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Automated metadata harvesting of Auckland Council's open transport data

Early in April (prior to our launch of, I met with Stu Smith and Helen Donaldson from the Auckland Council open data Community of Practice to demo and discuss's new features.

Their new Geographic Information System open data portal has recently featured in NZ Surveying+Spatial Magazine and the article mentions that "harvesting links between data repositories is important".

I recorded a walk-through of the data preview features on, including geojson map layers, geospatial searching and the tabular data explorer.

We also did a live metadata harvest of Auckland Council's transport data in the process (may as well get some work done at the same time right?).

I'm interested in getting more local and regional government open datasets to and taking advantage of some 'easy-wins'.

For example, the geospatial portal Auckland Council use includes an international open standard data catalog harvesting endpoint used globally by many other open data portals. This endpoint automatically provides with the metadata it needs to fully automate the update process.

"Metadata that informs you of when the data has been updated is gold, so metadata harvesting is the key to making open data relevant and current!" ~ Stu Smith, Auckland Council GIS team.

Auckland Council simply release their data via their open data portal as usual, and checks the endpoint periodically to see if there's anything new or updated. If there is a change, gets updated 'automagically', saving time, effort and making the process of open data release more sustainable in the long term.

If you’re a local or regional government open data custodian, get in touch if you'd like to talk about open data and how can help New Zealanders discover and use your data.