At the beginning of this year, Prague launched its new local open data catalogue (https://opendata.praha.eu/project), which makes the city's data easily and clearly accessible to its citizens. Its development and implementation were led by the Golemio data platform team, which is part of the Prague municipal company Operátor ICT, a. s. (OICT). It replaced the previous solution built on technology that no longer met the standards of open data publishing and was difficult to use and develop further. It is a solution that is fully compliant with global standards but is also technologically compatible with the National Open Data Catalogue (https://data.gov.cz/datov%C3%A9-sady). For this reason, it has also been published as open source with a license that allows use by any other institution.
"We are proud of the fact that Prague is a national leader in the field of digitisation and data handling. The launch of the new open data catalogue is another milestone in our efforts to improve services for our citizens and facilitate access to important information," says Councillor Daniel Mazur, who is now responsible for ICT.
"By having a stable in-house analytics and development team, we have been able to develop a tool in an agile way that precisely matches the needs of internal users in the city, while allowing us to develop the tool further as needed." adds OICT CEO Tomas Barczi.
To ensure standards and compatibility within the national open data catalogue, the Golemio team worked with experts from the Ministry of the Interior, as well as members of the open data community.
"Thanks to our hard work in the last election period, we managed to publish a whole range of open data on the activities of the city and its companies in a structured way. Now we have reached the stage where we can inspire other Czech cities with this activity. Open data serves the public and experts to better control the activities of the city, transparent functioning, the possibility of citizen participation, or even to create a number of innovative projects that improve the overall operation of the city," adds Councillor Adam Zábranský for Property, Transparency and Legislation.
"Solution design is a collaborative effort between multiple people and organizations because one of our missions is to co-create and be part of the open data community. We use smart ideas and solutions from other institutions to make the development truly effective. To ensure a smooth migration of about 370 datasets to the new catalogue, we needed a handy migration script. This was eventually created as part of the master thesis of Dominik Skala, a student at the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University. Colleagues from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University also contributed to the design," praises Ladislav Bláha, product manager of the new catalogue from the Golemio team. "Open source is already being tested in the Ústí and Olomouc regions, and interest has also been shown in the Central Bohemia region. We really understand municipal systems and we will be happy to train other users who want to publish data through our open source" adds Ladislav.
"When using CKAN, there were always many steps to take to get a user to even log into an admin account from our secure corporate environment. This required not one, but several installed applications, an alternative browser, a seven-page manual that was kindly created for us, and the use of a remote desktop connection. Compared to this complicated login, working in the local open data catalogue is rewarding. The publication of datasets is only preceded by opening a single web page and a simple login," says Petra Martinková from the municipal company Pražské vodovody a kanalizace, describing her experience.
The local open data catalogue is being developed as part of the Golemio data platform, which is also built as an open source solution. It is a modular and extensible system that can be used from the ground up by another city, county or organization.
More than 360 datasets from more than two dozen Prague companies and municipalities are available to users on the newly launched Prague Open Data Portal at opendata.praha.eu. The Prague Local Open Data Catalogue contains various city data in machine-readable formats that can be filtered by topics such as economy and finance, environment, transport, government and public sector, population and society, energy, health, etc.
We wish all teams the best of luck in the coming weeks and look forward to seeing all the projects we receive.