What are data standards?

Open data standards make it easier to publish, access, share and use better quality data. They function like an agreement on how data should be structured and what sort of information it should contain.

The OpenActive data standards provide a standardised format for publishing open data about sport and physical activity. 

Why do we need data standards about sport and physical activity?

In the sport and physical activity sector, some standards are widespread and generally understood. But in other areas, individuals use terms that don’t have a fixed meaning for everyone: for example, ‘suitable for kids’ might mean anyone under 18 for one provider, and anyone under 13 for another.

The purpose of OpenActive standards is to make sure we all have the same understanding and usage of data about activities. They set out how to describe, categorise and structure the data.

The standards make it easier for different software systems in the sport and physical activity sector to connect and share data. Products and services designed to help people get active can then use this data in a straightforward and standard way. In turn, this makes it easier for consumers to find and book activities that meet their needs, using these products and services.

OpenActive’s W3C open community group is responsible for developing the OpenActive data standards. The group includes organisations from across the sector, and is overseen by the ODI.

Join the OpenActive W3C community group

We are continually evolving the standards to make sure they work for the whole sector. If you build software, or have thoughts on how we should standardise data about activities, then please join.

Join the group

The OpenActive data standards

Modelling opportunity data

This specification introduces a data model to support the publication of data about sport and physical activity (“opportunity data”).

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Building open booking

The Open Booking API specification allows apps and services that use open opportunity data to include seamless booking functionality.

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Updating and ordering your data

The RPDE specification provides a simple protocol for structuring your data in a machine readable way.

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Publishing data about routes

This specification introduces a data model to support the publication of data describing paths and trails for recreational use.

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Get involved

Join the developers’ community

For additional support when implementing the OpenActive data standards, join our developers’ community.

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Join a technical-drop in call

The ODI’s tech team hosts fortnightly tech drop-in calls, where you can ask any questions about OpenActive and the data standards.