new package (in development): ropencan


After seeing an issue on ropensci/wishlist (, I decided to get started on a package that would broadly interact with the Open Government of Canada Open Data Portal.

I have taken a few steps toward a first version of the package here:

That is so far just to see how much work would be needed. In the meantime I have been searching to make sure if something like does not already exists and could not find anything. Does the idea seem worth pursuing to anyone else? If yes, I would be most happy to continue onward

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rOpenSci Community Manager here. @VLucet It’s great that you followed up on this wishlist idea. I’ll defer to @sckott or others to comment on your specific package questions. (As a :canada:, I think it’s :tada:)

I think I could get something started, although getting the package up to the standards of ropensci is beyond my dev skills at the moment.

We have a book rOpenSci Packages: Development, Maintenance, and Peer Review that might be helpful and this discussion forum is the ideal place to ask questions to leverage our community’s experience.

Regarding the name of the package, I think “ropencan” is too close to “ropensci”. It carries unintended implications and we discourage that. Would you consider renaming it? Please see 1.1.1 Naming your package in

Looking forward to seeing how this develops!


Hi @stefanie, thank you so much for your comments. I have been reading the development guide. It is documented so well I am sure I will be able to bring it up to the standards with some extra work.

It is a very good point about the naming and I wrongly assumed it actually was a good name! Maybe “rgovcan” would be better suited in that regard.

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Im realising that @sckott ckanr package is actually all one might need to interact with the open portal API. rgovcan would probably only be a wrapper around that, with facilitated access to some important datasets. Is is worth developing?

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Yes, ckanr is a general purpose R client for the CKAN API that all CKAN instances have.

So you could use wrap ckanr for your package. It would be a good test for ckanr, and may highlight some things that could be improved with it.


I like this idea! Would the first step be to add to the list of supported servers?
EDIT: It is already there, I did not see it the first time I checked.


that step isn’t completely necessary b/c you can use any CKAN instance base url with ckanr


Right, I only realised that later, thanks for the pointer!