technology preview
Search alpha release

Next generation search and discovery

Try the new search at We welcome your feedback.

Why a new search? is powered by CKAN, and while CKAN is a good platform for publishing open data, our team saw opportunities to improve the way the search works, especially when it comes to surfacing richer and more relevant results, and enabling better search across a distributed, federated set of data repositories. We also saw opportunities to improve the presentation of search results, and the way in which users express queries and interact with filtering tools.

Today we are releasing our first alpha version of the new search and metadata repository, which sits alongside's CKAN instance. We invite you to try the new search and give us your feedback.

Please bear in mind, while the search user interface and underlying metadata repository have changed, at this stage the metadata itself has not. In some cases, the new user interface serves to highlight shortcomings in the catalogue's metadata as it currently stands. Rest assured, we are working on approaches to raising the quality of both the metadata and the data itself as part of our focus on data publishing beginning in 2017.

Next Steps

We envisage that the next major iteration of the search interface will add a ‘dataset details’ page, prior to redirecting the user to the source portal. We expect that this page will we will be generated based on the contents of a dataset. For example, where a spatial resource exists for a dataset, NationalMap will be used to display a preview. This page may, where appropriate, also host a copy of the source metadata statement for the dataset in its original form.

At the same time we will continue our work to surface more relevant search results and expand search functionality.