Join us in Madrid, Spain on October 4th, for CKANCon 2016, one of the official International Open Data Conference Pre-Events.
UPDATE: We are happy to announce that registration for the event is now open! You can register today for both in person and online participation!
CKANCon is a day packed with talks and discussions showcasing the incredible work people are doing with CKAN. This includes topics ranging from uses and best CKAN practices to technical services and new extensions. New, long-standing, and future CKAN users are encouraged to attend. Full details, including speakers and breakout sessions, will be announced soon.
If you’re interested in showcasing your CKAN work, please email email@example.com! We are looking for speakers to give short talks about upcoming features, extensions, integrations and anything else CKAN.
The emergence of mobile devices and the mobile platform has led to a shift in the way people access and consume information. Popular consensus and reports show that mobile device usage and time spent on mobile devices are rapidly increasing. This means that mobile devices are now one of the fastest and easiest means of accessing data and information. Yet, as of now, open data lacks a strong mobile presence. Read the rest of this entry →
At DataCats, we are focused on a simple problem — how do we make sure every single government has easy access to get up and running with Open Data? In other words, how do we make it as easy as possible for governments of all levels to start publishing open data?
The answer, as you might tell by this blog, is CKAN. But CKAN uses a very non-traditional technology stack, especially by government standards. Python, PostgreSQL, Solr, and Unix, are not in the toolbox of most IT departments. This is true not only for local government in Europe and North America, but also for almost all government in the developing world.
Our answer to this problem are two software projects which, like CKAN, are Free and Open Source Software. The first is the eponymously named datacats, and the second is named CKAN Multisite. The two projects together aim to solve the operational difficulties in deploying and managing CKAN installations.
datacats is a command line library built on Docker, a popular new alternative to virtualization that is experiencing explosive growth in industry. It aims to help CKAN developers easily get set up and running with one or more CKAN development instances, as well as deploy those easily on any provider – be it Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, or a plain old physical server data centre.
Our team has been using datacats to develop a number of large CKAN projects for governments here in Canada and around the world. Being open source, we get word every week of another IT department somewhere that is trying it out.
CKAN Multisite is a companion project to datacats, targeted at system administrators who wish to manage one or more CKAN instances on their infrastructure. The project was very generously sponsored by U.S. Open Data. Multisite provides a simple API and a web interface through which starting, stopping, and managing CKAN servers is as simple as pressing a button. In essence it gives you your very own CKAN cloud.
CKAN is as an open source project that many national and large city governments depend on as the cornerstone of their open data programs. We hope that these two open source projects will help the CKAN ecosystem continue to grow. If you are a sysadmin or a developer working on CKAN, give it a try — and if you have the appetite — consider contributing to the projects themselves.
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Note: This is a re-post from one of our CKAN community contributors, Matthew Fullerton. He has been working on some interesting extensions, which are outlined below. You can support Matthew’s work by providing comments below, or you can link through to his GitHub profile to comment or get in touch there.
Styling GeoJSON data
The GeoView extension makes it easy to add resource views of GeoJSON data. In our extended extension, attributes of the features (lines, points) in the FeatureCollection are styled according to MapBox’s SimpleStyle spec.
I’ll try and add a demo with moving data points soon, it ought to work without any further code changes. The problem is often getting the live data in GeoJSON format… but we have a backend for preprocessing other data.
That’s an example for ‘lines and points’ but it works for things like bar graphs too. Last week we had people competing to achieve the best time in a remote controlled robot race where their time was automatically displayed as a bar on a ‘leader board’. For good measure we had an automatically updating histogram of the times too. Updating the actual data in CKAN is easy thanks to the DataStore API.
The CKAN Association, established in 2014, is set to grow rapidly in 2015 with a number of initiatives now being planned to attract free tier Supporter members as well as paid members for the Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers.
The team needs your help with website updates, creative content development and community engagement. As a new team within the CKAN project they are looking for self motivated people to initially join a core team that will set the strategic communication objectives for the project and help to realise the incredible potential of the CKAN project.
If you can contribute as little as one or two hours per week then you’ll earn yourself a CKAN Association supporter badge, but that is just the start… by joining the C&C Team you’ll be in the middle of things and help to grow a worldwide community of awesomeness.
CKAN Association Badges
The following CKAN Association badges are now available. If you are already a member of the Tech Team then you can request to grab the Supporter Member badge via the C&C Team google group
Badge files and usage policy will be available on CKAN.org soon <- This is one of the todo items the C&C Team are recruiting help for!
The current list of CKAN Association members can be found here: /about/members/
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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.
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.
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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.
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 data.gc.ca.