by Rebecca Merrett to move to open source platform

Apr 11, 20132 mins
Data MiningGovernment

The Australian government’s technology and procurement division has released a draft roadmap for moving the website to the open source CKAN platform. The shift will begin at the end of April.

“The CKAN platform… is used notably and very successfully by the UK government to publish data and enable better public engagement with government,” Pia Waugh, director of co-ordination and Gov 2.0, wrote in a blog post on the Australian Government Information Management Office website.

“Finance has had discussions with the team, as well as with open data experts around the world to ensure the refresh is based on global best practice, with a specific focus on the best quality data publishing possible. We will leverage the work of the UK team including the additional plugins they’ve developed.”

Over the next 12 months, the division will work with government agencies to publish their data on the new portal, and will be used to support the GovHack 2013 event, where developers compete to find better ways of using government data sets and improving transparency.

Over the next six to nine months the government is looking to develop front-end data visualisation services to help make the website more interactive for users.

Improving the mobile applications register on the website is also part of the draft roadmap. The government plans to make the Australian government’s online app register similar to the website. This will start towards the end of the year.

“In this way we can differentiate between government and non-government initiatives, people can rate and comment on mobile initiatives based on government data or services, and we can have a single place where people can find how to access government on their mobile devices,” Waugh wrote.

The website refresh is now in the consultation phase, and briefings will be held on 19 April where government agencies, developers and interested members of the public can discuss implementation details, feature requests and ways to improve the website.