As you plan your vacation, do you check the weather status in the tropical paradise you’re heading to? When you see news about your favourite celebrity or public figure, do you take the time to fact-check it?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re already aware of the power of data in informing your decisions. 

Data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone is called open data.  Whether you’ve been using data as an individual or through your organisation, it’s crucial to become familiar with open data and advocate for it when appropriate, because this is how both the power and the value of data become a foundation of our society. This is why the International Open Data Week, which took place from March 2nd to 8th, was such an important event. Last week’s celebration brought together individuals from all corners of the globe, united in their commitment to advance open data initiatives.

As a co-steward of the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), Link Digital is proud to highlight what was for us one of the standout moments from the week, the CKAN Demo Days. These allowed contributors from diverse backgrounds to share stories, projects, and insights about CKAN, and showed the immense impact that open source software such as CKAN can have once it is deployed and hosted on a web server, as an open data platform.

A virtual discussion hosted by Link Digital last week included our CKAN Open Data Day Demo Play List. “What does this experiment represent?” asked our Chair and Executive Director, Steven De Costa during the live recap of the videos gathered for this play list. The initiative “came back with a much stronger response than the signal I put out. The folks who provided the videos have come back with stuff that I wouldn’t have been expecting and that I’m really impressed by, and I want to keep this going… How do we get more vendors like Link Digital publishing videos from their own staff, from their own contributors to talk about why they understand that open data is important and why it locks into an open source product like CKAN?”

Thus, from real-world applications to technical scenarios, participants in Link Digital’s CKAN Demo Days Play List demonstrated the many ways that open day can be used. These videos, which can all be viewed on Link Digital’s YouTube Channel here, included:

Selecting Different Baby Names with CKAN

Link Digital’s Head of Product Owners, Iaroslav Pereiaslovets, shared his experience of selecting a unique baby name using open data and CKAN. He used the data from the New South Wales Government’s open data portal, Data.NSW, to avoid common names and chose the name Marcus for his son. You can see how he did it by watching this video.

A Ukrainian’s Perspective on Open Data and CKAN

Aleksey Pavlyuk, Operations Manager at Link Digital, highlighted how open data democratises information, enabling citizens, researchers, and policymakers to make more informed decisions. He specifically mentioned the role of platforms like CKAN in facilitating the use and accessibility of open data.

CKAN Sync on Drupal

CKAN expert Sergey Shchedrin walked us through the recently registered CKAN synchronization module, now available on The module allows you to connect your Drupal site with any CKAN open data portal via REST API. The module also allows a Drupal site to share the menu structure with CKAN or any other portal via a REST endpoint. Watch the video.

CKAN Portals on was built as an experiment by Link Digital to demonstrate value to those who want to use CKAN by creating an index of all functioning CKAN URLS over time. In this video, Karina Arro, who manually triggers the indexing on each portal monthly, explained how she does this and talked about the story behind 

Consensus-driven decision making @ CKAN

Alex Gostev, one of the CKAN experts, explained the role of open source software in helping to create inclusivity, equity, and group cohesion through making data more open and transparent. In this video he also emphasized that anyone can contribute and be part of the future of CKAN.

Installing CKAN on GitHub Codespaces

Brett Jones, another CKAN contributor, demonstrated how to install CKAN on GitHub Codespaces. This is a remote development environment that allows users to develop within a browser or connect their integrated development environment to a cloud-based environment. If you are interested in learning more from Brett’s expertise, you can check out his other CKAN Installation Walkthroughs.

Médecins Sans Frontières  (MSF) Data Sharing Platform on CKAN

In this video, Rupak Chatterjee, one of Link Digital’s Product Owners, talked about the data portal project he worked on with MSF. This shows the importance of investing in open-source software solutions to build projects to help achieve public good. 

CKAN Delivered by Link Digital on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace

Joel Wigley, Link Digital’s Systems Operations Lead, has been providing support for CKAN over multiple environments worldwide, but particularly via AWS Cloud. 

In this walkthrough, he shows how to get CKAN up and running using the freely available Amazon Machine Image maintained via AWS Marketplace.

All these open data advocates came together during International Open Data Week to demonstrate the importance of open data in shaping a more transparent and informed society. With so much misinformation and disinformation happening on the Internet, hearing about such projects from so many different individuals gives hope to future generations. We look forward to making CKAN Demo Days even more high profile in 2025.

If you found this article useful, you might be interested in taking part in a series of online forums held by Link Digital on the last Thursday of every month, 11 am Australian Eastern Time. These forums will connect you with like-minded experts who are passionate about the importance of open data and want to stay updated on the latest developments in the field. They are free to attend and open to everyone.