Miga, a new app generator for structured data

I’m pleased to announce the Miga Data Viewer, or Miga, an open source tool I created that lets you create a web/mobile app nearly automatically from a set of CSV data.

There are already various applications/frameworks that provide a JavaScript-enabled front-end for structured data - and not just structured data, but CSV data. These include two published by the Open Knowledge Foundation itself, Recline.js and the related Data Explorer.

Miga is different from these and (I think) other tools in a few ways. Instead of presenting an aggregate view of the data, its interface is more similar to that of an app, where each entity/row has its own page. (There are also ways to view the data in aggregate, with maps and schedules and the like.)

There are some other features that Miga has that I don’t believe other data-browsing tools have at the moment, including the ability to browse multiple, linked tables (like having one file about countries and other about cities, where a column in the latter connects the two). But the most important difference is that Miga provides offline viewing: once a site, i.e. a dataset, has been accessed, it can be viewed even if the internet connection is lost. The offline capability is provided through two very useful technologies: Web SQL and Application Cache. (The use of Web SQL unfortunately means that Miga can’t be used on Firefox or Internet Explorer, though it works fine on all other major browsers, including mobile browsers.)

I think Miga could potentially be useful for publishing a lot of different kinds of data - for both regular browsing and mobile app-style functionality. I would encourage anyone to try it out for themselves - if you have a set of data in CSV format, or can create it, the rest of the setup is not that hard.