GovEx Launches First International Open Data Standards Directory

GT Magazine: “…A nonprofit gov tech group has created an international open data standards directory, aspiring to give cities a singular resource for guidance on formatting data they release to the public…The nature of municipal data is nuanced and diverse, and the format in which it is released often varies depending on subject matter. In other words, a format that works well for public safety data is not necessarily the same that works for info about building permits, transit or budgets. Not having a coordinated and agreed-upon resource to identify the best standards for these different types of info, Nicklin said, creates problems.

One such problem is that it can be time-consuming and challenging for city government data workers to research and identify ideal formats for data. Another is that the lack of info leads to discord between different jurisdictions, meaning one city might format a data set about economic development in an entirely different way than another, making collaboration and comparisons problematic.

What the directory does is provide a list of standards that are in use within municipal governments, as well as an evaluation based on how frequent that use is, whether the format is machine-readable, and whether users have to pay to license it, among other factors.

The directory currently contains 60 standards, some of which are in Spanish, and those involved with the project say they hope to expand their efforts to include more languages. There is also a crowdsourcing component to the directory, in that users are encouraged to make additions and updates….(More)”