Data standards

Help to shape the future by joining the conversation

What are standards and why do we need them?

Having data standards in place for physical activity opportunity data means that it can be used by developers and innovators to create new products and services that help get people more active. This just isn’t possible when opportunity data is described in different ways using different formats, for example, different providers might call a “location” a “meeting point”, or might refer to “football” or “soccer”. Once these descriptors have been standardised, and data is openly published, information across the sector can be compared and categorised, make it much more accessible and valuable to developers, and ultimately consumers.

Should I join the W3C Community Group?

Please consider joining the W3C Community Group, whether you build technology in the physical activity sector, have a general interest in it, or have non-technical thoughts on how activities should be described (e.g. categorising activities, or defining what information should be provided to consumers about an activity). Your contributions will help shape the future of technology that will be used by everyone.

Note that the W3C Community Group is part of OpenActive - if you haven't already please also join OpenActive by contacting us via the "join us" section of this site.



Note that the W3C Community Group meets regularly via hangout. Click on any event below and you will find a link to the video call.

The publishing specification

Standards evolve from an initial specification, which is considered and agreed amongst a group. There is an initial specification for how to publish opportunity data; for details on how to implement it, visit open your data. Please note that this specification is in development and will evolve over time. The current draft publishing specification is available on GitHub.

Our focus

Following conversations with a variety of sport and physical activity organisations, the ODI is currently recommending that the OpenActive W3C Community Group focusses on developing and refining standards for the following three aspects of opportunity data:

  • Activities — the language used to label the different types of physical activities that are available with a short description of what they involve.
  • Content fields — specific details about the sessions including location, date and time, difficulty level, age range and cost.

Please join the W3C Community Group to join the discussion.

About the W3C Community Group

The Open Data Institute and the OpenActive community are working together to improve how systems in the sport and physical activity ecosystem connect.  This discussion takes place in our W3C Community Group, where we are developing the standards for opportunity data that will make it easier to publish, find and use.  We are at the start of a long term change in the physical activity sector and work in this area is evolving. We welcome you to contribute and join the open conversation by joining our W3C Community Group.

“A W3C Community Group is an open forum, without fees, where Web developers and other stakeholders develop specifications, hold discussions, develop test suites, and connect with W3C’s international community of Web experts.”

You can read more about the role of community groups on the W3C website.