OGDI DataLab is a cloud-based Open Data Catalogue for organizations that seek to:
- Give citizens access to government data, including browse, visualize, analyze & download in multiple formats
- Enable developers access the data via open standards Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Streamline publishing data from government systems or by government employees from their desktops
- Reduce up-front infrastructure costs (servers, software, etc.) by moving to a cloud service
- Ensure reliability and scalability (grow compute requirements as catalogue grows) via cloud
- Full access to the code to modify & customize the catalogue as you see fit.
OGDI is being used by a number of organizations such as the Government of Columba, Estonia & the European Union, City of Medicine Hat, AB, Canada, City of Regina, SK, Canada, most recently Niagara Region and others.
To see OGDI in action please watch this short video.
OGDI DataLab is written using C# and the .NET Framework and uses the Windows Azure Platform
OGDI uses RESTful Web service [a web service implemented using HTTP and the principles of Representational State Transfer (REST)] to expose data for programmatic access. Data service renders data using a number of formats, including Open Data Protocol (OData), an extension to Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub), Keyhole Markup Language (KML), JSON and JSONP. OData leverages Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for resource identification and an HTTP-based uniform interface for interacting with those resources just as a user would do with any Web-based application. By building on these principles, OData enables users to achieve high levels of data integration and interoperability across a broad range of clients, servers, services, protocols and tools.
Many of the data sets in OGDI also include geospatial data, which is returned in the KML format, making OGDI compatible with popular desktop and Web-based mapping technologies including Microsoft Bing Maps, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, and Google Earth.
The Data Browser is an ASP.NET MVC 1.0 web application. It uses jQuery and a variety of other open source components and enables users to browse and query published data. The data can be conveniently visualized in widely used and recognizable formats such as tables, maps, bar graphs or pie charts. Thus, instead of downloading a file and poring over rows upon rows of data, end-users can interact with user-friendly visual tools that present complex data in a more meaningful manner.
The data loader is a tool that helps implementers quickly start enjoying the benefits of OGDI. OGDI includes both GUI-based and console-based data loader tools. The console tool takes CSV formatted data and publishes it into OGDI. In the process of loading the data, the utility can create a new dataset, add data, or update data in an already published dataset. Console tool is controlled through command line parameters and can be automated using shell scripts.
To fully realize its opendata approach, the City of Bordeaux has focused on tools, data formats and licensing standards the most open as possible. Thus, in the opendata.bordeaux.fr portal, different file formats are available for all users, experts or novices, so they can download and use municipal data very easily.
In this spirit, Bordeaux chose OGDI DataLab, the publishing platform for open data developed by Microsoft. The city worked in close collaboration with teams from Steria and Microsoft to improve the data service in accordance with the specifications of the OData open protocol. The goal was to extend the management of the OData specification by the OGDI DataLab data service, including new keywords and many query options in order to facilitate access and reuse of public data.
These developments, and others to come, are now available for all users in the new version of the publication platform OGDI DataLab v6 proposed in the Microsoft Open Data "in a box" solution.
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