The government of the Flanders region in Belgium is using open source for its new open data forum, opened this week Tuesday. The site host is running Linux, web server Apache and content management system Joomla for the open data knowledge exchange website.
The data repository is managed using CKAN, the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, a system for storing and distribution of data.
The site is also implementing DataTank, a tool that helps to create open data sets in the correct electronic formats. The solution is developed as open source by the Belgian chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN).
Opendataforum.info was opened on Tuesday by Flanders' Vice-Minister-President Geert Bourgeois, in his speech at Data Days, a three-day conference taking place in Gent.
Flanders' open data repository starts with 1200 datasets. The three most-popular include the list of Belgian train stations, data concerning bankruptcies and a listing of foreign population by municipality. The site also provides plenty of information on open data, including a manual documenting how to handle open data sets, and the Flemish open data licences.
The open data forum has been in beta since November. The person responsible for its creation, Noël Van Herreweghe, open data program manager for the Flemish government, on Monday revealed that the data forum can also be approached via the Flemish government web site, vlaanderen.be/opendata.
Van Herreweghe, speaking at the Data Days conference this week Monday, explained that with the open data platform in place, the focus will change to realising open data's economic and social value. On his to-do list is also organising an open data centre, where those interested can work together on the country's open data policy.
He will also work on federating the many data repositories, he said. "Users should not have to go looking for data sets in multiple portals, but should be able to find any data set in any of the many data repositories, in a federated model."