EU Open Data Portal Now In Public Beta

    The European Commission has launched its open data portal, announced last year December, in public beta. While the site is already on-line, the EC has requested to not widely circulate the URL yet. In January 2013 the beta launch will be more widely announced.

    The EC data portal, at launch provides access to 5800+ data sets, mostly coming from Eurostat. With this portal the EC intends to lead by example in opening up public sector information pro-actively for free re-use in Europe, as part of the European open data strategy.

    The EC portal is for now aimed at publishing the EC’s own data, but is at the same time a first step towards a pan-European data portal that will provide access to all underlying national (and regional, local) data portals across the 27 Member States.

    The beta portal has a SPARQL endpoint to provide linked data, and will also point to applications that help work with the data (currently one application listed).

    The European Commission is asking for feedback from a circle of early reviewers amongst the European open data community on this new open data portal:

    “Over the past months we have worked hard to make available a first operational version, offering an initial set of interactive features and an interesting, even if not yet complete, range of datasets and applications.

    At the moment the Portal is not yet dimensioned for an important number of users, and some known issues regarding the GUI and the content still remain to be fixed in the coming few weeks. The application section also will very soon be restructured, and the current applications fixed. However, we address you as a professional and competent user, in order to show you the site in “avant-première” and receive from you feedback, critics, comments. For these reasons we will be grateful if you will take the time to use the portal and “play” with it. However, please do not communicate widely the URL yet; a more extended communication will be prepared by the Commission in January. ”

    “We need your feedback to show us ways to improve the site. There are still some bugs to fix and many ways of improvement, we know, but we may not have thought of all of them. We would be particularly interested in hearing from you on:

    How do you like the functionality? (data and applications section, search capabilities, metadata presentation, links to datasets and applications, user friendliness, …)
    How do you like the content? (data granularity, quality/relevance of metadata, kind of needed applications, …)
    What did you expect to find and what did you expect the portal could do for you – and can do for the wider open data community.
    We will then be pleased to receive your feedback, on the subjects mentioned above but also regarding any issue you think might help us in providing a tool as much as possible fulfilling your needs and the needs of the community. “