Civic Data Standards


A Civic Data Standard is an open, collaboratively developed set of data schematics or semantics which facilitates interoperability between multiple providers and consumers for the public good. This definition is a work in progress; for more information, see Enabling Civic Data Standards.

Civic data standards enable interoperability between data providers - typically governments - and data consumers. When a data provider publishes information, making it compatible a with a civic data standard (if one exists) can help jumpstart its use. Civic data standards also make it easier for data consumers - particularly individuals or small businesses - to consume data from multiple providers with less software engineering effort. Depending on the type of interoperability needed, civic data standards generally fall into two buckets:

The best civic data standards address both of these needs, but currently, many focus mainly on schematic standards.

Note for technologists: while a few civic data standards describe interactive (query/response) application programming interfaces (APIs), most are designed for bulk data transfers.

The List

Below is the list of civic data standards we have identified so far. They vary greatly in terms of active communities, current use, and approaches used for development. This list will be revised to reflect the additional standards we discover, as well as to include more details about each standard as we research them.

Other relevant work

The below efforts might not qualify as civic data standards (pending further research), but their existence is worth noting.