U.K. National Government Open Data Portal
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Project Overview

Portal information


Since its inception, data.gov.uk has grown to become a leading example of a government open data portal on a global scale. The platform has effectively managed the growth from just a few datasets to many thousands, handling a corresponding increase in site traffic. The portal has had a substantial impact, playing an essential enabling role in the UK government's development of its transparency and open data agenda. As a result, it has strengthened the UK's reputation for openness and innovation in governmental data sharing.

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As Datopian, we were entrusted with the mission of creating the United Kingdom National Government Data Portal, data.gov. The intent was to establish a centralized platform for the wealth of government data, making it easily discoverable, licensable, and reusable. Built using CKAN for cataloging, searching, displaying, and storing data, our team played a pivotal role in developing the site from its inception, maintaining it for the first two years, and successfully transitioning the project to the UK government in-house data.gov.uk team in early 2012.

Key Features & Functionality

  • Centralized Access: The platform provides a centralized portal to access a wealth of government data.

  • Easy to Find: The platform employs an efficient search engine to ensure users can find relevant datasets easily.

  • Easy to License: The platform simplifies the licensing process, making it easy for users to understand how they can use the available data.

  • Easy to Reuse: Data sets are presented in reusable formats to encourage the development of applications, insights, and solutions.

  • Scalability: The platform is designed to handle growth, successfully managing an increase from a few dozen to thousands of datasets, and a corresponding rise in site traffic.

Services Provided

  • Throughout the course of the project, our team delivered an array of services, including:

  • Development and Design: Building the site from its inception using CKAN to catalog, search, display, and store data.

  • Maintenance and Support: Our team provided the primary maintenance and support for the first two years of the project.

  • Metadata management, file hosting, and API integration for individual agency CKAN instances.

  • Transition: We ensured a successful transition of the project to the UK government's in-house team in early 2012.

  • Continuous Support: Despite the handoff, we continue to work closely with the in-house team, contributing to the ongoing development and maintenance of the platform.

  • Contribution to Open Source: Data.gov.uk has become a major contributor to the CKAN codebase and community, exemplifying the advantages of open-source projects.