What is CKAN?
CKAN is an open source tool that allows you to manage and publish open data, delivering tangible benefits to citizens. It’s currently being used by big open data players such as data.gov, data.gov.uk and data.gov.au.
CKAN’s first release was in 2006 and since then it’s grown with the open data movement. The CKAN open source community continues to grow, creating extensions that are then re-used by others in the community.
Salsa provides a number of CKAN application enhancement and support services.
Who’s using it
There are hundreds of CKAN portals live, with hundreds of thousands of datasets being used. For example, there are over 800,000 datasets on the European data portal alone.
Here in Australia, CKAN is used by the Australian Government (CKAN is the foundation for the whole open data platform across Australia), NSW Government and CSIRO’s Data61. The National Map also uses CKAN to source data from open data portals and to build its catalogue.
You can see more examples on the CKAN website if you want to get a better idea of how CKAN is transforming open data for a range of organisations.
As a tool, CKAN ties in with the open data revolution. CKAN helps organisations actually use data in a meaningful way, and to display it in a user-friendly manner.
Some specific advantages of CKAN include:
Open source (i.e. free with no vendor lock-in)
Widely used around the world with a growing base
Extensive use in key governments across the world
Built for data custodians, e.g. government (as well as machines and end users)
Integrates well with websites and apps
Salsa's CKAN services
Salsa provides the following CKAN services:
Strategy: Helping you define a clear plan on how your department can release the public data it creates and make it available for free to anyone who wishes to use it. The plan extends further to help identify how, where and when to share and manage your open datasets. The strategy also covers the roles and responsibilities of the data owner vs the steward vs the custodian.
Data architecture and schema design: Designing your data (information) architecture and schemas — metadata definitions that describe and expose your open datasets.
UX design: Designing the user interface and user experience (UX) to ensure ease-of-use and data discoverability.
Data migration, consolidation and conversion: Consolidating, migrating and/or converting existing datasets from legacy sources/systems into CKAN.
CKAN configuration and implementation
CKAN module extension development, customisation and/or enhancements
CKAN frontend theming
For data contributors on how to describe and submit open datasets
For data administrators/moderators on how to moderate (accept or reject) submissions and revisions
Technical training on how to design, build, configure or theme your CKAN open data portal.
Hosting: CKAN hosting platform and management including 24/7 monitoring, one-hour critical incident response SLA, patching and maintenance, etc.
Support: Ad-hoc CKAN application support and enhancements, service help-desk, etc.
Salsa and CKAN
Salsa Digital helps clients open data and manage it using CKAN.
We’re continually building our CKAN client base and expect to do a lot more with CKAN in the coming months and years.
The National Map plots a huge variety of data across a map of Australia — from native vegetation and caves to bridges, road crashes and local Council boundaries.Read
Get in touch
We’ve been helping government agencies around Australia open and manage their data using CKAN. Use the form below or call us on 1300 727 952 to chat about your agency’s needs.