datos.gob.es, the Spanish national Government portal for ReUse of PSI (Datos.Gob.Es)

Published on: 17/01/2012

Datos.gob.es was launched October 24th 2011 as an initiative promoted by the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the Ministry of Finance sand Public Administrations. It forms part of the Plan Avanza2 and Proyecto Aporta (Aporta Project) strategy for promoting openness and the reuse of public sector information in Spain.

The main aim of datos.gob.es is to promote the publication of, improve access to and encourage the reuse of public sector information issued by the General State Administration. These efforts aim to create a more transparent, efficient and friendly government, and to create new opportunities –both social and economic- based on reusing public sector information.

Datos.gob.es takes up the experience gathered since the launch of Proyecto Aporta’s website (www.aporta.es) in 2009 to spread a culture fostering the reuse of public sector information. It incorporates the most actual functions and resources to facilitate the opening up and location of data on-line (following recommendations described by the Directive 2003/98/EC) and to raise user participation. Indeed, it focuses its web activity on the Data Catalogue.

Policy Context

Datos.gob.es is a tool described in the Plan Avanza 2011-2015 Strategy to promote Information Society in Spain. The legal basis for datos.gob.es is provided for in the Spanish Royal Decree 1495/2011, of 24th October 2011, whereby the Law 37/2007, of November 16, on the re-use of public sector information, is developed for the public state sector. This Royal Decree is available in English under section “Learn more > Normative” for those citizens and international companies interested in the legal framework in Spain on the re-use of PSI and wanting to work within it.

In fact, this regulation provides that the Government (art. 5) shall maintain a Public Sector Information Catalogue, covering at least re-usable and accessible for the General State Administration. It may be linked or interoperate with similar initiatives from other public administrations.

Cooperation in feeding and updating the Catalogue is mandatory for all public sector bodies and departments belonging to the state public sector are, according to Royal Decree 1495/2007.  

Datos.gob.es establishes entirely favourable terms for reusing its own contents, which are outlined in its "Legal notice". This notice basically requires that the documents being reused are not distorted and to quote the source and last updating of data.

This is in line with the provisions of the Royal Decree, which establishes the "open data by default" rule as generally applicable to all information from the state public sector in Spain (as has been proposed recently by the draft version of the amended EU Directive).

Description of the way to implement the initiative

The project under which datos.gob.es is developed fulfils al relevant international requirements on design, accessibility, usability and web security. It includes general features from the Web Architecture and the One Web. It also follows W3C recommendations on open data publishing for governments. 

The site is based on standard technologies XHTML and CSS and validated code, facilitating users’ experience and web management. It holds all the pre-existing resources from the www.aporta.es platform too. It offers a more attractive design and adds new tools for promotion, Web 2.0 participation and awareness on the benefits of reusing. Thanks to these functions, users can easily share the released data in datos.gob.es, the datasets from the Catalogue, the sample applications and latest news about PSI world.

Datos.gob.es  is an initiative open to professionals, companies, public managers and citizens interested in Open Data. It provides practical, informative and educational resources for developing products and services of high social and economic value, based on the re-use of Public Sector Information.

This portal focuses all its attention on users, be it administrations, companies or citizens, providing a user-centred navigation and content delivery experience. 

Thanks to its richness in resources and its top state of the art Catalogue datos.gob.es becomes a real "one stop shop" for publishing datasets and applications (commercial and non commercial), interacting, sharing and obtaining valuable resources on PSI reuse.

Technology solution

This portal shows a technological architecture ready to manage two key resources groups, throughout two different servers (to optimize its work).

1.    Software server. Front Office and Back Office: It employs a CMS system that supports web creation and the management of information (Excel, PDF, img...). Simultaneously, datos.gob.es facilitates following up the datasets added to the portal via Catalogue. Thus, it is important to obtain here a high storage capability (Excel, PDF, img…).
2.    Semantic server: It is reserved to storage Data Catalogue meta information and each dataset description (DCT, voID…). It is able to hold semantic data (RDF) and to publish them on SPARQL Endpoint. The most important aim is to transfer here data as quickly as possible.

Datos.gob.es runs with Drupal 7.0, language PHP (common on Open Source projects) and MySQL 5.2 system for database. This combination offers the following advantages:

•    Easy to install and manage    •    Powerful Graphic interface
•    User options and workflow    •    Web 2.0 functions
•    Secure and flexible structure    •    Native semantic support (RDF, RDFa…)


The Taxonomy used to describe the information within the Catalogue is based on the proposal by CTIC Foundation according to the "Administrative Actions Taxonomy in the framework of Law 11/2007" and other tags used in governmental websites as 060, EUGO, INE, EUROSTAT, World Bank and OECD. This Catalogue (BETA) will be regularly updated by involved public bodies, by adding or improving their information and sheets (CRUD system -Create-Read-Update-Delete). Likewise, it contains a search engine and a two-filter system (by categories and -formats).

Technology choice: Open source software

Main results, benefits and impacts

By promoting the publication of, improving access to and encourageing the reuse of public sector information issued by the General State Administration, we are creating a more transparent, efficient and friendly government, setting up new opportunities –both social and economic- based on reusing public sector information.

Data Catalogue (BETA) in datos.gob.es offers single access to more than 600 services and datasets from General State Administration, belonging to 150 different categories and containing all kind of information (censuses and directories). This number will increase strongly and steadily due to the "Open by default" rule and obligations to feed and update the Catalogue established by the recent Royal decree 1495/2011. In this regard, the first phase of full implementation is due to be accomplished in October 2012.

Lessons learnt

- Implementation of opendata initatives required consensus of a wide group of stakeholhers (both from public and private sector)


- A legal framework backing opendata iniatiatives provide the boost for launching the iniatiatives and the required sustainability once operational


- A beta phase is critical to identify the needs of in such an innovative field

Scope: National