The Open Government Platform for Germany (OGPD) is an access portal for electronic resources in public administration, in particular data, but also documents and applications. It bundles locally maintained files in one convenient interface and provides in particular a central access point for citizens in general and in particular developers, data journalists, governments and business. It also provides users with a feedback channel to the data providers within the authorities.
To fulfill this purpose, the platform includes two main components: a content management system (CMS) and a data catalog. The CMS provides for the management of editorial content such as information pages, links, news, opportunities for comment and reviews by users and supports an integrated view of the data catalog. In the catalog the metadata describing the data, documents and applications, are kept, which in turn refer to distributed data offers (available online files or services).
This architectural pattern occurs frequently in similar portals. Differences arise mainly in the choice of software products for the components and the way how they interact with each other. Choosing Liferay as CMS and CKAN as data catalog is referred to the OGPD study. Here, we only want to explain how they fit together and can be used by the actors (for example, user or editor) of the platform.
At its core is the Liferay CMS that provides most of the functionality known as portlets in a web interface. Editorial content such as articles and blog post are created right here. The contents of the data catalog are displayed using search fields and result lists. Data providers can register new or update existing datasets via the web form.
In addition to queries/edits via CMS, the data catalog can be accessed directly via a REST interface. With this, data providers can automate the release of their data in the OGPD.
For such data providers who catalog for their own metadata, the harvesting component come into play. It allows to “harvest” existing catalogs, that is to import their content while filtering transforming it into the metadata structures of the OGPD. For OGPD the catalogs of spatial data infrastructure, PortalU, destatis, Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg are currently read via INSPIRE CSW respectively CKAN API. With respect to the open data criteria only such datsets are considered that have an electronic resource, a description and a well-defined license.
For users, the web interface is the main entrance to OGPD. Here, editorial, information and community content can be searched. Over OGPD users get direct access to available online data offers. At the same time you can comment and review.
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