Blogpost

An easy way to find European open data

This is a crosspost from transparencycamp.

An easy way to find European open data

With the TransparencyCamp Europe App Competition we call on developers and data crunchers to create, develop and submit web applications, mobile apps or online tools that utilise public sector information and open data to benefit people.

The coming months, we’re posting a number of datablogs to help you find the data you need and are curious to know what data you’re missing in creating apps that you have in mind. As a starter, two months ago, the European Union unveiled its open data portal that allows the public sector in 32 European countries to share open datasets.

The European data portal

The European data portal brings public data from all over Europe into one central place, currently holding roughly 400,000 datasets from European countries sourced from national, regional, local and domain-specific public data providers. This portal includes 68 catalogs and 13 categories such as government and public sector, justice, legal system and public safety, health, transport, economy and finance.

Countries and regions and institutions

You can find data you need for creating open data apps as the portal offers access to data published by public administrations from 34 countries, including 28 EU member states, the European Economic Area, Switzerland and countries in the EU Neighbourhood Policy programme. Besides data from national and regional catalogs, you can also find open data of the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.

Formats

The data you can find on the European data portal comes in various formats, like CSV, JSON and XML, however, not all formats are machine-readible (like PDF). Actually, the availability of machine-readable data on national portals is relatively low. Only 15% of the European catalogs have more than 75% of their data available in machine-readable format. Some datasets are also accessible via APIs. Take a look at WFS for geographic data or this generic list of APIs. Furthermore, the Eurovoc Thesaurus allows multilingual searching by data category and the portal provides an advanced search function for the discovery of public open data by geographical location.