The HDX Python API Library is designed to enable you to easily develop code that interacts with the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) platform. The major goal of the library is to make pushing and pulling data from HDX as simple as possible for the end user. If you have humanitarian-related data, please upload your datasets to HDX.



For more about the purpose and design philosophy, please visit HDX Python Library.

This library is part of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) project. If you have humanitarian related data, please upload your datasets to HDX.

The code for the library is here. The library has detailed API documentation which can be found in the menu at the top.

Breaking Changes

From 6.1.5, any method or parameter with "reference_period" in it is renamed to "time_period" and any method or parameter with "file_type" in it is renamed to "format"

From 6.0.0, generate_resource_view is renamed to generate_quickcharts

From 5.9.9, get_location_iso3s returns uppercase codes instead of lowercase

From 5.9.8, get_date_of_dataset has become get_reference_period, set_date_of_dataset has become set_reference_period and set_dataset_year_range has become set_reference_period_year_range

From 5.9.7, Python 3.7 no longer supported

From 5.8.2, date handling uses timezone aware dates instead of naive dates and defaults to UTC

From 5.6.0, creating and updating datastores removed

From 5.4.0, Configuration class moved to hdx.api.configuration and Locations class moved to hdx.api.locations

From 5.3.0, only supports Python 3.6 and above

From 5.0.1, Dataset functions get_location_iso3s and get_location_names replace get_location

From 4.8.3, some date functions in Dataset have been deprecated: get_dataset_date_type, get_dataset_date_as_datetime, get_dataset_end_date_as_datetime, get_dataset_date, get_dataset_end_date, set_dataset_date_from_datetime and set_dataset_date.

From 3.9.2, the default sort order for returned results from search and getting all datasets has changed.

From 3.7.3, the return type for add_tag, add_tags and clean_tags is now Tuple[List[str], List[str]] (Tuple containing list of added tags and list of deleted tags and tags not added).

From 3.7.1, the list of tags must be from a set of approved tags (see under Tags below).

Getting Started

Obtaining your API Key

If you just want to read data from HDX, then an API key is not necessary and you can ignore the 6 steps below. However, if you want to write data to HDX, then you need to register on the website to obtain an API key. You can supply this key as an argument or create an API key file. If you create an API key file, by default this is assumed to be called .hdxkey and is located in the current user's home directory \~. Assuming you are using a desktop browser, the API key is obtained by:

  1. Browse to the HDX website
  2. Left click on LOG IN in the top right of the web page if not logged in and log in
  3. Left click on your username in the top right of the web page and select PROFILE from the drop down menu
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the profile page
  5. Copy the API key which will be of the form: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx
  6. You can either:

    a. Pass this key as a parameter or within a dictionary

    b. Create a JSON or YAML file. The default path is .hdx_configuration.yaml in the current user's home directory. Then put in the YAML file:

        hdx_key: "HDX API KEY"

Installing the Library

To include the HDX Python library in your project, you must pip install or add to your requirements.txt file the following line:


Replace VERSION with the latest tag available from

If you get dependency errors, it is probably the dependencies of the cryptography package that are missing eg. for Ubuntu: python-dev, libffi-dev and libssl-dev. See cryptography dependencies.

If you get import or other errors, then please either recreate your virtualenv if you are using one or uninstall hdx-python-api, hdx-python-country and hdx-python-utilities using pip uninstall, then install hdx-python-api (which will pull in the other dependencies).


The library is also available set up and ready to go in a Docker image:

docker pull
docker run -i -t python3

A Quick Example

A Quick Example

Let's start with a simple example that also ensures that the library is working properly. In this tutorial, we use virtualenv, a sandbox, so that your Python install is not modified.

