The New Open Data Portal
Explore the exciting new Open Data Portal, an easy to use tool that will allow both technical and non-technical users to interact with and use City data in a visual way.
Developed from a user-centered design approach, new features of the portal are carefully crafted to meet the unique needs of our users.
- Enhanced accessibility (designed for technical and non-technical audiences)
- Improved navigation and search functionality
- Data visualizations out-of-the-box for tabular and geospatial datasets
- Data stories
- Flexible data formats
- Dataset previews
- Developer APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Open Data Portal?
Historically, open data portals were simply catalogues of open datasets; a digital library of information in machine readable formats. Open data portals have evolved to be more than simple catalogues of data, but to also demonstrate how open data can be used. This is frequently done through showcases of applications and visualizations built with open data (like the “Gallery” on the City of Toronto’s current open data website).
Why Was a New Open Data Portal Created?
The City’s first Open Data portal was launched in the fall of 2009 and has gone through several iterative improvements. Increased demand for open data and growing expectations for a broader set of functionality, to make open data more accessible to the general public, necessitated a redesign effort for the portal.
What Technology is Being Used to Create the Portal?
The new Open Data Portal is being built using CKAN, which is a web-based open source management system for the storage and distribution of open data. CKAN’s codebase is maintained by Open Knowledge International and is used for various government data catalogues, such as the UK, US, Australia, and the Federal Government of Canada’s open data portal.
What is the New Open Data Portal Providing That Was Not Previously Available?
Enhanced accessibility, dataset previews, and developer APIs (application program interface) for all open datasets; are a few examples. Visualizations will also be a key feature of the new open data portal and will be an important enhancement from the current portal. This is part of our efforts to make open data, and the value that open data can bring, more accessible to a wider audience; both technical and non-technical.
What Are Open Data Stories?
Open Data stories are stories that contextualize data, inspire public support, and demonstrate how, where and when government data is being used for the good of everyone.
Why Are There Two Open Data Catalogues?
Throughout the year, we will be migrating datasets from the former catalogue to the new Open Data Portal. In designing and developing the new Open Data Portal it was important to first examine a small number of datasets from our current portal that were of different sizes, formats, and came from different business units within the City. The automated publishing pipeline, currently in development, will provide a method of increasing the quality of the data in the current portal and publishing the full catalogue into the new portal.
When Will the Former Catalogue Be Decommissioned and Will This Have an Impact on Users?
We plan to have the former catalogue decommissioned once all datasets have been migrated over to the new Portal. The target timeline for completion is Q4 2018. There should be no impact for users during the process of migrating datasets from the former catalogue to the new portal.