December 29, 2010 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is preparing for a massive change to its use of data standards, with plans to move to open source formats for next year.

ComputerWorld brought this news to our attention in their article, “Australian Bureau of Statistics plans open source census.” This is the first dry run of the bureau’s implementation of XML-based Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) formats. If the implementation is successful, users will be able to access Web services from the bureau, including better search capabilities for both statistics and metadata.

The two standards were developed by separate international statistical communities, though they are seen as complementary. The ABS has been working with the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) on ways of standardizing metadata ahead of the Federal Government’s final data repository launch.

Melody K. Smith

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