  1. If you just want to read data from HDX, then an API key is not necessary. However, if you want to write data to HDX, then you need to register on the website to obtain an API key. Please see above about where to find it on the website. Once you have it, then put it into a file in your home directory:

    cd ~
    echo "hdx_key: \"xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx\"" > .hdx_configuration.yaml
  2. If you are using the Docker image, you can jump to step 6, otherwise install virtualenv if not installed:

    pip install virtualenv

    On some Linux distributions, you can do the following instead to install from the distribution's official repository:

    sudo apt-get install virtualenv
  3. Create a Python 3 virtualenv and activate it:

    On Windows (assuming the Python 3 executable is in your path):

    virtualenv test

    On other OSs:

    virtualenv -p python3 test
    source test/bin/activate
  4. Install the HDX Python library:

    pip install hdx-python-api
  5. If you get errors, it is probably the dependencies of the cryptography package

  6. Launch python:

  7. Import required classes:

    from hdx.utilities.easy_logging import setup_logging
    from hdx.api.configuration import Configuration
    from import Dataset
  8. Setup logging

  9. Use configuration defaults.

    If you only want to read data, then connect to the production HDX server, making sure that you replace MyOrg_MyProject with something that describes your organisation and project:

    Configuration.create(hdx_site="prod", user_agent="MyOrg_MyProject", hdx_read_only=True)

    If you want to write data, then for experimentation, do not use the production HDX server. Instead you can use one of the test servers. Assuming you have an API key stored in a file .hdxkey in the current user's home directory:

    Configuration.create(hdx_site="stage", user_agent="MyOrg_MyProject")
  10. Read this dataset Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases Data from HDX and view the date of the dataset:

    dataset = Dataset.read_from_hdx("novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-cases")
  11. You can search for datasets on HDX and get their resources:

    datasets = Dataset.search_in_hdx("thailand subnational boundaries", rows=10)
    resources = Dataset.get_all_resources(datasets)
  12. You can download a resource in the dataset:

    url, path = resources[0].download()
    print("Resource URL %s downloaded to %s" % (url, path))
  13. If you have an API key, you can write to HDX. You can try it out on a test server. With a dataset to which you have permissions, change the dataset date:

    dataset = Dataset.read_from_hdx("ID OR NAME OF DATASET")
    print(dataset.get_time_period())  # record this
  14. You can view it on HDX before changing it back (if you have an API key):

    dataset.set_time_period("PREVIOUS DATE")
  15. If you are storing your data on HDX, you can upload a new file to a resource:

    resource = dataset.get_resource(0)
    resource.set_file_to_upload("PATH TO FILE")
  16. Alternatively, if you are using a URL to point to data held externally from HDX, you can mark that the data has been updated before updating the resource or parent dataset:

    resource = dataset.get_resource(2)
  17. Exit and remove virtualenv:


    On Windows:

    rd /s /q test

    On other OSs:

    rm -rf test

Building a Project

Default Configuration for Facades

The easiest way to get started is to use the facades and configuration defaults. The facades set up both logging and HDX configuration.

The default configuration loads an internal HDX configuration located within the library, and assumes that there is an API key file called .hdxkey in the current user's home directory \~ and a YAML project configuration located relative to your working directory at config/project_configuration.yaml which you must create. The project configuration is used for any configuration specific to your project.

The default logging configuration reads a configuration file internal to the library that sets up an coloured console handler outputting at INFO level and a file handler writing to errors.log at ERROR level.


The simple facade makes it easier to get up and running:

from hdx.facades.simple import facade

def main():
    ***YOUR CODE HERE***

if __name__ == "__main__":
    facade(main, CONFIGURATION_KWARGS)

The keyword arguments facade is similar but passes through keyword arguments:

from hdx.facades.keyword_arguments import facade

def main(kwparam1, kwparam2, ...,**ignore):
    ***YOUR CODE HERE***

if __name__ == "__main__":

The infer arguments facade infers the possible command line from the type hints and docstring describing the parameters of the function you give (such as main). It is possible to pass additional parameters to the facade which will be overridden by any parameters provided on the command line with the same name.

