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120+ CKAN Portals in the Palm of Your Hand. Via the Open Data Companion (ODC)

Osahon Okungbowa - September 24, 2015 in Community, Data, News, Visualization

CKAN is a powerful open-source data portal platform which provides out-of-the-box tools that allow data producers to make data easily accessible and reusable by everyone. Making CKAN as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has been a key factor in helping grow the availability and accessibility of open data across the Internet.

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 →

CKAN Extension Registry – Share and Find CKAN Extensions

Rufus Pollock - November 4, 2014 in Extensions, News

We are happy to announce the new CKAN Extensions Registry which lists available CKAN Extensions:

CKAN Extensions are a way to extend and alter the functionality of the base CKAN platform using the numerous extension points provided by CKAN. CKAN Extensions provide limitless possibilities from altering the site look and feel to adding site pages, from new validation methods to modifying or adding APIs.

There are currently 100 extensions already listed in the registry based on an initial survey of the extensions available “in the wild” (on github etc), and we will be adding more going forward.

CKAN Extension Registry Front Page

Add Your Extension

Instructions for adding your extension to the registry are here:


All About Extensions

CKAN Extensions are a way to extend the functionality of the base CKAN platform using the numerous extension points provided by CKAN.

Support for creating CKAN Extensions was first introduced in Autumn 2010 and has been extended multiple times ever since. Until now we have collected lists of extensions on the wiki but with the growing number of Extensions it is useful to have a proper registry (an Extension registry was one of the most requested items in the Roadmap consultation).

Examples include:

Next Steps

At present, the Registry is confined to “functional” extensions which add new functionality to CKAN and are not specific to a given site.

We are considering adding a section for theme oriented and site-specific extensions (e.g. support for metadata specific to a given site) since these extensions may be useful as inspiration and instruction to others even if they are not likely to be directly installed.

Community Meeting: Friday 26 September 2014

Rufus Pollock - September 25, 2014 in Association, Meetups, News

The next CKAN Association Community meeting is planned for this Friday 26th September at 4pm London / 11am EDT.

One major proposed topic is the Roadmap but please suggest additional topics in the meeting doc or here on list.

To help us manage the meeting and get an idea of numbers if you intend to come please add yourself to the participants list in the meeting doc.


  • When: Friday 26 Sepember 2014 – 4pm London (BST) / 11am US East Coast (EDT) / 5pm European (CET)
  • Where: online (likely via WebEx or similar – link to come)
  • Text chat:
  • Chair: Jeanne Holm (GSA / Data.Gov)
  • Meeting Doc: Google Doc here – please add your name if you plan to come!

Draft Agenda

Announcing the CKAN Association Steering Group

Rufus Pollock - September 8, 2014 in Association, News

We are delighted to announce that we have finalized the initial membership of the CKAN Association Steering Group. At present it consists of 4 organizations and their representatives as follows:

  • Antonio Acuña (*), Head of, UK Cabinet Office
  • Jeanne Holm, Evangelist,, U.S. General Services Administration (
  • Pat McDermott and Ashley Casovan, Open Government Secretariat, Treasury Board of Canada (
  • Rufus Pollock (+), President (Open Knowledge)

(*) indicates Chair of the Steering Group
(+) indicates Secretary of the Steering Group

Steering Board Members will serve an initial term of 2 years and serve “ex officio” representing their organizations. We will continue to review Steering Group Membership and to consider potential new members as we go forward.

More Information About the Steering Group

The Steering Group is a key part of the CKAN Association. It is made up of key stakeholders who have committed to oversee and steer the CKAN Association going forward. The initial selection of the steering committee was coordinated by Open Knowledge.

Full details of the Steering Group can be found on the Steering Group page.

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.

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 »

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 for research data management: a round-up from St Andrews

Mark Wainwright - November 28, 2013 in Deployments, News

A new blog post from Birgit Plietzsch at St Andrews University provides an interesting survey of projects using CKAN for research data management projects. St Andrews themselves have a pilot project in this area, and Dr Plietzsch had solicited input from other projects on the ‘ckan4rdm’ mailing list. The post summarises the responses she received.

It’s noticeable that there are now quite a few RDM projects using CKAN in production environments or in pilots, most of them newcomers since the CKAN4RDM workshop earlier this year. Another project in the area that didn’t make it into the St Andrews round-up is EDaWaX, subject of a recent post on this blog.

If you’re interested in using CKAN in a research data management setting it is worth joining the ckan4rdm list. (It is a low-traffic list), and maybe sending it a note introducing yourself and your plans in the area.

Project CKAN

Irina Bolychevsky - October 18, 2013 in News, Roadmap

Over the last few years CKAN has seen impressive growth in technology, uptake, number of deployments and in the vendor and developer communities. 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. Once, almost all core CKAN development was done by the Open Knowledge Foundation; now, there are an increasing number of developers and providers, 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 more explicitly empower its growing array of stakeholders.

We are therefore proposing to create an independent, self-governed CKAN project at the Open Knowledge Foundation, separate from our own CKAN developments and offerings, to guide the future development and direction of the software. The main proposed actions are:

  • To establish a steering group and advisory board to oversee the project and represent the growing number of stakeholders.
  • To establish specific groups or teams to look after specific areas; in particular, a “technical group” to oversee technical development and a “content and outreach group” to oversee materials (including project website) and to drive community and user engagement.
  • To establish a membership model for stakeholders to support the long-term sustainability of the project.

The project will still have its formal institutional home at the Open Knowledge Foundation, and enjoy support and participation from our CKAN team. But it will be autonomous and will have its own independent governance, from a board drawn from major CKAN stakeholders. The Open Knowledge Foundation will continue to contribute at all levels, but this approach will allow others – from government users to suppliers of CKAN services – to have a formal role in the future development and direction of CKAN.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be introducing a new structure for development (how to become a core contributor etc) and governance (steering committee and supporting as a member) and we would love to hear your ideas and feedback. Please either get in touch or place ideas in this open project ckan document and watch this space for more posts soon!