Estonia Pilots Metadata Harve…

Estonia Pilots Metadata Harvesting Solution

Published on: 15/02/2016
Last update: 04/10/2017

The Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has developed a metadata harvesting solution based on the Core Public Service Vocabulary Application (CPSV-AP). The CPSV-AP has been employed in order to define the common vocabulary for describing public services in Estonia. The solution is part of the Estonian Metadata Collection Reference Architecture. This achievement shows that the CPSV-AP can be used as the common data model for harmonising and integrating machine readable descriptions of public services. This pilot is part of ISA Action 1.1

Metadata collection in Estonia

Estonia has a good legal and technical background for the maintenance of a registry of all information systems in the government sector. The work is based on the principles that well-organised metadata yields concrete benefits and that metadata collection should unobtrusively maximise value for the data provider.

Pilot objectives

The pilot had certain objectives:

  • Demonstrating the effectiveness of a harvesting solution for collecting public service metadata in the Estonian Metadata Collection Reference Architecture;
  • Developing a common model for describing public services in Estonia and exchanging descriptive metadata using CPSV-AP as a foundation;
  • Understanding difficulties in defining an information exchange format based on the CPSV-AP and covering a large amount of ambiguously structured information;
  • Demonstrating the feasibility of having many different organisations adopt the developed format and produce content with it.

Pilot outcomes

he harvester successfully made the data available by mapping data from the JSON files published by Estonian public administrations to the CPSV-AP. This proves that the applicability of the CPSV-AP as the common data model for publishing the public service metadata descriptions. The pilot revealed no critical obstacles in achieving full conformance between CPSV-AP and the data model implemented in the Estonian web form tool. This example can be followed also by other EU Member States that are planning to implement decentralised/federated catalogues of public services.

The pilot architecture poses no limitations concerning neither the number and the type of data sources nor the number of public services descriptions to be aggregated. The current version of the harvester does have the data validation functionality. Adding the automated CPSV-AP conformance features to the harvester would be a valuable development option.

 The pilot demonstrated that it is possible to have a disperse set of organisations document their public services in a way it is possible to convert into a machine-readable format. The aggregated data was stored and made available for further use and reuse through both human and machine readable interfaces.

Currently the Estonian prototype includes 225 public service descriptions from six different authorities. The pilot stakeholders, MEAC and RIA, have acknowledged the positive outcome of the pilot and made their respective decisions regarding its usage:

  • MEAC (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications) will use the CPSV-AP mapping outcome as input for the further development roadmap of the Public Service Description Tool (PSDT). The intention is to achieve full conformance with CPSV-AP. It has been made mandatory for all the Estonian ministries to publish their e-service descriptions by March 2016. The data naming conventions of the PSDT will be further developed according to the CPSV-AP and used in the creation of the Estonian PS portfolio.
  • The pilot helped RIHA (Administration system and catalogue for the Estonian information systems) to develop a clear understanding of the technical feasibility of the proposed solution and the proof of concept for the Metadata Collection Reference Architecture. Hence, the outcomes of the pilot will be used in two ways. The first usage will be in the frame of the development of the new RIHA, though it is not clear yet if the pilot software can be reused directly or used as a template for the chosen technology. The second planned use is to promote the outcomes of the pilot for the reuse by other similar projects in Estonia.

Further information

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