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Draft Roadmap for data.gov.au
UPDATE: data.gov.au went live on CKAN with details at http://agict.gov.au/blog/2013/07/17/new-datagovau-%E2%80%93-now-live-ckan
As part of my role as Director for Gov 2.0 in the Technology and Procurement Division of Finance (under John Sheridan), I have responsibility for enhancing data.gov.au. This is quite exciting and an excellent opportunity to contribute to opening government data in Australia. We plan to make some significant progress in this area and would love your feedback on the draft roadmap below. We plan to move data.gov.au to an open data platform for all Agencies to use, and prioritise technical support initially for a few keen agencies who want to have their data accessible by API for policy analysis, improved applications development and data visualisation purposes. Then we can scale support for additional agencies as skills and capacity are built up and add new features and functionality over time. We will take a consultative, iterative and collaborative approach. We are running a number of information and discussion sessions for agencies and the public on Friday 19 April: UPDATE: We have shuffled the sessions around a little to accomodate more participants across Australia and to include a public briefing.
- Agency briefing (0900-1100): If you are an Agency interested in hearing more, we will have a data.gov.au Agency Briefing in Canberra from 9am-11pm on 19 April which includes a telepresence option for all capital cities.
- Public brieing (1130-1230): for anyone in the public to hear about and ask questions about data.gov.au. Also available via telepresence for all capital cities.
- Developer briefing (1300-1500): If you are interested in hearing more about the tech and contributing your thoughts, please come to our data.gov.au Developer Session. Also available via telepresence for all capital cities. We’ll publish the technical documentation here on the blog for comment too, but this is a chance to talk tech with other open data geeks, data custodians and developers, get into the gritty details of the data.gov.au implementation and maybe even look at how we can improve the code for Australia. If there is sufficient interest we might live stream and record this for others to tune in and comment on.
All briefings will include a little information about GovHack, the upcoming national event where developers compete on clever ways to use government data for improving services, transparency, analysis and more. Please register your interest for any of the sessions above at http://datagovauroadmap13.eventbrite.com/. Please note the venue(s) to be confirmed pending registration numbers.
Phase 0: consultation – April
- We are continuing consulting with existing data.gov.au publishers about the plan and to assist them in transitioning skills to use the new platform and take advantage of the additional functionality.
- We are talking to all the open data people we can find throughout federal, state/territory and local governments as well as our colleagues in New Zealand, building a community of government implementers to share knowledge, build expertise and collaborate where possible.
- We are running a developer day 19 April for developers and technical people in the public, industry and government to come together to look at the technical details of what we are planning. We would be looking for technical feedback, feature requests and any specific tweaks the community can make to the platform to make it better serve the needs of data publishers and users.
- We are asking for feedback from the Australian Government Linked Data Working Group, the Office for Spatial Policy, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Office of the Australian Government CIO, the APS Policy Visualisation Network and some of the Archives and Records agencies for suggestions to tweak the platform for improved data publishing and integration with other data sources.
Phase 1: data.gov.au platform – by end of April
- data.gov.au is being moved to the CKAN platform, which is used notably and very successfully by the UK Government to publish data and enable better public engagement with government. Finance has had discussions with the data.gov.uk team, as well as with open data experts around the world to ensure the data.gov.au refresh is based on global best practice, with a specific focus on the best quality data publishing possible. We will leverage the work of the UK team including the additional plugins they’ve developed. Thanks Toni and the data.gov.uk team! Also thanks to all the Australian Federal/State/Territory people who are working in this space for sharing your knowledge and experience!
- We will migrate all data from the current data.gov.au to the CKAN instance.
Phase 2: working with partnering agencies – over 12 months
- We will work with a small number of interested agencies to get their data published and automatically updating where possible.
- Additional agencies will be encouraged to use the platform, and to become partners of the initiative to get access to support services.
- Finance will support public hackathon events to encourage use of data.gov.au datasets, including GovHack 2013
Phase 3: improved reporting – 3-6 months
- We will put in place customised reporting of progress that takes into account useful metrics such as API access, hours saved in automated publishing per dataset, applications developed (where possible to find), and other stuff on which we will consult publicly.
Phase 4: data visualisation – 6-9 months
- We are considering putting in place some front end data visualisation services for people to mashup, visualise, analyse and interact with government datasets. We are considering a number of analysis and visualisation toolkits and would appreciate feedback from the community.
Phase 5: government apps register – 9-12 months
- We are considering enhancing the australia.gov.au mobile and apps page so that agencies and the public can more easily register mobiles applications and responsive web projects. In this way we can differentiate between government and non-government initiatives, people can rate and comment on mobile initiatives based on government data or services, and we can have a single place where people can find how to access government one their mobile devices. Something functionally similar to http://apps.usa.gov/
If you are interested in information about the CKAN API and other technical details, please see the CKAN documentation. Thanks all, and looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below, or feel free to get in touch with me pia.waugh at finance.gov.au. We’ll try to report our progress on a monthly basis so you can see how we are going. Pia Waugh Director of Coordination and Gov 2.0 Technology and Procurement Division
Last updated: 08 August 2016