Version 50 (modified by wwaites, 4 years ago) (diff)


Welcome to Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) Project Wiki

Table of Contents

  1. Welcome to Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) Project Wiki
  2. What It Is
  3. Code and Docs
  4. Features
  5. Vision and Design
    1. Design Pages
  6. Project Processes and Policies
  7. Work in Related Areas

What It Is

CKAN is a registry or catalogue system for datasets or other "knowledge" resources. CKAN aims to make it easy to find, share and reuse open content and data, especially in ways that are machine automatable.

Those familiar with software services like freshmeat, CPAN, or apt can think of CKAN as providing an analogous service for content and data.

The CKAN software is used to run the CKAN service: and is also running the catalogue behind as well as more than 10 other sites around the world including in Germany /, Canada /, France CKAN is an Open Knowledge Foundation project. Here's a full list of CKAN instances.

Code and Docs

CKAN code is in a mercurial repository here:

This Trac service is being used to track CKAN project developments. The full list of services associated with this project are listed here:

Documentation can be found at:

The CKAN Linked Data Service us made using the CKAN API and the following software:


Major features:

  • Free/Open?-Source software, written in Python
  • Domain Model: Data and content "packages" with a standard set of core metadata and support for adding unlimited arbitrary additional metadata
    • All package data is automatically versioned in a wiki-like manner
    • Tagging of packages
    • Groups for controlled categorization of packages
    • Ratings
    • Unlimited associated package resources ('download urls') with additional metadata (format, description etc)
  • Web user interface (WUI)
    • Package adding, editing, listing etc
    • Wiki features such as "Recent Changes", edit histories, purging of changes etc
    • User management and user home pages
  • API: full JSON-based API (with python client) - contributed clients in PHP and Perl
    • RDF version also available
    • CKAN is easy to use as your "catalogue" backend
  • Search: Full searchability (including full-text support) via API and WUI
  • Access control: fine-grained access control for packages and group
  • Messaging: integrate asynchronous AMQP messaging and queuing
  • Federated structure: easily set up new instances with common search etc
  • Additional interfaces:
    • Excel importer (upload dataset/package information direct from a spreadsheet)
    • Fully featured command line client (datapkg)

Coming soon:

  • Package relationships (depends on, derived from ...)
  • Detailed statistics (+ tag clouds etc)
  • See the tickets for more ...

Vision and Design

This diagram illustrates our overall "debian of data" vision of which CKAN (as the registry) is a central part:

No image "ckan-vision.png" attached to WikiStart

Design Pages

Project Processes and Policies

Work in Related Areas