Standards for Open Data Ecosystems


As part of the Digital Revolution in Global Development there is an ever increasing number and variety of digital data sources. While many data sources may have value in isolation, there is far more value to be gained by integrating data sources.

This requires an Open Data Ecosystem. Open data exchange protocols allow for real time transfer of data on demand which mitigates the tendency of data silos to develop. By encouraging open real time data access between data nodes and opening this ecosystem to a variety of participants, innovative information delivery platforms, applications and dashboards have the opportunity to thrive. Development community organizations such as donors and global groups have an opportunity to lead the way in defining recommendations on how organizations, projects, grantees and consultants can more easily participate in an Open Data Ecosystem.

There are a number of open data standards that already exist. The open geospatial consortium, the United Nations and the US government all have open web standards developed for a variety of purposes. Many platforms support some elements of these (for example Microsoft SQL Server and ESRI ArcGIS Server support OGC standards). There is however little in the way of Spatio-Temporal standards and this is something that needs to be addressed and remedied, not by a single entity, but by a consortium of participants.

Some groups that have mature data exchange standards and doing innovative work on improving data exchange - including spatial-temporal data exchange - include:

  • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)
  • Open Data Foundation
  • Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX)
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
  • Common European Research Information Format (CERIF)
  • U.S. National Academies Board on Research Data and Information
  • Committee on Data for Science and Technology of the International Council for Science

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