Open Data Catalog is an open data catalog based on Django, Python and PostgreSQL. It was originally developed for, a portal that provides access to open data sets, applications, and APIs related to the Philadelphia region. The Open Data Catalog is a generalized version of the original source code with a simple skin. It is inte…
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Prep your dev environment

Install virtualbox:
Build a Linux VM from Ubuntu 12.04:

Installing the Open Data Catalog

Non-Python Dependencies

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install git sendmail postgresql python postgresql-plpython-9.1 python-pip libpq-dev python-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libgeos-c1 mercurial meld

Python Dependencies

    sudo pip install virtualenv

Setting up the App

Create Virtual Env

Create the shell of the virtual env and "activate" it

    virtualenv opendatacatalog
    cd opendatacatalog
    source bin/activate

Grab the source

At this point you can grab the source from github:

    git clone git://
    cd Open-Data-Catalog

Or fork the code, make it better and send us a pull request!

Grab the python dependencies and do some final setup:

    pip install -r requirements.txt
    cd OpenDataCatalog
    mkdir media
    chmod 755 media
    ln -s ../../lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/contrib/admin admin_media

Setting up the database

Create a new postgres db

    sudo su postgres # Become the postgres user
    createuser -P odc-user
    psql template1 -c "CREATE DATABASE opendata OWNER \"odc-user\";"
    createlang plpythonu opendata
    psql -d opendata -f etc/pycsw_plpythonu.sql
    exit # Exit out of the postgres user's shell

Note that running the unit tests requires that your postgres user be a super user (since it drops/creates databases). To create a user as a superuser simply do:

    createuser -Ps odc-user

You can verify the connection with:

    psql opendata odc-user -h localhost

Update settings

Copy to

Update the database settings in You'll probably have to update "name", "user", "password", and "host". It should look similar to:

       'default': {
           'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2',
           'NAME': 'opendata',
           'USER': 'odc-user',
           'PASSWORD': 'PASSWORD',
           'HOST': 'localhost',
           'PORT': '',

Open Data Catalog supports the [OGC Catalogue Service] ( specification (CSW) using pycsw. CSW settings can be set/modified in settings.CSW. As well, settings.SITEHOST and settings.SITEPORT must be set accordingly for your deployment environment.

Creating the database scheme

To create the scheme we use django "syncdb" command

    python syncdb --migrate

Running a server

We installed gunicorn as part of the installation process. All you need to do now is start it:


Customizing your installation


You should read OpenDataCatalog/ for a list of configurable values, such as TWITTER_USER and SITE_ROOT. Feel free to play with these settings as much as you want.


In you should specify a LOCAL_TEMPLATE_DIR that is the full path to your template location. As you want to change the style, you copy files out of OpenDataCatalog/templates and into your local overly directory and make the changes there. That way you can keep your repository in sync with the upstream more easily while still maintaining your own style.

Deploy to Heroku

For a quick and free deployment you can deploy directly to heroku ( First make an account on the heroku website and then do the following:

Edit the .gitignore file and remove the following line:

Ths will allow your personal settings from being pushed to heroku. Then:

    sudo gem install heroku       
    heroku create --stack cedar --buildpack
    git push heroku master       
    heroku run python OpenDataCatalog/ syncdb


Django can run via mod_wsgi on Apache as well. Add the following to a new Apache site:

    WSGIScriptAlias /hidden /<project location>/odp.wsgi
    Alias /media /<project location>/media
    Alias /static /<project location>/static

    create /<project location>/odp.wsgi >
    import os, sys
    sys.path.insert(0, '/home/azavea/NPower_OpenDataPhilly')

    import settings

    utility =
    command = utility.fetch_command('runserver')


    import django.conf
    import django.utils


    import django.core.handlers.wsgi

    application = django.core.handlers.wsgi.WSGIHandler()