Last week in a blog post I cited an article in NextGov that detailed ESRI’s work in integrating Geodata.gov (aka Geospatial One-Stop) and Data.gov. I was concerned that the article implied ArcGIS.com was to be perhaps “the” tool for making mashups with the newly integrated data. Others in the community raised questions about the work described in the article. Directions Media contacted ESRI to clarify some of the details. We asked:
Was this work done as an extension to the 2004 Geodata.gov contract? When did Kundra ask ESRI to move forward? When did ESRI start work? When was the contract signed?
Did the discussions around Geodata.gov and Data.gov drive the decision to develop ArcGIS.com?
ESRI provided us these clarifications:
Information from ESRI about points raised in the NextGov article
An article entitled “White House to tie together mapping and data sites” recently appeared in NextGov magazine. Some of the information included in the article was either incorrect or not entirely clear. The information below is intended to help clarify some of the information that appeared in the article.
Geodata.gov and Data.gov are metadata catalogs that point users to resources made available from the actual producers of the data, services, apps, etc. When doing searches in the geodata catalog in data.gov, users are actually searching geodata.gov. (In the future, Geodata.gov and data.gov will be merged together.) Currently, more than 270,000 geospatial resources are discoverable at data.gov.
Geodata.gov provides an Open Geospatial Consortium Catalog Service for the Web interface that anyone can use to discover content in geodata.gov. One system that uses this is Data.gov.
The NextGov article mentions ArcGIS.com in the discussion of geodata.gov/data.gov, but in fact there is no connection between ArcGIS.com and these government sites. ArcGIS is an ESRI Web site, just released in version 1 beta. This initial release was developed as a sharing resource for ESRI’s user community. ESRI plans to enhance ArcGIS.com, and we anticipate that in the future a visitor to ArcGIS.com will be able to search additional sources of information (like data.gov) and use those resources in the map viewer.