As part of a series of major upgrades, Data.gov today moved to a new data catalog based on an open source data management system, the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network – better known as CKAN.
The new data catalog is a key component of the Data.gov 2.0 coming in the next few months. Users visiting the new data catalog will notice the improved search function, which now allows the user to find all datasets for a particular location, better sorting and tagging of datasets and improved metadata.
Because Data.gov now has a unified data catalog based on an open source standard, datasets on the site will be easier to use with other federal agency, state, city and county catalogs. CKAN also makes implementation of the open data policy possible because it will draw on data inventories other federal agencies create under the policy.
Finally, in switching over to the new catalog, Data.gov had the opportunity to launch another round of usability testing, giving users yet another opportunity to improve the site as a whole.