from hdx.facades.infer_arguments import facade

def main(kwparam1: bool, kwparam2: str):
    """Generate dataset and create it in HDX
        kwparam1 (bool): Help text for this command line argument
        kwparam2 (str): Help text for this command line argument

    ***YOUR CODE HERE***

if __name__ == "__main__":
    facade(main, kwparam3="lala")

Customising the Configuration

It is necessary to pass configuration parameters in the facade call eg.

facade(main, user_agent=USER_AGENT, hdx_site = HDX_SITE_TO_USE, hdx_read_only = ONLY_READ_NOT_WRITE, hdx_key_file = LOCATION_OF_HDX_KEY_FILE, hdx_config_yaml=PATH_TO_HDX_YAML_CONFIGURATION, project_config_dict = {"MY_PARAMETER", "MY_VALUE"})

If you do not use the facade, you can use the create method of the Configuration class directly, passing in appropriate keyword arguments ie.

from hdx.api.configuration import Configuration
Configuration.create([configuration], [user_agent], [user_agent_config_yaml], [remoteckan], KEYWORD ARGUMENTS)

You must supply a user agent using one of the following approaches:

  1. Populate parameter user_agent (which should be the name of your organisation and project)
  2. Supply user_agent_config_yaml which should point to a YAML file which contains a parameter user_agent
  3. Supply user_agent_config_yaml which should point to a YAML file and populate user_agent_lookup which is a key to look up in the YAML file which should be of form:

        user_agent: test
        user_agent: test2
  4. Include user_agent in one of the configuration dictionaries or files outlined in the table below eg. hdx_config_json or project_config_dict.


Choose Argument Type Value Default
hdx_site Optional[str] HDX site to use eg. prod, feature test
hdx_read_only bool Read only or read/write access to HDX False
hdx_key Optional[str] HDX key (not needed for read only)
Above or one of: hdx_config_dict dict Dictionary with hdx_site, hdx_read_only, hdx_key
or hdx_config_json str Path to JSON configuration with values as above
or hdx_config_yaml str Path to YAML configuration with values as above
Zero or one of: project_config_dict dict Project specific configuration dictionary
or project_config_json str Path to JSON Project

To access the configuration, you use the read method of the Configuration class as follows:

For more advanced users, there are methods to allow you to pass in your own configuration object, remote CKAN object and list of valid locations. See the API documentation for more information.

This global configuration is used by default by the library but can be replaced by Configuration instances passed to the constructors of HDX objects like Dataset eg.

configuration = Configuration(KEYWORD ARGUMENTS)
configuration.setup_remoteckan(REMOTE CKAN OBJECT)
configuration.setup_validlocations(LIST OF VALID LOCATIONS)
dataset = Dataset(configuration=configuration)

Configuring Logging

If you use a facade from hdx.facades, then logging will go to console and errors to file. If you are not using a facade, you can call setup_logging which takes an argument error_file which is False by default. If set to True, errors will be written to a file.

If not using facade:

from hdx.utilities.easy_logging import setup_logging
logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)
setup_logging(console_log_level="DEBUG", log_file="output.log",

To use logging in your files, simply add the line below to the top of each Python file:

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

Then use the logger like this:

logger.debug("DEBUG message")"INFORMATION message")
logger.warning("WARNING message")
logger.error("ERROR message")
logger.critical("CRITICAL error message")

Operations on HDX Objects

You can read an existing HDX object with the static read_from_hdx method which takes an identifier parameter and returns the an object of the appropriate HDX object type eg. Dataset or None depending upon whether the object was read eg.

dataset = Dataset.read_from_hdx("DATASET_ID_OR_NAME")

You can search for datasets and resources in HDX using the search_in_hdx method which takes a query parameter and returns the a list of objects of the appropriate HDX object type eg. list[Dataset]. Here is an example:

datasets = Dataset.search_in_hdx("QUERY", **kwargs)

The query parameter takes a different format depending upon whether it is for a dataset or a resource. The resource level search is limited to fields in the resource, so in most cases, it is preferable to search for datasets and then get their resources.

