Importing Datasets

You can add datasets using CKAN’s web interface, but when importing many datasets it’s usually more efficient to automate the process in some way. Common approaches to automatically importing datasets into CKAN include:


If loading your data requires scraping a web page regularly, you may find it best to write a scraper on ScraperWiki and combine this with one of the methods above.

Importing Datasets with the CKAN API

You can use the CKAN API to upload datasets directly into your CKAN instance. Here’s an example script that creates a new dataset:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import urllib2
import urllib
import json
import pprint

# Put the details of the dataset we're going to create into a dict.
dataset_dict = {
    'name': 'my_dataset_name',
    'notes': 'A long description of my dataset',

# Use the json module to dump the dictionary to a string for posting.
data_string = urllib.quote(json.dumps(dataset_dict))

# We'll use the package_create function to create a new dataset.
request = urllib2.Request(

# Creating a dataset requires an authorization header.
# Replace *** with your API key, from your user account on the CKAN site
# that you're creating the dataset on.
request.add_header('Authorization', '***')

# Make the HTTP request.
response = urllib2.urlopen(request, data_string)
assert response.code == 200

# Use the json module to load CKAN's response into a dictionary.
response_dict = json.loads(
assert response_dict['success'] is True

# package_create returns the created package as its result.
created_package = response_dict['result']