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Taking the pain out of data access and distribution

Intake is a lightweight package for finding, investigating, loading and disseminating data. It will appeal to different groups for some of the reasons below, but is useful for all and acts as a common platform that everyone can use to smooth the progression of data from developers and providers to users.

Data User

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  • Intake loads the data for a range of formats and types (see Plugin Directory) into containers you already use, like Pandas dataframes, Python lists, NumPy arrays, and more

  • Intake loads, and gets out of your way

  • GUI, search and introspect data-sets in Catalogs: quickly find what you need to do your work

  • Install data-sets and automatically get requirements

  • Leverage cloud resources and distributed computing.

See the executable tutorial:

Data Provider

  • Simple spec to define data sources

  • Single point-of truth, no more copy&paste

  • Distribute data using packages, shared files or a server

  • Update definitions in-place

  • Parametrise user options

  • Make use of additional functionality like filename parsing and caching.

See the executable tutorial:


  • Create catalogs out of established departmental practices

  • Provide data access credentials via Intake parameters

  • Use server-client architecture as gatekeeper:

    • add authentication methods

    • add monitoring point; track the data-sets being accessed.

  • Hook Intake into proprietary data access systems.


Python code
  • Turn boilerplate code into a reusable Driver

  • Pluggable architecture of Intake allows for many points to add and improve

  • Open, simple code-base, come and get involved on github!

See the executable tutorial:

First steps

For a brief demonstration, which you can execute locally, go to Quickstart. For a general description of all of the components of Intake and how they fit together, fo to Overview. Finally, for some notebooks using Intake and articles about Intake, go to Examples and intake-examples. These and other documentation pages will make reference to concepts that are defined in the Glossary.

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