Various additional arguments (**kwargs) can be supplied. These are detailed in the API documentation. The rows parameter for datasets (limit for resources) is the maximum number of matches returned and is by default everything.

You can create an HDX Object, such as a dataset, resource, showcase, organization or user by calling the constructor with an optional dictionary containing metadata. For example:

from import Dataset

dataset = Dataset({
    "name": slugified_name,
    "title": title

The dataset name should not contain special characters and hence if there is any chance of that, then it needs to be slugified. Slugifying is way of making a string valid within a URL (eg. ae replaces รค). There are various packages that can do this eg. python-slugify.

You can add metadata using the standard Python dictionary square brackets eg.

dataset["name"] = "My Dataset"

You can also do so by the standard dictionary update method, which takes a dictionary eg.

dataset.update({"name": "My Dataset"})

Larger amounts of static metadata are best added from files. YAML is very human readable and recommended, while JSON is also accepted eg.



The default path if unspecified is config/hdx_TYPE_static.yaml for YAML and config/hdx_TYPE_static.json for JSON where TYPE is an HDX object's type like dataset or resource eg. config/hdx_showcase_static.json. The YAML file takes the following form:

owner_org: "acled"
maintainer: "acled"
    - name: "violence and conflict"
      description: "Resource1"
      url: "http://resource1.xlsx"
      format: "xlsx"

Notice how you can define resources (each resource starts with a dash "-") within the file as shown above.

You can check if all the fields required by HDX are populated by calling check_required_fields. This will throw an exception if any fields are missing. Before the library posts data to HDX, it will call this method automatically. You can provide a list of fields to ignore in the check. An example usage:


Once the HDX object is ready ie. it has all the required metadata, you simply call create_in_hdx eg.

dataset.create_in_hdx(allow_no_resources, update_resources,

If the object already exists, it will be updated. You can also update explicitly by calling update_in_hdx eg.

dataset.update_in_hdx(update_resources, update_resources_by_name,

You can delete HDX objects using delete_from_hdx and update an object that already exists in HDX with the method update_in_hdx. These take various boolean parameters that all have defaults and are documented in the API docs. They do not return anything and they throw exceptions for failures like the object to update not existing.

Dataset Specific Operations

A dataset can have resources and can be in a showcase.

If you wish to add a resource, you can create a resource dictionary and set the format then call the add_update_resource function, for example:

resource = Resource({
    "name": "myfile.xlsx",
    "description": "description",

It is also possible to supply a resource id string or dictionary to the add_update_resource function. A url can be given instead of uploading a file to the HDX filestore (although using the filestore is preferred):

resource = Resource({
    "name": "myfile.xlsx",
    "description": "description",
    "url": ""

You can delete a Resource object from the dataset using the delete_resource function, for example:


add_update_resources creates a list of HDX Resource objects in a dataset:


To see the list of resources, you use the get_resources function eg.

resources = dataset.get_resources()

You can get all the resources from a list of datasets as follows:

resources = Dataset.get_all_resources(datasets)

To see the list of showcases a dataset is in, you use the get_showcases function eg.

showcases = dataset.get_showcases()

If you wish to add the dataset to a showcase, you must first create the showcase in HDX if it does not already exist:

showcase = Showcase({"name": "new-showcase-1",
                     "title": "MyShowcase1",
                     "notes": "My Showcase",
                     "package_id": "6f36a41c-f126-4b18-aaaf-6c2ddfbc5d4d",
                     "image_display_url": "http://myvisual/visual.png",
                     "url": "http://visualisation/url/"})

Then you can supply an id, dictionary or Showcase object and call the add_showcase function, for example:


You can remove the dataset from a showcase using the remove_showcase function, for example:


Time Period

Time Period is a mandatory field in HDX. It is the earliest start date and latest end date across all the resources included in the dataset. The time period may be of any length: a year, a month, or even a day. It should not to be confused with when data was last added/changed in the dataset. It can be a single date or a range.

