- update no. 2 is the Labs’ repository of high-quality, easy-to-use open data. This update summarizes some of the improvements to that have taken place over the past two months.

New tools

Several tools which make it easier to use the Data Package standard are now operational. These include a Data Package creator, a Data Package viewer, and there’s progress on a validator for Data Packages.

Data Package Creator

Turning a CSV into a Data Package means creating a file, datapackage.json, which houses the metadata associated with the CSV. The Data Package Creator simplifies this process.

Provide the Creator with the URL of a CSV and it will return a well-formed JSON object with the required fields, as well as a raw JSON URL (the JSON URL serves as a basic machine accessible API).

Data Package Creator in action

Data Package Viewer

The metadata included with Data Packages makes it possible to construct a simple view of the data. We now provide an online Data Package Viewer to do this for you.

Just provide the link to your Data Package and Viewer generates a user-friendly description, a graph of the data, and a summary of the data fields. Here, for example, is the Viewer’s display of US wheat production data.

Data Package Viewer in action

New datasets

The biggest data news was having our first ‘out-of-the-blue’ contribution of an ‘official’ dataset! Evan Wheeler pinged us to offer a comprehensive collection of country codes for the world’s countries in Simple Data Format. Here is the:

Country codes data, table view

Also new:

If you want to contribute a new dataset, check out the instructions and the outstanding requests.

New standards pages

Among’s chief purpose is promoting simple standards for data transport in the form of Data Package and Simple Data Format - helping to create a world of frictionless data.

Key here is providing simple, easy-to-understand, information and so we’ve revamped the standards page and created two new pages dedicated to providing simple introduction and overview for Data Package and Simple Data Format:

Get involved

Anyone can contribute, and it’s easy – if you can use a spreadsheet, you can help!

Instructions for getting involved can be found here.