Open data portals: A checklist for success
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Jul 13, 2015
When deciding which open data portal makes sense for a government agency, it is important to know what exactly makes for an effective platform.
According to a recent webinar led by Dale Lutz and Stewart Harper of Safe Software, agencies should think carefully about the type of data they will share, and the gauge whether a solution being considered can deliver on the following criteria:
- Provide data as a published feed, via either API or RSS so users don’t have to re-download Excel sheets or datasets
- Connect the open data platform directly to the master database so a duplicate is not needed
- Enlist the help of data integration software to sync master data stores with open data repositories for automated or scheduled configurations
- Provide a coordinate system for spatial data
- Provide projection options for advanced users and GIS-type datasets
- Provide local and global projections
Quality of data
- Use a CSV quality checker (here)
- Use or create a data quality check list (here)
- Provide both machine- and human-readable data formats
- Suggested tabular formats: CSV, JSON (API)
- Suggested spatial formats: GeoJSON, ShapeFile
- Other recommended formats:
- Tabular: Excel, XML
- Spatial: AutoCad, Esri File Geodatabase, KML, Mapinfo TAB
Amanda Ziadeh is a Reporter/Producer for GCN.
Prior to joining 1105 Media, Ziadeh was a contributing journalist for USA Today Travel's Experience Food and Wine site. She's also held a communications assistant position with the University of Maryland Office of the Comptroller, and has reported for the American Journalism Review, Capitol File Magazine and DC Magazine.
Ziadeh is a graduate of the University of Maryland where her emphasis was multimedia journalism and French studies.
Click here for previous articles by Ms. Ziadeh or connect with her on Twitter: @aziadeh610.