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There are a number of catalogs of open data portals out there. Like many well intended efforts, many of them go stale for long periods of time or altogether.

One way to combat this problem is to have an easily exchangeable format (e.g., CSV) for the catalog that other sites can download and update their listings, keeping everybody up-to-date. Some examples are:

DataCatalogs
Data.Gov
CKAN
OpenGeoCode (disclaimer: I am a founder of)

  • I presume this is somehow solved by datacatalogs.org. – Ulrich Sep 26 '14 at 14:55
  • @Ulrich : no, they're just a registry of catalogs. They don't deal with the interoperability issues, as they just point you to (possibly stale) catalogs. – Joe Sep 26 '14 at 20:00
  • I sometimes email exchange with some of the curators at datacatlogs.org. The subject of making data exchange uniform is discussed at times. They have though recently rehosted the catalog using CKAN 2.0. – Andrew - OpenGeoCode Sep 26 '14 at 20:54
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I would propose that each site that hosts a Catalog of Open Data Portals has a downloadable version of the catalog in CSV format. To ease exchangeability, I would recommend the following layout:

Basic Level

url, short name, formal name, political entity, admin division, category, license

url : Url to the open data portal
short name: A short name for the data portal (abbreviation, acronym, etc).
formal name: formal name of the open data portal (e.g., City of Madison Open Data ....)
political entity: country or dependency (e.g., Canada)
admin division: administrative division type (e.g., state, province, county, town,...)
category: type of open data portal. some examples:

  • Data Portal (multi-category)
  • Transparency Portal (government finances, budget, payroll, expenditure)
  • GIS/Gazetteer (Geographic Information Systems, Maps)
  • Census/Demographics (Population Statistics)
  • Health
  • Education
  • Commerce/Transportation
  • Science
  • Historical
  • Military

license: type of license to use the data. examples:

  • CC0 (public)
  • CC-BY
  • ODbl
  • UK OGL
  • PDDL

Level II

This level would add information for geolocation and geographic scope that the portal covers.

url, short name, formal name, political entity, admin division, category, license, coord, area

coord : lat/lng of area centroid
area : total area in sqkm

This should be fairly easy to looked up and added.

Level III

This level would add population scope that the portal covers.

url, short name, formal name, political entity, admin division, category, license, coord, area, pop, year

pop: population
year: year of population statistic

Level IIII

This level would add information on the amount and scope of information in the data portal:

url, short name, formal name, political entity, admin division, category, license, coord, area, pop, year, ndatasets, nrecords, subcategories

ndatatsets : the (approx) number of datasets in the portal
nrecords : the (approx.) total number of data records in the portal.
subcategories: a list of subcategories of the type of data available (e.g., crime, bus routes, business licenses, etc).

This would take a crawler to periodically crawl the portal to determine size and scope.

  • 1
    Before you go inventing a new schema, you may want to see how well DataCite meets your needs. Also see the DCAT effort and the dataset microformat. For harvesting metadata, some groups are using OAI-PMH – Joe Sep 26 '14 at 20:03

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