FTP with meta CSV harvester

Patrick Smith Updated by Patrick Smith

This harvester allows you to create datasets from an FTP folder.

It connects via FTPS (explicit mode on port 21) if available, or FTP if requested in the provided URL.

The FTP folder must contain:

  • One metadata CSV file (separated with semicolons)
  • Several resources
  • (Optional) several CSV schema files
The FTP with meta CSV harvester only supports UTF-8 encoding.
FTP folder layout

Metadata CSV file

The metadata CSV file is a semicolon-separated file which contains:

  • One header row
  • Several other rows, each one dedicated to a dataset to harvest


Row ID 1;Chocolate bars database;"A database of chocolate bars";Health;Chocolate;chocolate.csv;schema_chocolate.csv
Row ID 2;Venture Capital Investments;Venture capital industry statistics.;Economy, Business;"Venture capital;Investments;IPO;Acquisitions";investments.json;








Row ID 1

Chocolate bars database

A database of chocolate bars





Row ID 2

Venture Capital Investments

Venture capital industry statistics.

Economy, Business

Venture capital;Investments;IPO;Acquisitions



  • The name column must contain a unique identifier for each row.
    Note that the name does not define the technical IDs for the harvested datasets, which are produced automatically by the platform based on the title, or name if the title is not defined.
  • The CSV resource column (source_dataset by default) contains the resource for each row.
  • The optional CSV schema column (here, schema_file) contains the schema file for each row.
  • Every other column is a piece of metadata (see the table below for the complete list of accepted column names).
Use double quotes at the beginning and end of lists like keyword, where you have to use semicolons to separate words (e.g "keyword1;keyword2").

Accepted metadata columns


Column name


title, description, theme, keyword, license, language, timezone, modified, geographic_reference_auto, geographic_reference, publisher, references, attributions, oauth_scope

Note that the techincal


<metadata-name> (the metadata name)

For example, if the metadata name is "project name", use project-name.

This template is used in cases where your CSV contains custom fields.

For these fields to be taken into account, you must create a template with the template id "custom" to store those fields. Please contact our support for further information.

DCAT (if activated)

dcat.created, dcat.issued, dcat.creator, dcat.contributor, dcat.contact_name, dcat.contact_email, dcat.accrualperiodicity, dcat.spatial, dcat.temporal, dcat.granularity, dcat.dataquality

DCAT-AP for CH (if activated)

dcat_ap_ch.domain, dcat_ap_ch.rights

Inspire (if activated)

inspire.theme, inspire.type, inspire.file_identifier, inspire.hierarchy_level, inspire.hierarchy_level_name, inspire.spatial_resolution, inspire.topologic_consistency, inspire.contact_individual_name, inspire.contact_position, inspire.contact_address, inspire.contact_email, inspire.identification_purpose, inspire.extend_description, inspire.extend_bounding_box_westbound_longitude, inspire.extend_bounding_box_eastbound_longitude, inspire.extend_bounding_box_southbound_latitude, inspire.extend_bounding_box_northbound_latitude

Semantic (if activated)

semantic.rml_mapping, semantic.classes, semantic.properties

For more information about the standard metadata, see this page.

The geographic_reference_auto metadata

The geographic_reference_auto column defines whether the dataset's geographic coverage is automatically computed and accepts a Boolean value:




Sets the Geographic coverage metadata for the dataset to Automatic. The geographic coverage is automatically computed based on the dataset content or on the domain's dataset default geographic coverage.


Sets the Geographic coverage metadata for the dataset to the value for geographic_reference.

The geographic_reference metadata

The geographic_reference column defines the location used for the dataset geographic coverage, which means the Geographic coverage metadata for the dataset is set to Specific. This geographic_reference column contains an array of georeference unique identifiers representing locations.

Georeference unique identifiers use the following syntaxes based on the reference:




Example value


The dataset contains content about different countries




The dataset contains country-level content

world_{{country code}}

world_fr if dataset coverage is France

lower division

The dataset contains content about a specific country division

{{country code}}_{{administrative-level}}_{{administrative division}}

fr_80_75056 if dataset coverage is Paris city

  • {{country code}} is a two-letter country code defined in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. For example, fr for France.
  • {{administrative-level}} is an administrative level for the country. For example, 40 is the administrative level for French regions. For more information about the administrative levels available for the desired country, see here.
  • {{administrative division}} is the relative administration division within the country's administrative level. For example, 11 is the code for the Île-de-France French region.

You can retrieve the desired administrative division code as follows:

  1. Go to the documentation.
  2. From the table at the end of the section, select a country and an administrative level.
  3. From the related table row, click the link in the Dataset URL column to open the related geographical referential and get the desired administrative division code.


Resources can either be:

  • Files on the FTP server, in the same folder as the index.csv file, or under a subdirectory by specifying the relative path to the file in the column (e.g "resources/chocolate.csv")
  • Any URL pointing towards a supported format

If the column is empty, the dataset will contain only metadata.

Resources in any format supported by the platform can be harvested. However, as the harvester heavily relies on automatically detecting parameters for the connector's configuration, files must be simple enough to be correctly extracted.

Schema CSV file

For each resource, the FTP folder can contain a CSV schema file that defines labels and descriptions for each field of the dataset.

The file name of each schema file must be written in the CSV schema column. This file has the following specifications:

  • A name column holds each field name in lowercase (e.g. on a CSV resource, this would be the column names in lowercase)
  • A label column (optional) holds the label of the corresponding field
  • A description column (optional) holds the description of the corresponding field
company;Company;The company that makes the bar
ref;Reference;The product id of the chocolate bar






The company that makes the bar



The product id of the chocolate bar

The schema files do not need to contain a row for each field, and it is not required to provide a schema file for each dataset in the index.csv. In the latter case, keep the corresponding cell empty.





Host (host)

URL of the FTP server

eu.ftp.opendatasoft.com, ftps://eu.ftp.opendatasoft.com, ftp://eu.ftp.opendatasoft.com

User (user)

Your username


Password (password)

Your password


Subdirectory (subdir)

The directory containing the data you want to harvest


Metadata CSV filename (metadata_file)

The file holding the metadata and filenames (see above for more precise specifications)


Metadata CSV resource column (resource_location_column)

This column holds a filename or an URL with the dataset resource


Metadata CSV schema column (resource_schema_column)

This column holds a filename with the resource schema (column labels and descriptions)


How did we do?

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