To get the time period, you can do as shown below. It returns a dictionary containing keys "startdate" (start date as datetime), "enddate" (end date as datetime), "startdate_str" (start date as string), "enddate_str" (end date as string) and ongoing (whether the end date is a rolls forward every day). You can supply a date format. If you do not, the output format will be an ISO 8601 date eg. 2007-01-25.

time_period = dataset.get_time_period("OPTIONAL FORMAT")

To set the time period, you must pass either datetime.datetime objects or strings to the function below. It accepts a start date and an optional end date which if not supplied is assumed to be the same as the start date. Instead of the end date, the flag "ongoing" which by default is False can be set to True which indicates that the end date rolls forward every day.

dataset.set_time_period("START DATE", "END DATE")

The method below allows you to set the time period using a year range. The start and end year can be supplied as integers or strings. If no end year is supplied then the range will be from the beginning of the start year to the end of that year.

dataset.set_time_period_year_range(START YEAR, END YEAR)

Expected Update Frequency

HDX datasets have a mandatory field, the expected update frequency. This is your best guess of how often the dataset will be updated.

The HDX web interface uses set frequencies:

Every day
Every week
Every two weeks
Every month
Every three months
Every six months
Every year
As needed

Although the API allows much greater granularity (a number of days), you are encouraged to use the options above (avoiding using Never and As needed if possible as this field helps determine how up to date datasets are). To assist with this, you can use certain Dataset methods outlined below.

The following method will return a textual expected update frequency corresponding to what would be shown in the HDX web interface.

update_frequency = dataset.get_expected_update_frequency()

The method below allows you to set the dataset's expected update frequency using one of the set frequencies above. (It also allows you to pass a number of days as a string or integer, but this is discouraged.)


A list of valid update frequencies can be found using:


Transforming backwards and forwards between representations can be achieved with this function:

update_frequency = Dataset.transform_update_frequency("UPDATE_FREQUENCY")


Each HDX dataset must have at least one location associated with it.

If you wish to get the current location(s) as ISO 3 country codes, you can call the method below:

locations = dataset.get_location_iso3s()

If you wish to get the current location name(s), you can call the method below:

locations = dataset.get_location_names()

If you want to add a country, you do as shown below. If you don't provide an ISO 3 country code, the text you give will be parsed and converted to an ISO 3 code if it is a valid country name.

dataset.add_country_location("ISO 3 COUNTRY CODE")

If you want to add a list of countries, the following method enables you to do it. If you don"t provide ISO 3 country codes, conversion will take place where valid country names are found.

dataset.add_country_locations(["ISO 3","ISO 3","ISO 3"...])

If you want to add a region, you do it as follows. If you don't provide a three digit UNStats M49 region code, then parsing and conversion will occur if a valid region name is supplied.

dataset.add_region_location("M49 REGION CODE")

add_region_location accepts regions, intermediate regions or subregions as specified on the UNStats M49 website.

If you want to add any other kind of location (which must be in this list of valid locations), you do as shown below.



HDX datasets can have tags which help people to find them eg. "common operational dataset - cod", "refugees". These tags come from a predefined set of approved tags. If you add tags that are not in the approved list, the library attempts to map them to approved tags based on a spreadsheet of tag mappings.

If you wish to get the current tags, you can use this method:

tags = dataset.get_tags()

If you want to add a tag, you do it like this:


If you want to add a list of tags, you do it as follows:


To obtain the predefined set of approved tags:

approved_tags = Vocabulary.approved_tags()


HDX datasets must have a maintainer.

If you wish to get the current maintainer, you can do this:

maintainer = dataset.get_maintainer()

If you want to set the maintainer, you do it like this:


USER is either a string id, dictionary or a User object.


