R client for CKAN RESTful API
by rOpenSci


Project Status: Active – The project has reached a stable, usable
state and is being actively
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ckanr is an R client for the CKAN API.


CKAN is an open source set of tools for hosting and providing data on the web. (CKAN users could include non-profits, museums, local city/county governments, etc.).

ckanr allows users to interact with those CKAN websites to create, modify, and manage datasets, as well as search and download pre-existing data, and then to proceed using in R for data analysis (stats/plotting/etc.). It is meant to be as general as possible, allowing you to work with any CKAN instance.

Get started: https://docs.ropensci.org/ckanr/


Stable CRAN version


Development version


Note: the default base CKAN URL is set to https://data.ontario.ca/ Functions requiring write permissions in CKAN additionally require a privileged CKAN API key. You can change this using ckanr_setup(), or change the URL using the url parameter in each function call. To set one or both, run:

ckanr_setup() # restores default CKAN url to https://data.ontario.ca/
ckanr_setup(url = "https://data.ontario.ca/")
ckanr_setup(url = "https://data.ontario.ca/", key = "my-ckan-api-key")

ckanr package API

There are a suite of CKAN things (package, resource, etc.) that each have a set of functions in this package. The functions for each CKAN thing have an S3 class that is returned from most functions, and can be passed to most other functions (this also facilitates piping). The following is a list of the function groups for certain CKAN things, with the prefix for the functions that work with that thing, and the name of the S3 class:

  • Packages (aka packages) - package_*() - ckan_package
  • Resources - resource_*() - ckan_resource
  • Related - related_*() - ckan_related
  • Users - user_*() - ckan_user
  • Groups - group_*() - ckan_group
  • Tags - tag_*() - ckan_tag
  • Organizations - organization_*() - ckan_organization
  • Groups - group_*() - ckan_group
  • Users - user_*() - ckan_user
  • Related items - related_*() - ckan_related

The S3 class objects all look very similar; for example:

<CKAN Resource> 8abc92ad-7379-4fb8-bba0-549f38a26ddb
  Name: Data From Digital Portal
  Creator/Modified: 2015-08-18T19:20:59.732601 / 2015-08-18T19:20:59.657943
  Format: CSV

All classes state the type of object, have the ID to the right of the type, then have a varying set of key-value fields deemed important. This printed object is just a summary of an R list, so you can index to specific values (e.g., result$description). If you feel there are important fields left out of these printed summaries, let us know.

note: Many examples are given in brief for readme brevity



  • Scott Chamberlain
  • Imanuel Costigan
  • Sharla Gelfand
  • Florian Mayer
  • Wush Wu


  • Please report any issues or bugs.
  • License: MIT
  • Get citation information for ckanr in R doing citation(package = 'ckanr')
  • Please note that this package is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By contributing to this project, you agree to abide by its terms.

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