What is an inventory?

An inventory details the open datasets published by a council. Inventories conform to specific formats, as defined by the inventory schema and this PDF guidance document.

Why publish an inventory?

An inventory lets other people know what data you have published. It encourages consistent referencing of datasets across councils to make it easier to find datasets on the same topic or in the same format. data.gov.uk has built a harvester to automatically import inventories and so maintain up-to-date entries for a council, in its index of UK open data.

Who uses the inventory?

The UK government open data site data.gov.uk can be configured by any publisher to harvest data automatically from an inventory.

The Redbridge DataShare product, used by many councils for publishing open data, automatically outputs an inventory. Here is an example of the XML inventory for Redbridge Council.

The CKAN open source data portal can output an inventory via this plugin developed by DataPress. Here's the inventory from Data Mill North.

You can see councils who have set up our data harvester to read their inventory and add your own in our harvester page.

How does this site help?

You can browse inventories from different councils and see what datasets they are publishing on different topics. As a council officer you can sign in and add your own inventory to be automatically uploaded.

The search page lets you search through inventories previously uploaded to find datasets applicable to a specified service, topic or location.

How do I get more help?

Inventories are discussed in the Data inventories and catalogues part of the Knowledge Hub Local Open Data Community.

For further information and guidance, email support@esd.org.uk.