HDX datasets must be part of an organization.

If you wish to get the current organization, you can do this:

organization = dataset.get_organization()

If you want to set the organization, you do it like this:


ORGANIZATION is either a string id, dictionary or an Organization object.

Resource generation

There are a range of helpful functions to generate resources. In the following examples, RESOURCE DATA takes the form {"name": NAME, "description": DESCRIPTION} and ENCODING is a file encoding like "utf-8".

A resource can be generated from ROWS which is a list of list, tuple or dictionary. HEADERS is either a row number (rows start counting at 1), or the actual headers defined as a list of strings. If not set, all rows will be treated as containing values:

dataset.generate_resource_from_rows("FOLDER", "FILENAME", ROWS,
                                    RESOURCE DATA, HEADERS, "ENCODING")

A resource for the purpose of driving QuickCharts can be generated by taking ROWS, a list of dictionaries, and producing a cut down subset from it. HXLTAGS are added as the second row after the header. The reduction in rows is performed by only outputting the rows where COLUMN_NAME has a value in QC_IDENTIFIERS. Optionally the columns that are output can be limited by specifying them in HEADERS.

dataset.generate_qc_resource_from_rows("FOLDER", "FILENAME", ROWS,

Building on these basic resource generation methods, there are more powerful ones generate_resource_from_iterator and download_and_generate_resource.

A resource can be generated from a given list or tuple: HEADERS and an ITERATOR which can return rows in list, tuple or dictionary form. A mapping from headers to HXL hashtags, HXLTAGS, must be provided along with the FOLDER and FILENAME where the file will be generated for upload to the filestore. The dataset time period can optionally be set by supplying DATECOL for looking up dates or YEARCOL for looking up years. DATECOl and YEARCOL can be a column name or the index of a column. Note that any timezone information is ignored and UTC is assumed.

Alternatively, DATE_FUNCTION can be supplied to handle any dates in a row. It should accept a row and should return None to ignore the row or a dictionary which can either be empty if there are no dates in the row or can be populated with keys startdate and/or enddate which are of type timezone-aware datetime. The lowest start date and highest end date are used to set the time period and are returned in the results dictionary in keys startdate and enddate.

dataset.generate_resource_from_iterator(HEADERS, ITERATOR, HXLTAGS,

If desired, generate_resource_from_iterator can generate a separate QuickCharts resource designed to be used in a time series QuickCharts bite provided that the input has #indicator+code, #date and #indicator+value+num. This is achieved by supplying the parameter QUICKCHARTS which activates various QuickCharts related actions depending upon the keys given in the dictionary. The returned dictionary will contain the QuickCharts resource in the key qc_resource. If the keys: hashtag - the HXL hashtag to examine - and values - the 3 values to look for in that column - are supplied, then a list of booleans indicating which QuickCharts bites should be enabled will be returned in the key bites_disabled in the returned dictionary. For the 3 values, if the key: numeric_hashtag is supplied then if that column for a given value contains no numbers, then the corresponding bite will be disabled. If the key: cutdown is given, if it is 1, then a separate cut down list is created containing only columns with HXL hashtags and rows with desired values (if hashtag and values are supplied) for the purpose of driving QuickCharts. It is returned in the key qcrows in the returned dictionary with the matching headers in qcheaders. If cutdown is 2, then a resource is created using the cut down list. If the key cutdownhashtags is supplied, then only the provided hashtags are used for cutting down otherwise the full list of HXL tags is used.

The QuickCharts resource will be of form similar to below:


download_and_generate_resource builds on generate_resource_from_iterator. It uses an DOWNLOADER, an object of class Download, Retrieve or other class that implements BaseDownload to download from URL. Additional arguments in **KWARGS are passed to the get_tabular_rows method of the DOWNLOADER.

