Australia is embracing open data
CKAN is emerging as a de facto standard, according to a report into open data in Australia by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC).
The report, published last week, presents the result of a survey by the Commissioner into the state of open public sector information (PSI) across government agencies. It is structured around the Open PSI Principles published by OIAC in 2011.
191 agencies responded to the survey out of 245 contacted, and this high response rate illustrates the key finding of the report, that “Australian Government agencies are actively embracing an open access and proactive disclosure culture”. The report also reveals what agencies report as their greatest obstacles in the way of opening access to information more fully. These include technical barriers, such as whether existing information systems are well designed to support the move, and cultural ones, such as the need for more awareness and buy-in of the Principles inside agencies.
The report considers ‘next steps’ in Open Data and concludes, “The logical next step in facilitating reuse of government data is building data portals … In the arena of data portals, a small number of dominant software solutions are emerging as de facto standards. For example, CKAN has been widely adopted on national and regional levels.”
The report also mentions CKAN’s federation features, likely to be useful in Australia where a large amount of data is held by individual states and territories. The state of Queensland recently went live with the first CKAN-powered data portal in the country (above), built by the Open Knowledge Foundation and Australia-based partner XVT. The state plans to expand it soon to include a new site. The OKF has also built a demonstration platform for the state of South Australia.