The Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) is an open platform for sharing data, launched in July 2014. The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis. Our growing collection of datasets has been accessed by users in over 200 countries and territories. Watch this video to learn more.
A team within the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) manages HDX. OCHA is part of the United Nations Secretariat, responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. The HDX team includes OCHA staff and a number of consultants. We are based in North America, Europe and Africa.
The following is a selection of pieces about HDX:
- Center for Data Innovation - 5 Q’s for Sarah Telford, Chief of Data Services at UNOCHA
- Aidpreneur - Terms of Reference Podcast, with guest Sarah Telford
- Devex - Solving the data conundrum: How to leverage tech and 'big data' for impact
- Thomson Reuters Foundation - From displacement to death, UN data innovation aims to boost aid response
- Huffington Post - Open data platform lets aid groups respond more efficiently to crises
- UN News - UN Agencies boost partnership on visualization of food security data for Yemen
- The Guardian - Data exchange helps humanitarians act fast and effectively
- Fast Company - How the candy crush of data is saving lives in Nepal
- Forbes - UN deploys new tech to make relief faster in Nepal
- The Independent - Open Data: What is it and why are people so scared of it?
To find our logo files and other materials, please click here.
- data about the context in which a humanitarian crisis is occurring (e.g., baseline/development data, damage assessments, geospatial data)
- data about the people affected by the crisis and their needs
- data about the response by organisations and people seeking to help those who need assistance.
- follow the latest changes to data, locations, organisations, topics and crises;
- share datasets publicly or privately, and join organisations to get access to private datasets*;
- add data visualizations as gallery items alongside datasets*;
- contact data contributors.
*You need to be affiliated with an organisation to access these features.
- Administrators can add, edit and delete datasets belonging to the organisation and accept or refuse new member requests.
- Editors can add, edit and delete datasets belonging to the organisation but cannot manage membership.
- Members can view the organisation's private datasets, but cannot add new datasets or manage membership.
The user who requests the creation of an organisation is assigned an administrator role. That person can invite other HDX users into their organisation and assign them one of the three roles above, or registered users on HDX can request membership from the organisation's administrator(s).
A PDF file is not data. If you have a data visualization in PDF format, you can add it as a gallery item on the dataset page. If you wish to share documents, graphics, or other types of humanitarian information that are not related to the data you are sharing, please visit our companion sites ReliefWeb and HumanitarianResponse. A resource, such as a readme file, could also contain documentation that helps users to understand the dataset.
For resources: by default, the resource name is the name of the uploaded file. However, you can change this if needed to make it more clear to users.
For zipped shapefiles: we recommend the filename be name_of_the_file.shp.zip. However, the system does not require this construction.
The preview feature will continue to work when there are multiple geodata resources in a single dataset (i.e., one HDX dataset with many resources attached). The layers icon in the top-right corner of the map enables users to switch between geodata layers. Here is an example.
Entering a search term causes HDX to look for matching terms in the titles, descriptions, locations and tags of a dataset. The resulting list of items can be further filtered by clicking on the blue filter icon at the top of the page (in the search bar). You can filter by location, tag, organisation, license and format.
The HDX Python Library is essentially a wrapper around the most common functions of the base CKAN API, on which HDX is built. HDX supports both the core CKAN 2.3 API and, for some datasets, the CKAN Datastore API. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to assist you.
HDX is currently adding features to visualise HXL-tagged data. To learn more about HXL and who's currently using it, visit the HXL standard site.
- A CSV with HXL tags as the first resource. HXL is easy! Check out the 30-second tutorial. The CSV can be stored on HDX or as a remote resource at another URL.
- To be tagged with "HXL" on the dataset page. This is not referring to the HXL tags inside the CSV, but rather the metadata tags that you set for the whole dataset. This is a flag to HDX to try and process the CSV as a HXL-ated dataset.
The system will generate a palette of visualizations and you can choose up to six of them for display of your dataset. You can find an example here. You can always edit or remove the HXL Preview later.
If you decide not to save any HXL Preview, this section will be hidden for users that don't have the right to edit the dataset.
For more details you can view this screencast.