Check out the new-look publicdata.eu
A beta version of CKAN 2.0 will be released soon, but meantime, a sneak preview has come online with a major upgrade of publicdata.eu. The site, run by the Open Knowledge Foundation as part of the LOD2 project, collects records together in one place from a number of data catalogues throughout the European Union. It is the first production site up and running the code that will become CKAN 2.0.
A significant new feature of CKAN 2.0 is its personalisation features, which allow you to ‘follow’ particular datasets, groups, and users. For example, logged-in users see a ‘Follow’ button when viewing a dataset. A dashboard with the activity and updates you’re interested in, as shown. Details of how the personalisation features work are likely to change, and feedback is welcome while we’re working on it.
Ivan Ermilov of the University of Leipzig, another LOD2 partner, has implemented a CSV to RDF converter that is integrated with publicdata.eu. This means that many datasets now have data available in RDF, the native format of Linked Data, in line with the whole aims of the LOD2 project. This addition means that the site does not only collect data from different European catalogues so that they can be searched together, but enhances them with RDF – opening up interesting possibilities for harvesting.
CKAN’s metadata records are themselves available in RDF and on publicdata.eu this is now exposed on the user interface, where each dataset page has buttons offering its metadata in RDF and JSON.
A major change under the surface is that in CKAN 2.0, the ‘templating’ system has changed, making it much easier to develop custom themes for CKAN-powered sites. publicdata.eu uses a brand-new theme using the new templating. Users might also notice improvements to the UI, with better signposting around the site setting the current page in context, as on the dataset page shown below. The biggest UI change in CKAN 2.0 is to the dataset creation process. Though this is not visible at publicdata.eu, curious readers may try it out at demo.ckan.org.
Each dataset page includes a link to the source from which it was harvested, and there are buttons for sharing the dataset on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Upgrading the harvesters
Work is in progress on improving publicdata.eu’s harvesting system. This will be completed soon, enabling the harvesting to be brought up-to-date. Please bear with us while this happens and watch this space for more information!