Optionally, headers can be inserted at specific positions. This is achieved using HEADER_INSERTIONS. If supplied, it is a list of tuples of the form (position, header) to be inserted. A function, ROW_FUNCTION, is called for each row. If supplied, it takes as arguments: headers (prior to any insertions) and row (which will be in dict or list form depending upon the dict_rows argument) and outputs a modified row.

The rest of the arguments are the same as for generate_resource_from_iterator.

dataset.download_and_generate_resource(DOWNLOADER, "URL", HXLTAGS,

QuickCharts Generation

QuickCharts can be generated for datasets using the call below. RESOURCE is a a resource id or name, or resource metadata from a Resource object or a dictionary, or the position of the resource in the dataset. It defaults to the position 0. PATH points to configuration which if not supplied, defaults to the internal indicators resource view template. You can disable specific bites by providing BITES_DISABLED, a list of 3 bools where True indicates a specific bite is disabled and False indicates leave enabled.

datasets.generate_quickcharts(RESOURCE, "PATH", BITES_DISABLED, INDICATORS,

The parameter INDICATORS is only for use with the built-in configuration and is a list with 3 dictionaries of form:

    {"code": "MY_INDICATOR_CODE", "title": "MY_INDICATOR_TITLE",
    "unit": "MY_INDICATOR_UNIT"}.

Optionally, the following defaults can be overridden in INDICATORS:

{"code_col": "#indicator+code", "value_col": "#indicator+value+num",
 "date_col": "#date+year", "date_format": "%Y", "aggregate_col": "null"}.

The built-in configuration assumes data will be of form similar to below:


Resource Specific Operations

You can download a resource using the download function eg.


If you do not supply FOLDER_TO_DOWNLOAD_TO, then a temporary folder is used.

Before creating or updating a resource by calling create_in_hdx or update_in_hdx on the resource or its parent dataset, it is possible to specify the path to a local file to upload to the HDX filestore if that is preferred over hosting the file externally to HDX. Rather than the url of the resource pointing to your server or api, in this case the url will point to a location in the HDX filestore containing a copy of your file.


There is a getter to read the value back:

file_to_upload = resource.get_file_to_upload()

To indicate that the data in an externally hosted resource (given by a URL) has been updated, call mark_data_updated on the resource, before calling create_in_hdx or update_in_hdx on the resource or parent dataset which will result in the resource last_modified field being set to now.


Alternatively, when calling create_in_hdx or update_in_hdx on the resource, it is possible to supply the parameter data_updated eg.


Using mark_data_updated on multiple resources in a dataset has the advantage of only requiring a single call to HDX (by way of the dataset's create_in_hdx or update_in_hdx method). Setting data_updated to True when using each resource's create_in_hdx or update_in_hdx method requires a call to HDX per resource.

If you need to set a specific date for date of update (last_modified), you can call the following:


date can be a datetime object or string. You can retrieve the date of update (last_modified) using the getter:

date = resource.get_date_data_updated()

If the method set_file_to_upload is used to supply a file, the resource last_modified field is set to now automatically regardless of the value of data_updated or whether mark_data_updated has been called.

Showcase Management

The Showcase class enables you to manage showcases, creating, deleting and updating (as for other HDX objects) according to your permissions.

To see the list of datasets a showcase is in, you use the get_datasets function eg.

datasets = showcase.get_datasets()

If you wish to add a dataset to a showcase, you call the add_dataset function, for example:


You can remove the dataset from a showcase using the remove\dataset function, for example:


If you wish to get the current tags, you can use this method:

tags = showcase.get_tags()

If you want to add a tag, you do it like this:


If you want to add a list of tags, you do it as follows:


User Management

The User class enables you to manage users, creating, deleting and updating (as for other HDX objects) according to your permissions.

You can email a user. First you need to set up an email server using a dictionary or file:

email_config_dict = {"connection_type": "TYPE", "host": "HOST",
                     "port": PORT, "username": USERNAME,
                     "password": PASSWORD}

Then you can email a user like this:"SUBJECT", "BODY", sender="SENDER EMAIL")

You can email multiple users like this:

User.email_users(LIST_OF_USERS, "SUBJECT", "BODY", sender="SENDER EMAIL")

Organization Management

The Organization class enables you to manage organizations, creating, deleting and updating (as for other HDX objects) according to your permissions.

