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DCAT application profile for data portals in Europe

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DCAT Application Profile for data portals in Europe released for public review

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DCAT application profile for data portals in Europe logoAs from today the DCAT Application Profile developed in the context of the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Programme, has entered its public review period. Anyone interested is invited to provide feedback until 15 July 2013 (extended deadline).

In April 2013, the ISA Programme launched the DCAT Application Profile initiative as part of Action 1.1 on improving semantic interoperability in European e-Government systems. The goal of the DCAT Application Profile is to become a common specification for describing public sector datasets and sharing these descriptions with data portals across Europe, since studies conducted on behalf of the European Commission show that businesses and citizens still face difficulties in finding and re-using public sector information.

The aim to ensure consistency in the description metadata published by data portals across Europe has a clear business case: 

  • Data re-users find it at times difficult to get an overview of which datasets exists and which public administrations are maintaining it, in particular if the datasets are in another Member State where language barriers may apply and the structure of government is unfamiliar.  To address this problem, data publishers and portals, 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.
  • Data providers want to encourage reuse of their datasets by making them searchable and accessible. Here publishing description metadata of the datasets online can be at times more important than making it the actual data available. Especially in cases where the costs to publish datasets is high and the actual demand for it unclear, listing on one or more data portals can signal availability at low cost.

In its communication on Open Data of December 12 2011, the European Commission states that the availability of the information in a machine-readable format as well as a thin layer of commonly agreed metadata could facilitate data cross-reference and interoperability and therefore considerably enhance its value for reuse.

How can you help?

The public review period is open until 15 July 2013 (extended deadline). The general public is invited to:

  1. Download the Final Draft of DCAT Application Profile from Joinup platform; and
  2. Provide your comments on the Final Draft page on Joinup (registration and/or login is required).

What happens with your feedback?

  1. All comments will be registered in an issues list that will be discussed by the Working Group on 12 June 2013.
  2. Resolutions of those issues will be shared on Joinup, and will lead to a final version of the specification that will be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement by the EU Member States.

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