Open Data portals facilitate access to and re-use of information

Laureene Reeves Ndagire

People sometimes find it difficult to identify what type of information exists and by which public authority it is held. Open Data portals facilitate access to and re-use of pubic sector information.

A number of countries, regions and municipalities have therefore created portal websites on public data such as:


The European Commission activity in this area includes:


  • Developing a pan-European digital service infrastructure for open data with a view of providing multi-lingual access to data published by public administrations at all levels of government in Europe (EU countries, countries of the European Economic Area and certain other European countries). The core feature will be a metadata repository harvesting metadata references to data published by public administrations in those countries and present those metadata references in a common format (DCAT application profile for data portals in Europe). A web portal and an application programming interface (API) will make it searchable.This infrastructure is currently being developed. It is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility programme.


  • Working with EU Member States on data formats and interoperability between existing open data portal sites at State, regional or local level. The Commission wants to increase public access to high-value, machine-readable data sets generated by European, national & regional governments and public administrations. However, such data sets are found in several, diverse locations, which makes it difficult for people to find them. The Commission funds the “LOD2 – Creating Knowledge out of Interlinked Data” project, which developed a prototype pan-European search portal, publicdata.eu. This harvests metadata information from existing open data portal sites in Europe and makes them searchable through a multi-lingual user interface.


  • Contracting services to support data holding entities wishing to publish data on an open data portal, providing technical assistance on data preparation, transformation and publication and related training and IT advisory services. Online training material can be found here.

See also