OCD Identifiers

Open Civic Data Identifiers (or OCD IDs) are a common Identifier format used in the Open Civic Data projects, in a defined format, ripe for reuse with any legislative dataset.

Creating a new OCD ID

Consensus on IDs is needed for a few of the types, but other IDs may be issued without any concern at all. The following is a helpful table of when it’s OK (and not OK) to create new IDs without reaching rough consensus.

OCD ID Type Can issue new ID
person Yes (UUID1)
organization Yes (UUID1)
division No (Needs to undergo a review and survey of entries at that geopolitical level)
jurisdiction No (needs to undergo a review to ensure we have consistent names for legislative bodies)

If you need to create a new ID that requires rough consensus, emailing the Open Civic Data mailing list with as much detail regarding the situation as you can generally proves to be the best way to solicit feedback.

General Format

OCD IDs have the general format of: ocd-${type}/${data}. Some valid types are division, jurisdiction, and person. Each type has its own format (for the data half of the ID), and a brief overview can be found below.

Division IDs

Division IDs are one of the more common OpenCivic identifiers. Division IDs denote a particular geopolitical division. Information regarding valid Division IDs can be found in OCDEP 2: Open Civic Data Divisions.

The general format is: ocd-division/country:<country_code>[/<type>:<type_id>]+. country_code must be a valid ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the country. type shall be the type of boundary (such as country, state, city), while type_id shall be the unique ID for the entity at this level.

For more information on what exactly is correct in this format, please do take a look at OCDEP 2: Open Civic Data Divisions.

Jurisdiction IDs

Jurisdiction IDs are based on the Division IDs, but have a slightly adjusted format. The type shall be set to jurisdiction, and the data half of the ID shall have a trailing type, which matches the jurisdiction type.

The ID looks something like ocd-jurisdiction/country:us/state:ex/place:example/legislature.

This format isn’t fully formalized yet, so please take care when using these.

Person IDs, Org IDs

The valid types are person for a Person, and organization for an Organization.

Person and Org IDs contain a UUID for the data-part, created by pupa using uuid.uuid1.

An example of a valid OCD Person ID is ocd-person/ebaff054-05df-11e3-a53b-f0def1bd7298.

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