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Browsing, searching and downloading contents from the datahub

Who is this guide for

  • Users visiting ODM's Datahub site willing to explore data
  • Researchers, journalists, advocates, etc. looking for data to work with

What this guide teaches

  • How to find information in the platform
  • How data is structured
  • How data can be downloaded

Things to know in forehand

Datasets and resources

In CKAN, data is published in units called “datasets”. A dataset is a parcel of data - for example, it could be the crime statistics for a region, the spending figures for a government department, or temperature readings from various weather stations. When users search for data, the search results they see will be individual datasets.

A dataset contains two things:

  • Information or “metadata” about the data. For example, the title and publisher, date, what formats it is available in, what license it is released under, etc.
  • A number of “resources”, which hold the data itself. CKAN does not mind what format the data is in. A resource can be a CSV or Excel spreadsheet, XML file, PDF document, image file, linked data in RDF format, etc. CKAN can store the resource internally, or store it simply as a link, the resource itself being elsewhere on the web. A dataset can contain any number of resources. For example, different resources might contain the data for different years, or they might contain the same data in different formats.

Organizations and groups

Information on ODM's Datahub is categorized in Organizations and Groups:

  • There are several partnering organization from each of the countries of the mekong region contributing to the knowledge base on the platform. Each dataset is uploaded by an organization.
  • Datasets can be assigned to one or several Groups, which is a way to categorize the information by different topics. Currently, there following groups can be found under https://data.opendevelopmentmekong.net/group:
    • News
    • Maps and data
    • Publications library
    • Policies, laws and agreements

Searching the site

To find datasets in CKAN, type any combination of search words (e.g. “health”, “transport”, etc) in the search box on any page. CKAN displays the first page of results for your search. You can:

  • View more pages of results
  • Repeat the search, altering some terms
  • Restrict the search to datasets with particular tags, data formats, etc using the filters in the left-hand column.

If there are a large number of results, the filters can be very helpful, since you can combine filters, selectively adding and removing them, and modify and repeat the search with existing filters still in place.

Searching within an organization

If you want to look for data owned by a particular organization, you can search within that organization from its home page in CKAN.

  1. Select the “Organizations” link at the top of any page.
  2. Select the organization you are interested in. CKAN will display your organization’s home page.
  3. Type your search query in the main search box on the page.

CKAN will return search results as normal, but restricted to datasets from the organization.

If the organization is of interest, you can opt to be notified of changes to it (such as new datasets and modifications to datasets) by using the “Follow” button on the organization page. See the section Managing your news feed below. You must have a user account and be logged in to use this feature.

Exploring datasets

When you have found a dataset you are interested and selected it, CKAN will display the dataset page. This includes

  • The name, description, and other information about the dataset
  • Links to and brief descriptions of each of the resources

The resource descriptions link to a dedicated page for each resource. This resource page includes information about the resource, and enables it to be downloaded. Many types of resource can also be previewed directly on the resource page. .CSV and .XLS spreadsheets are previewed in a grid view, with map and graph views also available if the data is suitable. The resource page will also preview resources if they are common image types, PDF, or HTML.

The dataset page also has two other tabs:

  Activity stream – see the history of recent changes to the dataset
  Related items – see any links to web pages related to this dataset, or add your own links.

If the dataset is of interest, you can opt to be notified of changes to it by using the “Follow” button on the dataset page. See the section Managing your news feed below. You must have a user account and be logged in to use this feature.

Managing your user profile

You can change the information that CKAN holds about you, including what other users see about you by editing your user profile. (Users are most likely to see your profile when you edit a dataset or upload data to an organization that they are following.) To do this, select the gearwheel symbol at the top of any page.

CKAN displays the user settings page. Here you can change:

  • Your username
  • Your full name
  • Your e-mail address (note: this is not displayed to other users)
  • Your profile text - an optional short paragraph about yourself
  • Your password

Make the changes you require and then select the “Update Profile” button.

Managing your news feed

At the top of any page, select the dashboard symbol (next to your name). CKAN displays your News feed. This shows changes to datasets that you follow, and any changed or new datasets in organizations that you follow. The number by the dashboard symbol shows the number of new notifications in your News feed since you last looked at it. As well as datasets and organizations, it is possible to follow individual users (to be notified of changes that they make to datasets).

If you want to stop following a dataset (or organization or user), go to the dataset’s page (e.g. by selecting a link to it in your News feed) and select the “Unfollow” button.

public/browsing_searching_and_downloading_contents_from_the_datahub.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/07 18:29 by acorbi