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.
You can also see a timeline of how often an individual dataset has been downloaded on each dataset page. The download timeline is located on the left side of a dataset page, just beside the dataset description. Downloads for a dataset are counted as the total of downloads of any resource in a dataset, with repeated downloads of the same resource by the same user being counted a maximum of once per day.
There is a delay, usually less than one day, between when a user views a page or downloads a resource on HDX and when the activity is visible in these graphs and figures.
- 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).
The resource can be stored on HDX or as a remote resource at another URL. Quick Charts will be generated from the first resource with HXL tags in the list of a dataset's resources. The system will try to generate up to three charts based on the HXL tags, and these can be changed to best tell the story in your data. You can edit each Quick Chart's title, axis labels, and description. Don't forget to save the changes so they become the default view that users see when viewing your dataset. Here's a good example to get you started.
Quick Charts doesn't work with all HXL tags, but we're working to expand its capabilities and your feedback is welcome at email@example.com.
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.