30 Mar 2016   |   News

Joint Research Centre opens up its data trove

A new data tool lets scientists scour and download almost 500 datasets

The Joint Research Service (JRC), the department charged with providing scientific expertise to support EU policy development, has opened a new window on a big chunk of its research.

Earlier this month it made public 490 datasets, which scientists and app developers are free to download and for their research or business ideas, providing the source is acknowledged.

The wide-ranging topics covered by the Data Catalogue include climate, freshwater resources, alien species, soil and forests.

The success of any open data portal relies on useful presentation of data, in a format that is genuinely usable. For instance, data formats such as HTML or PDF are not easily consumed by all applications.

The JRC promises the datasets are to, “the greatest extent possible made available in an accepted, platform-independent, machine-readable format via accepted interfaces.”

JRC data will also be accessible through the EU Commission’s open data portal, which allows access to information on EU investments across more than 500 policy programmes within eight subject groups. Internet users can explore the data by country, fund and theme.

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