Because the harvesting functionality can be used to pull in metadata from other CKAN instances, it can also be used to create a federated network of CKAN nodes which share data between each other.

This is useful if, for example, a national portal wanted to aggregate information from local government CKAN instances, or if a topic-specific CKAN instance was created which aggregated a subset of datasets from other CKAN sources.

CKAN follows the DCAT standard for data catalogue metadata, so data can also be federated from other non-CKAN catalogues.

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