What is Swash and is it really changing data ownership?

This is another in a very occasional series of blog posts where I look at different data initiatives, institutions or infrastructure in order to understand a bit more about how they work. And then have opinions about them. Previously I wrote about Common Voice. This time I'm looking at Swash which describes itself as "reimagining … Continue reading What is Swash and is it really changing data ownership?

Why are we still building portals?

The Geospatial Commission have recently published some guidance on Designing Geospatial Data Portals. There's a useful overview in the accompanying blog post. It's good clear guidance that should help anyone building a data portal. It has tips for designing search interfaces, presenting results and dataset metadata. There's very little advice that is specifically relevant to … Continue reading Why are we still building portals?

24 different tabular formats for half-hourly energy data

A couple of months ago I wrote a post that provided some background on the data we use in Energy Sparks. The largest data source comes from gas and electricity meters (consumption) and solar panels (generation). While we're integrating with APIs that allow us to access data from smart meters, for the foreseeable future most … Continue reading 24 different tabular formats for half-hourly energy data

Schema explorers and how they can help guide adoption of common standards

Despite being very different projects Wikidata and OpenStreetmap have a number of similarities. Recurring patterns in how they organise and support the work of their communities. We documented a number of these patterns in the ODI Collaborative Maintenance Guidebook. There were also a number we didn't get time to write-up. A further pattern which I … Continue reading Schema explorers and how they can help guide adoption of common standards

Some lessons learned from building standards around Schema.org

OpenActive is a community-led initiative in the sport and physical activity sector in England. It's goal is to help to get people healthier and more active by making its easier for people to find information about activities and events happening in their area. Publishing open data about opportunities to be active is a key part … Continue reading Some lessons learned from building standards around Schema.org

12 ways to improve the GDS guidance on reference data publishing

GDS have published some guidance about publishing reference data for reuse across government. I've had a read and it contains a good set of recommendations. But some of them could be clearer. And I feel like some important areas aren't covered. So I thought I'd write this post to capture my feedback. Like the original … Continue reading 12 ways to improve the GDS guidance on reference data publishing