[datacatalogs] Status of data catalog metadata standards

Philip Ashlock phil at civicagency.org
Fri Jan 24 23:33:23 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 5:33 PM, James McKinney <james at opennorth.ca> wrote:

> http://schema.org/Dataset derives from DCAT.

It seems like just about everything in this space other than proper DCAT is
"derived" from DCAT, yet is still different

> DCAT is a W3C Recommendation, which is as stable and finalized as anything
> goes in W3C.

It looks like language clarifying its status as such was just added a week
ago. This is reassuring even if such recentness feels a little counter to
the notion of "stability" ;)

> There are no other more stable or finalized standards.

Sounds about right.

> I spent a lot of time on the project-open-data issue tracker getting its
> schema to match the DCAT spec.

Much appreciated.

>  In terms of adoption, you'll find an incomplete list here
> http://www.w3.org/2011/gld/wiki/DCAT_Implementations

I suspect there's a lot missing there. Seems like
https://github.com/okfn/ckanext-dcat could probably be added right?

> To my knowledge, dataprotocols.org is not about data catalog metadata. It
> addresses other problems like CSV on the web, etc.

Right. I think I meant http://spec.datacatalogs.org

> Besides DCAT, I don't know of another *standard* specifically focused on
> data catalogs. Thematic areas, e.g. health data, may have their own
> specific standards. Of course, each data catalog vendor has its own custom
> formats, toolchains, etc.
> In my opinion, all efforts should be on DCAT.

As it is now it seems as if data.gov would need to support three

1. The Project Open Data schema for interoperability within the federal
2. The Schema.org Datasets schema for search engines
3. "Pure" DCAT for everything else, eg via

Does that sound right?

> James
> On 2014-01-24, at 4:57 PM, Philip Ashlock wrote:
> Can I get some help piecing together an overview of the current state of
> data catalog metadata standards?
> I'm interested in getting a rough sense of how stable or finalized certain
> schemas are and how much they've have been adopted by data producers, data
> consumers, and the toolchains associated with them.
> In particular:
> * DCAT and derivatives/serializations
> * Schema.org Datasets schema
> * Anything on http://dataprotocols.org
> The main reason I ask is because of the future of the US Federal
> Government's metadata schema and the implication of others serving metadata
> based on it (such as US local governments)
> For that schema, see:
> http://project-open-data.github.io/schema/
> http://project-open-data.github.io/metadata-resources/
> This schema was driven by the US federal government, but was informed by
> some existing standards including DCAT and is meant to have mappings to
> them (as seen in the aforementioned link). There are variety of disparate
> systems in the federal government that now publish metadata using this
> schema. There's a CKAN extension to both produce and consume this schema
> and there's also some support from other full featured data catalog systems
> (namely DKAN and Socrata as far as I know).
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