Open data portals: A checklist for success

Open data portals: A checklist for success

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:

Updating data

  • 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

Projection support

  • 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)

Delivery mechanisms

  • 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

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

Featured

  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/Shutterstock.com)

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected