The Dutch government has made available as open source a catalogue of data and concepts used in the country’s ‘System of Base Registrations’. The aim is to provide users and suppliers a comprehensive view of the system, and to make it available for reuse.
The Netherlands’ System of Base Registrations contains data such as addresses, personal data, company names and geo-information. The records are used by all public administrations in the country. The closely related catalogue (stelselcatalogus) is “an online list of definitions of all concepts that are included in the basic registry and related legislation.”
The catalogue can be accessed online at stelselcatalogus.nl. The government has now also made available the source code for the catalogue and the web service.
In November, Logius, a ministerial department assisting government organisations in building e-government services, published the code for the web application that allows users to browse the catalogue. The solution is written in PHP, an open source script language.
Comply or complain
“Sharing the Stelselcatalogus helps to define metadata elements. It documents how it is used by Dutch administrations”, Logius explains in a brochure.
Sharing should result in harmonisation and increasing use of the data and concepts of the base registry, Logius writes. “It helps the Dutch government to abide to its principle of ‘single registration - multiple usage’. This means that public organisations have to re-use data, or explain why not.”
The stelselcatalogus, which Logius alternatively calls the ‘open source software data catalogue’ (OSSG), is available on the Github source code repository. It is published using the BSD-2 licence.
The open source software version is not developed or maintained by Logius, the organisation writes. “Functional modifications and enhancements to the current version of the system catalogue are not implemented in the open source version.”