A multi-format tool to generate and maintain agency.gov/data catalog files.
CoffeeScript JavaScript CSS Ruby
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Catalog Generator

A multi-format tool to generate and maintain agency.gov/data catalog files.

What Problem This Solves

Creating and updating agency.gov/data catalog files is a non-trivial and potentially time-consuming task.

How This Solves It

Catalog Generator creates conformant catalog files using simple, list-based input.

Importing and Exporting

Catalog Generator can import both CSV and JSON files, and can export as JSON, HTML (RDFa), and XML

Under the Hood

Catalog Generator is build using Jekyll, Backbone and CoffeeScript.

There is a collection of Dataset models stored as Application.datasets. The schema is parsed via YML and stored at Applciation.schema as a colleciton of Field models. Each Dataset has multiple Fields.



Catalog Generator runs entirely in your browser. No installation necessary. Simply visit http://project-open-data.github.com/catalog-generator


  • Node
  • Ruby (Bundler)
  • Jekyll
  • Grunt

Running Catalog Generator Locally

To run catalog generator locally (e.g., to contribute):


  1. git clone https://github.com/project-open-data/catalog-generator.git
  2. cd catalog-generator
  3. npm install
  4. bundle install


  • Use the command grunt to compile and compress all templates, coffeescript, and css files. If you don't have grunt installed, you will need to run npm install -g grunt-cli (or sudo npm install -g grunt-cli on OS X).
  • Use the command jekyll to initiate a server. The site will be available at http://localhost:4000.

Additional Commands

Available tasks
        concat  Concatenate files. *                                           
        coffee  Compile CoffeeScript files into JavaScript *                   
        uglify  Minify files with UglifyJS. *                                  
         watch  Run predefined tasks whenever watched files change.            
        mincss  Minify CSS files *                                             
         clean  Clean files and folders. *                                     
    coffeelint  Validate files with CoffeeLint *                               
        jekyll  This triggers the `jekyll` command. *                          
      imagemin  Minify PNG and JPEG images *                                   
       csslint  Lint CSS files with csslint *                                  
        cssmin  Minify CSS files with clean-css. *                             
           jst  Compile underscore templates to JST file *                     
            cs  Alias for "coffeelint", "concat", "coffee" tasks.              
       default  Alias for "cs", "jst", "uglify", "mincss", "clean" tasks.   


This project constitutes a collaborative work ("open source"). Federal employees and members of the public are encouraged to improve the project by contributing.

  1. Configure git by using this basic tutorial or by downloading the GitHub for Mac/GitHub for Windows.
  2. Fork the project.
  3. Make changes as you would normally using the tools installed in step #1.
  4. Push the changes back to your fork.
  5. Submitting a pull request to this repository.
  6. You change should appear once approved.

Note: All contributors retain the original copyright to their contribution, but by contributing to this project, you grant a world-wide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable license to all users under the terms of the license(s) under which this project is distributed.


The project as originally published constitutes a work of the United States Government and is not subject to domestic copyright protection under 17 USC § 105. Subsequent contributions by members of the public, however, retain their original copyright.

In order to better facilitate collaboration, the content of this project is licensed under the creative commons 3.0 license, and the underlying source code used to format and display that content is licensed under the MIT license.