O CKAN CKAN - Serbia

What was the average price of a house in the UK in 1935? When will India's projected population overtake that of China? Where can you see publicly-funded art in Seattle? Data to answer many, many questions like these is out there on the Internet somewhere - but it is not always easy to find.

CKAN - Serbia is a community-run catalogue of useful sets of data on the Internet. You can collect links here to data from around the web for yourself and others to use, or search for data that others have collected. Depending on the type of data (and its conditions of use), CKAN - Serbia may also be able to store a copy of the data or host it in a database, and provide some basic visualisation tools.

How it works

This site is running a powerful piece of open-source data cataloguing software called CKAN, written and maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation. Each 'dataset' record on CKAN contains a description of the data and other useful information, such as what formats it is available in, who owns it and whether it is freely available, and what subject areas the data is about. Other users can improve or add to this information (CKAN keeps a fully versioned history).

CKAN powers a number of data catalogues on the Internet. The Data Hub is an openly editable open data catalogue, in the style of Wikipedia. The UK Government uses CKAN to run data.gov.uk, which currently lists 8,000 government datasets. Official public data from most European countries is listed in a CKAN catalogue at publicdata.eu. There is a comprehensive list of catalogues like these around the world at datacatalogs.org, which is itself powered by CKAN.

Open data and the Open Knowledge Foundation

Most of the data indexed at CKAN - Serbia is openly licensed, meaning anyone is free to use or re-use it however they like. Perhaps someone will take that nice dataset of a city's public art that you found, and add it to a tourist map - or even make a neat app for your phone that'll help you find artworks when you visit the city. Open data means more enterprise, collaborative science and transparent government. You can read more about open data in the Open Data Handbook.

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a non-profit organisation promoting open knowledge: writing and improving CKAN is one of the ways we do that. If you want to get involved with its design or code, join the discussion or development mailing lists, or take a look at the OKFN site to find out about our other projects.