Frequently Asked Questions

Doesn’t this already exist?

Various people working with data, including many of us here at the Open Knowledge International, have been working on similar projects for quite some time, and there are already some parts of the solution out there. In fact, many of the ideas we’re putting forward directly borrow or build on existing work whether in software (around packaging) or in terms of data structures (the semantic web, Google’s DSPL etc). What we are doing is bringing these ideas together into one, small, coherent package.

  • Our approach has these distinguishing features:
    • Ultra-simplicity - we want to keep things as simple as they possibly can be. This includes formats (JSON and CSV), a focus on end-user tool integration etc
    • Web orientation - we want an approach that fits naturally with the web (e.g. use of JSON, formats that stream over HTTP)
    • Focus on reuse and integration with existing tools
    • Distributed and not tied to a given tool or project - this is not about creating a central data marketplace or similar setup. It’s about creating a basic framework that would enable anyone to publish and use datasets more easily and without going through a central broker.

We believe what is outlined above is a different and an especially powerful approach to improving that data ecosystem.

How does Frictionless Data relate to “big” or “open” data?

The motive behind Frictionless Data is to make it easier to transport and validate any kind of data. Data Packages are orthogonal to the “bigness” or “openness” of data.