Developer's Corner

Existing Catalog APIs - Developer Favorites or Standard API?

Like many commercial product catalogs (i.e. Amazon.com) there is a web services api to search/access the catalog. Of course there are also REST APIs to do this (don't want a REST versus web services flame war here).

What catalog API would developers suggest for data.gov?

Is there a standard catalog API suitable for data.gov?

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Idea#31

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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]

Comments

  1. Comment
    David Smith

    There are a number of approaches that can be used, such as Open Geospatial Consortium Catalog Services for the Web (CS-W) http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/cat - this is geared particularly to geospatial datasets.

    Ultimately what one needs is a means of querying the catalog, though with a set of user parameters or filters - these would be aligned with metadata elements and be wired to a user interface that facilitates implementing searches such as geographic extent (e.g. fully within or crossing a bounding box, polygon, et cetera via map interface) or temporal (earlier than a certain date, less than 60 days ago, between two given dates et cetera via calendar picker) or thematic (see ontologies/taxonomies/thesauri suggestion) and so on.

  2. Comment
    joe.carmel

    I also like OPDS very much, but Owen Ambur has correctly pointed out DDMS extends Dublin Core with a more government focus.

    If data.gov is reluctant to choose a standard other than CSV, I’d like to see the site consider the creation of a government-wide standard data catalog format by first asking us users to create alternatives for the data.gov datasets and posting those alternatives through data.gov for comment. I'm sure there is interest among the open communities (Sunlight, W3C, DAMA, Google) and governments (LOC’s PREMIS, DOD’s DDMS) and academia to provide alternatives using the data.gov datasets. Then, allow for a period of time for comment and even collaboration.

    I also think local extensions should be encouraged. That way, Atom or OPDS or something else becomes the core of the “universal” format but "common" elements can also be defined by two or more government units or verticals. Here data.gov could provide an incredible service by also pointing to the “common” extensions.

    Being optimistic, if data.gov chooses an approach like OPDS that allows entries to contain sub-catalogs, all of the agencies and even other governments will likely adopt the same approach, especially if the approach is modular, interconnected, and easy to create and extend.

  3. Comment
    Marten Hogeweg

    For the Geospatial content, data.gov consumes such a CS-W service, prodived by geodata.gov:

    http://catalog.geodata.gov/geoportal/csw/discovery?request=GetCapabilities&service=CSW&version=2.0.2

    Challenge with the CS-W specification is that it comes in many flavors. The above supports the base profile (aka OGCCORE), but there are more complex implementations based on ebRIM (that are broken down in more domain specific profiles) and based on the ISO 191xx series of specifications.

    Data.gov should also look at OpenSearch. This is the protocol supported in most current Internet browsers (the little search box in the top-right corner is an OpenSearch client) and is supported in Windows 7.

    Again for the spatial content, geodata.gov provides such interface at:

    http://catalog.geodata.gov/geoportal/openSearchDescription

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