Publicdata.eu becoming more pan-European

As part of LOD2 we are developing the portal publicdata.eu. This is an open data portal which aggregates open data from other government portals throughout Europe. At the start of the project, most portals that were included in publicdata.eu were scraped from other sites, or based on portals that were set up by members of the open data community, often volunteers. Over the course of the years we have seen more and more portals being published by municipalities, regions and EU member states. This has substantially increased the number of the datasets that are available on the portal.

About a year ago, only about 17,000 datasets were available on publicdata.eu. Today, more than 30,000 datasets can be found, many of which published by national governments. For example, we have included the German national open data portal and more recently the Romanian open data portal.

On 27 Nov 2013, the Open Knowledge Foundation attended a meeting of the public sector information sub-group on the pan-European Open Data portal. This was an excellent opportunity to show the work that has been going on to build publicdata.eu, as well as talking with representatives of more than 18 EU member states, who are working on open data portals on the national level. One of the exciting developments is the re-launch of the French portal which is built on CKAN, software developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the same software that is being built to run publicdata.eu. Because CKAN is open source and AGL licensed, any adaptations of CKAN made by the French team will be released as open source as well.

Apart from the presentation of publicdata.eu, the meeting also highlighted some other developments from EU member states. For example, Ross Jones of the data.gov.uk team demonstrated the work his team has done around further developing the portal. He remarked that the focus will be more on data quality in the near future, a topic that is still relevant across many open data portal. Additionally, Jean-Charles Quertinmont of Belgium shared their experiences. In their experience in setting up two separate open data portals, interest for using the datasets is higher from developers in civil society than from businesses. Finally, the Open data support project presented their work in harvesting datasets from portals and turning those into RDF. The publicdata.eu team and open data support team are looking into working together to ensure that the data harvested by the open data support team is also available via the publicdata.eu support team. Other work in the final year of publicdata.eu as part of LOD2 focuses mainly on support for multilingualism, support for the DCAT Application profile and better categorisation of the data.

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