Johns Hopkins University’s new Center for Government Excellence is developing a much-needed open data portal requirements resource to serve as a “set of sample requirements to help governments evaluate, develop (or procure), deploy, and launch an open data web site (portal).”
As many governments ramp up their open data initiatives, this is an important project in that we often see open data platform decisions being made without a holistic approach and awareness of what government should purchase (or have the flexibility to develop on its own).
“The idea here is that any interested city can use this as a baseline and make their own adjustments before proceeding,” said GovEx Director of Open Data Andrew Nicklin via email. “Perhaps with this we can create some common denominators amongst open data portals and eventually push the whole movement forwards.”
My fundamental suggestion is that government-run open data platforms be fully open source. There are a number of technical and financial reasons for this, which I will address in the future, but I believe strongly that if the platform you’re hosting data on doesn’t adhere to the same licensing standards you hold for your data, you’re only doing open data half right.
With both CKAN and DKAN continuing to grow in adoption, we’re seeing an emergence of reliable solutions that adequately meet the same technical and procurement requirements as propriety options (full disclosure: I work with NuCivic on DKAN and NuCivic Data).