API & DataSync Release Notes for 10/10/2017: Metadata Read/Write API + Catalog Search Autocomplete API

Metadata Read/Write API

Every Socrata asset is composed of two main parts: data (rows, columns, shapes, lines, files, etc) and metadata (information about the data, including the description, tags, categories, and more). While sometimes underappreciated by data publishers, high-quality metadata yields substantial benefits for data users: it can boost data discovery, facilitate interoperability, and increase data reuse.

Now, with the public release of a Read/Write Metadata API, Socrata customers have a programmatic way of retrieving and updating metadata on their Socrata assets. Specifically, this API allows users to READ and UPDATE asset-level metadata, individually or at scale. Public, private, default, and custom metadata are all supported.

For example, this API could be used to:

  • UPDATE assets' categories, tags, or descriptions to maximize public data discoverability
  • UPDATE assets’ custom metadata values (department, publishing frequency, etc) to increase data reuse within an organization
  • READ assets’ metadata for auditing or tracking of metadata quality across an organization

(NOTE: If you only need to perform READ operations on asset metadata, consider using Socrata’s Discovery API instead. The Discovery API allows for advanced READing of asset metadata across the Socrata data platform, including reading of metadata from specific data sites.)

You can access documentation on this API here. Happy metadata-ing!


Search Autocomplete API

Ever wondered how to take advantage of Socrata’s powerful catalog search auto-complete functionality for your own data projects? Wonder no more! We recently opened up this functionality for anyone to use while building independent open data ‘front pages’, search tools on their organization’s main website, and more.

For example, organizations who utilize an independent open data ‘front page’ in addition to their Socrata site could (and should!) enhance their search experience with this auto-complete functionality, to make their data easier to find and access than ever before. Remember: adding search auto-complete can significantly increase click-through rates and the rate at which users meaningfully interact with your data!

Review our public Discovery API documentation for more details on how to utilize Socrata’s catalog search autocomplete API for your own analysis or projects.


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at support@socrata.com with questions or ideas.

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