On 4 March 2013, the Spanish Government published an interoperability specification that harmonises how Spanish public administrations describe datasets or more generally public sector information (PSI). The use of common description metadata is a significant catalyst in increasing the use of open data. It affects the searchability of datasets on open data portals such as datos.gov.es.
Users who look for open government data do not always know where to find it. For them it is at times difficult to get an overview of which information exists and which public sector organisation maintains it, in particular if the information is in another Member State where the structure of government and public administration may be unfamiliar and language barriers may apply. To address this problem, data portals, such as datos.gov.es, maintain catalogues of datasets that are made available by public administrations on their websites. The quality of the description metadata in these catalogues directly affects how easily datasets can be found.
With the publication of interoperability guidelines in the bulletin of the Spanish Government, the Spanish Government has taken a milestone initiative towards improving the quality of description metadata. In particular, specification requires public administrates to use of the Data Catalogue (DCAT) vocabulary, maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), for describing their open data. In addition to this, the specification defines rules for URI structures and specifies common of controlled vocabularies (publishers, sectors, open data themes, locations).
BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO, Núm. 54, Lunes 4 de marzo de 2013, 2380 Resolución de 19 de febrero de 2013, de la Secretaría de Estado de Administraciones Públicas, por la que se aprueba la Norma Técnica de Interoperabilidad de Reutilización de recursos de la información.