Platform Open Data Explorer

Wanted! Early testers for the "Open Data Explorer": the platform that brings computing to open research data

Are you a researcher or a data steward who needs to access and work with open datasets? Then you are welcome to experiment with the first prototype of a new research data platform that enables interactive exploratory analysis of datasets without downloading! Your feedback will help improving the Open Data Explorer that is planned to be launched early 2024.


The Open Data Explorer project aims to complement the research data repositories by providing computing capabilities that bring archived research data to "life" by making them explorable interactively. By using research data repositories, researchers can find datasets, view related metadata, and occasionally can also preview data content. However, any further analysis – even simple and exploratory – requires the researchers to download the datasets and find ways to explore them to better understand their content and quality.

No more waiting to explore and visualize research data

Open Data Explorer aims to lessen these needs and facilitate rapid exploratory data analysis and visualisation by providing a ready-to-use interactive computing platform where research data is directly available for computing.

The Open Data Explorer gives researchers the following benefits:

  • Zero-waiting time to access a large number of datasets: Analysis-ready versions of popular and new datasets from major research data repositories are directly available for computing.
  • Ready-to-use computing environment for analysis: JupyterLab-based environment supports interactive notebooks and a rich set of data access, analysis, and visualization packages in multiple languages (e.g., Python, R).
  • Example exploratory data analysis notebooks: Notebooks are automatically generated and tailored to the dataset content to allow rapid data analysis with minimum user input.
  • AI-based coding support: The codebot can help you while working with the notebooks to perform exploratory data analysis.

The Open Data Explorer platform prevents unnecessary downloading of datasets and reduces the time to explore research data by resolving the need for a separate computing environment to analyze and visualize data. The platform is useful for training and demonstrating best practices as well, which is especially beneficial for data stewards. Future integration with SURF infrastructure services is being visioned.

Try now!

The prototype platform is now open for early testing and feedback: Until January 26 2024 you can try the available functionalities, share your feedback, and help the project team to improve the platform.

Background info

This project is a Digital Competence Center initiative funded by SURF that started at the beginning of 2023. Research organisations involved: University of Twente, TU Delft, and 4TU.ResearchData. The Center of Expertise in Big Geodata Science is the scientific lead of the project.


For more information:

General contact: dr. ing. Serkan Girgin, associate professor and head of the Centre of Expertise in Big Geodata Science,,+31 53 489 5578.

SURF/DCCs contact: dr. ir. Karín Chavez-Caballero, Msc, EMBA,, 06 18 59 12 53.