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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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Octocat-spinner-32 OpenDataCatalog
Octocat-spinner-32 docs add in contributor agreements April 23, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore
Octocat-spinner-32 LICENSE.txt Formatted license text to be more readable March 05, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 requirements.txt

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 install sendmail postgresql python python-pip libpq-dev python-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libgeos-c1

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\";"
    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

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
    python migrate

Running a server

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


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:

    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()
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