The DCAT Application profile for data portals in Europe (DCAT-AP) is a specification based on the Data Catalogue vocabulary (DCAT) for describing public sector datasets in Europe. Its basic use case is to enable cross-data portal search for data sets and make public sector data better searchable across borders and sectors. This can be achieved by the exchange of descriptions of datasets among data portals.
In February 2015, the ISA² programme of the European Commission has started an activity to revise the DCAT-AP, based on experience gained since its development in 2013.
DCAT-AP v1.1 is now available.
Find out more here.
The European Data Portal is implementing the DCAT-AP as the common vocabulary for harmonising descriptions of over 258,000 datasets harvested from 67 data portals of 34 countries.
The DCAT-AP is used in the Open Data Support service initiated by the European Commission with the purpose of realising the vision of European data portals.
The Swedish innovation agency VINNOVA, which runs the Swedish Open Data Portal, in collaboration with Open Knowledge UK and MetaSolutions have undertaken many activities to support DCAT-AP in the Swedish Open Data Portal, including:
The DCAT Application profile is a joint initiative of
Studies conducted on behalf of the European Commission (see this link for an overview) show that businesses and citizens still face difficulties in finding and re-using public sector information. In its communication on Open Data of December 12 2011, the European Commission states that the availability of the information in a machine-readable format as well as a thin layer of commonly agreed metadata could facilitate data cross-reference and interoperability and therefore considerably enhance its value for reuse.
The aim to ensure consistency in the description metadata published by data portals across Europe is important and has a clear business case. We see the following scenarios:
The application profile is a specification for metadata records to meet the specific application needs of data portals in Europe while providing semantic interoperability with other applications on the basis of reuse of established controlled vocabularies (e.g. EuroVoc) and mappings to existing metadata vocabularies (e.g. Dublin Core, SDMX, INSPIRE metadata, etc).