The next iteration of the Department of Interior's (DOI) goal to expose and coordinate geospatial data publishing is underway at Geoplatform.gov. The transition from the Geospatial OneStop (geodata.gov) and leveraging Data.gov is nearly complete according to Jerry Johnston, the DIO's Geographic Information Officer (GIO) who gave a presentation at the Esri Federal User Conference in Washington DC.
According to Johnston, if you go to the website today, you'll be redirected to a beta platform site. In the new Geoplatform.gov, the portal is using drupal for its content management system (CMS) and shares the data catalog with the Data.gov portal. In fact, nearly all government agencies wishing to expose more data and metadata will be using the Data.gov catalog. Naming conventions may also be established for agencies who had previously hosted geospatial data. Look for website such as FEMA.Geoplatform.gov or NOAA.Geoplatform.gov as both agencies are looking to ustilize the investment in web development that the DOI is undertaking.
And while users of Data.gov wanted more maps, users of Geoplatform.gov wanted more background information and metadata. Hence, these web portals will leverage each other's strengths.
Johnston explained that the new portal will be much more than a website for downloading data. The intent is to offer additional services such as a "marketplace" to identify other data needs by customers and a "Labs" area where developers can share source code and work on apps. Johnston thinks that this will be a good way to understand how the government can do better at collaboration and making data available to each other in and outside of government.
One thing that will be featured is a dashboard that will provide statistics on how much data is used and whether particular data sets are over or under utilized.
One question that was asked by an attendee is whether Geoplatform.gov will host state and local geospatial data. Johnston explained that one of the challenges is that until now, the portal has been hosting executive branch records. Data offered through Geoplatform.gov will be vetted by theme managers. If that manager deems the data is significant under the A-16 Circular directive
, that data will be hosted in the catalog even if the source is a state or local authority. However, it may depend on how the authority releases these data and under what agreement. Johnston believes that Geoplatform.gov should be a "national" repository not only a federal data catalog.