Why did we run this project?
Theoretically, with the 2015 Scottish Government commitment to data being “open by default”, we should have universal publication of appropriate data as open data. In reality Scotland is very poorly served with Open Data. Few local authorities publish any, and those who do have little consistency. Beyond councils the picture is, if anything, even worse. Finding data is all but impossible. We set out to make data more findable, identify who is making data available and, perhaps as importantly, those who are not. We began with local government.
This work is a starting point, not an end point.
Work done before CTC24
- We wrote this blog post about this project to accompany the work done at CTC23, the forerunner to this event.
- We set up a project plan for the next 12 months of what we want to do to improve the presence of open data in Scotland: https://github.com/OpenDataScotland/the_od_bods/wiki/Project-Monthly-Plan
- We set up an initial JKAN instance to have a play around and see how it worked
What we achieved at CTC24, what impact we hope it will have
- We migrated all 700+ datasets we scraped in CTC23 to our JKAN instance: https://opendata.scot/datasets/
- We populated JKAN with a list of 175 orgs that have open data portals or that we would like to see releasing open data: https://opendata.scot/organizations/
- We made some updates to our JKAN instance to suit the needs of ODS e.g. store more metadata on orgs and datasets
- We added some content to JKAN to give some background on Open Data in Scotland and encourage people to get involved with our project: https://opendata.scot/about/ and https://opendata.scot/whatisod/
- We created a “suggest a dataset” page for the general public to suggest open datasets they would like to see be published. This could help us to lobby orgs to publish open data: https://opendata.scot/suggest-dataset/
- We softly launched https://opendata.scot/
- We made a start on looking at expected data categories we would like to see from local authorities: https://github.com/OpenDataScotland/the_od_bods/issues/35
What challenges we have faced/are currently facing?
- As always, lack of (good) engagement with public sector.
- There is no standardisation in how and where local government published its data.
- Gathering data and cleaning it to output in a presentable format is currently a manual and laborious process.
What next – how can people get involved?
- We have a page explaining the project, what our objectives are and what the plan is: https://opendata.scot/about/
- There’s a big list of GitHub issues to be worked on here: https://github.com/OpenDataScotland/the_od_bods/issues
- The current milestone for Q1 2022 is to improve our data that we have gathered so far:
- Fix known bugs with API calls
- Tidy up inconsistent dataset tags
- Identify and locate any missing data from the 32 local authorities which we haven’t found yet
- Add more data features/metadata if possible
Join us at CTC25 to work on the project issues and work toward our next milestone!