CKAN. We want to extend CKAN’s “add dataset” interface to allow the user to add extra information about a file (for example, whether there is a header in a CSV file), which will be added to the DataTank’s discovery document. All help is welcomed in developing this further! If you can code in Python, know how to create extra fields in CKAN and know how to call an HTTP API, you’ll love contributing.

In the longer term, the Datatank has some more features in the pipeline: reintroducing SPECTQL, a query language allowing API sources to be filtered and queried that was developed for an earlier version of TDT, having automatic mappings from machine-readable data of which the model is known to RDF using tdt/streamingrdfmapper, analytics on top of the usage, and so on.

We’d love for more people to get involved in the project. Here are some suggestions:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please help to translate CKAN 2.2

Mark Wainwright - December 13, 2013 in Releases

Wondering how to spend the holiday season? How would you like to help to make the next version of CKAN available in more languages?

CKAN, the world’s leading open-source data portal software, is available in over 30 languages – mainly because of the work of volunteers helping to translate it. The next release will be CKAN 2.2. The strings to be translated for this version have now been uploaded to Transifex:

If you can help with any of the translations, please head over there. If you’re not already on the translation team for your favourite language, you can sign up / log in to Transifex and visit the team page for details of how to join it.

The release won’t be finalised until the new year, so you have until 6 January to get it finished. Special kudos to the Danish team, who finished their translation before the announcement was made, only an hour and a quarter after the new strings were uploaded earlier today!