You can get the datasets in an organization as follows:

datasets = organization.get_datasets(**kwargs)

Various additional arguments (**kwargs) can be supplied. These are detailed in the API documentation.

You can get the users in an organization like this:

users = organization.get_users("OPTIONAL FILTER")

OPTIONAL FILTER can be member, editor, admin.

You can add or update a user in an organization as shown below:


You need to include a capacity field in the USER where capacity is member, editor, admin.

You can add or update multiple users in an organization as follows:

organization.add_update_users([LIST OF USERS])

You can delete a user from an organization:

organization.delete_user("USER ID")

Vocabulary Management

The Vocabulary class enables you to manage CKAN vocabularies, creating, deleting and updating (as for other HDX objects) according to your permissions.

You can optionally initialise a Vocabulary with dictionary, name and tags:

vocabulary = Vocabulary(name="myvocab", tags=["TAG","TAG","TAG"...])
vocabulary = Vocabulary({"name": "myvocab", tags=[{"name": TAG"}, {"name": TAG"}...])

If you wish to get the current tags, you can use this method:

tags = vocabulary.get_tags()

If you want to add a tag, you do it like this:


If you want to add a list of tags, you do it as follows:


Working Examples

For a working example of downloading data in a dataset on HDX, see this answer on StackOverflow.

If you want to know how to create a dataset on HDX with a file resource see this answer on StackOverflow.

Project Framework

Once you understand how to create a dataset on HDX, it is important to think about a good structure. Below is framework for starting a project to interact with HDX that should work well.

First, pip install the library or alternatively add it to a requirements.txt file if you are comfortable with doing so as described above.

Next create a file called and copy into it the code below.

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
Calls a function that generates a dataset and creates it in HDX.

import logging
from hdx.facades.simple import facade
from .my_code import generate_dataset

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

def main():
    """Generate dataset and create it in HDX"""

    dataset = generate_dataset()

if __name__ == "__main__":
    facade(main, hdx_site="test")

The above file will create in HDX a dataset generated by a function called generate_dataset that can be found in the file which we will now write.

Create a file and copy into it the code below:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
Generate a dataset

import logging
from import Dataset

logger = logging.getLogger(__name__)

def generate_dataset():
    """Create a dataset
    logger.debug("Generating dataset!")

You can then fill out the function generate_dataset as required.

IDMC Example

A complete example can be found here:

The IDMC scraper creates a dataset per country in HDX, populating all the required metadata. It then creates resources with files held on the HDX filestore.

In particular, take a look at the files, and the config folder. Do not run it unchanged as it may overwrite the existing datasets in the IDMC organisation (although it will most probably fail as you will not have permissions to modify anything in that organisation). You can use it as a basis for your code renaming and modifying as needed and updating metadata in config/hdx_dataset_static.yaml appropriately.

Brief History

The first iteration of a scraper for ACLED was written without the HDX Python library and it became clear looking at this and previous work by others that there are operations that are frequently required and which add unnecessary complexity to the task of coding against HDX. Simplifying the interface to HDX drove the development of the Python library and the second iteration of the scraper was built using it. ACLED went from producing files to creating an API, so a third iteration was developed.

With the interface using HDX terminology and mapping directly on to datasets, resources and showcases, the ACLED scraper was faster to develop and was much easier to understand for someone inexperienced in how it works and what it is doing. The extensive logging and transparent communication of errors is invaluable and enables action to be taken to resolve issues as quickly as possible. Static metadata can be held in human readable files so if it needs to be modified, it is straightforward.

The HDX Python library has expanded over time as needs have arisen and is used for a range of tasks involving interaction with the HDX platform.