[datacatalogs] Proposal: migrating datacatalogs.org to a new simpler setup

Philip Ashlock phil at civicagency.org
Mon Jun 2 20:43:41 UTC 2014

For most users I don't think git or Google spreadsheets would be simpler or
very useful, but maybe the "simpler" was only referring to maintaining the
site. I agree with James' criteria although I might rank good search/API
interfaces higher than versioning. Github certainly doesn't provide
interfaces for adding or editing that are very user friendly for managing
CSV data and Google Spreadsheets (or any spreadsheet interface) isn't very
useable either. I guess a Google spreadsheet form would provide a minimal
level of useability, but that would only work for submissions, not edits.

I think we'd be better off with a traditional CRUD app with well designed
UI for submissions and edits than either of those options, but if you
wanted git functionality you could provide bi-directional sync to github
and treat the github copy as canonical. I'd still want a basic API though.

For some recent precedents for doing bidirectional github sync with a CMS

For me the ideal would be:

   - Submissions could be made without a user account but they get
   moderated. First via Akismet for spam filtering and then by human
   verification. Unmoderated submissions could still be public but with
   mechanisms to reduce abuse (eg on a separate URL blocked by search indexes
   with robots.txt and without any URLs being linked)
   - Edits could be made through a similar process or directly with
   approved user accounts
   - Everything would be accessible via full text search as well as an API
   with basic filtering options
   - Github syncing could be an optional alternative way to make

For what it's worth, it looks like http://www.opengeocode.org/opendata/
provides a pretty simple interface and currently appears more comprehensive
than datacatalogs.org. There's also a list of other precedents at
though many have been abandoned

On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>

> On 9 May 2014 18:02, Ross Jones <ross at servercode.co.uk> wrote:
>> On 9 May 2014, at 15:05, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
>> *Running Code*
>> I'm able to put my money where my mouth is here :-) I have a running demo:
>> http://new.datacatalogs.org/
>> http://new.datacatalogs.org/catalog/caib_es has an error
>> https://github.com/okfn/datacatalogs.org/pull/20 fixes. Needs more
>> meta-data on the detail page.
> thanks for the fix and now deployed.
> Should also root out dead portals, there are one or two, should be marked
>> as dead rather than removed I guess.
> Nice to get version control in before we do that properly ... (plus i need
> to pull latest set from live datacatalogs.org)
> Rufus
>> Ross
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