In our previous blog, we explained how your engagement at our inaugural open data events had highlighted the need for us to create an online ‘hub’ to support you in publishing your open data. We recognised the need for this to be a collaborative effort. After all, we want to make sure that the hub is easy for everyone to use.
So, what have we done so far?
We decided that we’d create the Hub over several stages, with your input becoming increasingly more important as it proceeds. Our first task has been to create a minimum viable product - a system with the basic operational features, which can be built on in response to user feedback and ideas. This is a crucial bit of our work – we need to lay the foundations now to make sure the Hub develops seamlessly in the future. We want our Open Data Hub to be adaptable to your needs.
During this initial stage of development, we are focusing the data itself and specifically the ability to search for and download it. Therefore:
- All the data in the Hub will be open and anybody will be able to download it;
- Data will be available in a variety of different formats;
- Datasets will be browsable by local authority; and
- A basic user-friendly metadata standard will be included.
Additionally, in order to upload data to the Hub, special access will be given to nominated Users and Managers. Both Users and Managers will be able to load and remove datasets from their organisation. Managers will also be able to add and remove local Users.
Over time, we’re planning to:
- Offer all users the ability to browse data by other details and fields – such as by region, theme, or keyword;
- Expand the metadata standard so datasets are more accurately described and labelled, ensuring metadata is approaching the best global standards; and
- Offer users the ability to share various forms of restricted data through the system - we recognise that not all data can be made open and want to offer local authorities a simple method of sharing data with specific individuals or groups.
We need your feedback
We’re also thinking about our long-term roadmap – and that’s where your feedback will be vital. We’ve spoken previously about identifying some datasets which could be made available via APIs. We’re also thinking about exactly what ‘standard’ of open data we should offer – do we want to work towards the global best standard or try something different? No doubt, as you begin to see more of our Hub in the coming months, you will have ideas and thoughts to share with us.
So, in early 2020 we’ll have a working prototype of our Open Data Hub to show to you. We would really like local authorities to begin adding their data into the Hub and to also test its basic features. Keep your eyes peeled for more information.
If you’d like to know more or would like to help in testing the system – do get in touch.
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