DKAN Topics feature focus data and reflect citizen interests
By Dawn McDougall on April 20, 2016
In the latest version of DKAN, we’ve added a feature called Topics. We think they’ll help broaden the reach of open data efforts and create deep connections with civic shareholders.
Enhanced user experience, branding, and data architecting–the new DKAN Topics feature touches on all of these to add ease-of-use to both site visitors and users implementing DKAN.
DKAN sites are designed to reduce barriers to publishing and managing data. Getting data public and visible is an important first step in any open data effort, but it’s not the last. The sheer amount of information generated is rapidly outpacing the literacy needed to consume it. To make data consumable means to make data relevant to the people affected by it. DKAN has a number of features that help make data meaningful including Topics.
With so much data in a single place, DKAN sites have a number of tools to organize the information for citizens to easily and intuitively find what they are looking for. Topics catch site visitors attention right from the home page. As with most DKAN features, Topics are built to provide a crisp, engaging user experience that is adaptable for customization. Either font icons or images can be used, these graphics can be customized in appearance and color to fit the individual look and feel of any brand. The default DKAN icon font set includes over 100 icons, and new icon font sets can be added anytime for a broad range of options.
Topics are linked to a search page with results filtered for all datasets that fall into a selected topic. This makes is easy for site visitors to use DKAN’s faceted search, turning filters on and off for the best results.
From the data management perspective, Topics are preset, official categories that guide site visitors to areas of the site containing robust datasets and reflect prime areas of interest. Organizations are able to effectively connect citizens with the right information in the right time.
Are you a developer and want to use and/or contribute to DKAN? DKAN is open source and accepts contributions–check out our public GitHub.