# Data Package Identifier

Data Package Identifiers are small JSON-oriented structure or strings which identify a Data Package (and, usually, its location).

Author(s) Rufus Pollock
Created 17 August 2014
Updated 02 November 2014
JSON Schema data-package.json
Version 1

# Language

The key words MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, RECOMMENDED, MAY, and OPTIONAL in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119

# Introduction

Data Package Identifiers are a simple way to identify a Data Package (and its location) using a string or small JSON object.

It exists because of the consistent need across applications to identify a Data Package. For example, in command line tools or libraries one will frequently want to take a Data Package Identifier as an argument.

For example, DataHub (opens new window)’s data-cli tool has commands like:

# gdp is a Data Package identifier
data info gdp

# https://github.com/datasets/gold-prices is a Data Package identifier
data install https://github.com/datasets/gold-prices

# Identifier Object Structure

The object structure looks like:

  // URL to base of the Data Package
  // This URL should *always* have a trailing slash ('/')
  url: ...
  // URL to datapackage.json
  dataPackageJsonUrl: ...
  // name of the Data Package
  name: ...
  // version of the Data Package
  version: ...
  // if parsed from a Identifier String this is the original
  // specString

It can be parsed (and less importantly) serialized to a simple string. Spec strings will be frequently used on e.g. the command line to identify a data package.

# Identifier String

An Identifier String is a single string (rather than JSON object) that points to a Data Package. An Identifier String can be, in decreasing order of explicitness:

  • A URL that points directly to the datapackage.json (no resolution needed):

http://mywebsite.com/mydatapackage/datapackage.json (opens new window)

  • A URL that points directly to the Data Package (that is, the directory containing the datapackage.json):

http://mywebsite.com/mydatapackage/ (opens new window)

resolves to:

http://mywebsite.com/mydatapackage/datapackage.json (opens new window)

  • A GitHub URL:

http://github.com/datasets/gold-prices (opens new window)

resolves to:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/datasets/gold-prices/master/datapackage.json (opens new window)


resolves to:

https://datahub.io/core/gold-prices/datapackage.json (opens new window)