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Developments on and Geospatial Platform Integration. Doug Nebert, Senior Advisor for Geospatial Technology, System-of-Systems Architect FGDC Secretariat. Background.

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Developments on data gov and geospatial platform integration

Developments on and Geospatial Platform Integration

Doug Nebert, Senior Advisor for Geospatial Technology, System-of-Systems Architect FGDC Secretariat


  • The Geospatial Platform and environments were redeployed in October 2011 but maintain separate catalogs and UIs

  • Objective to maintain one catalog for all government data assets and to develop Platform presence to provide extended features for geospatial resources

  • Re-engineering project underway to deploy new single catalog and create new Platform website and Community capabilities


  • CKAN will be the catalog with UI and API

  • Geospatial Platform will be a primary UI to link to search, access, communities, visualization, market place

  • will continue to provide primary UI for all govt data

  • Communities module from is being updated to Drupal 7 and to be used in Platform

  • ArcGIS Online will be used as backend for mashups, web app creation, geospatial viewer

Data gov catalog redesign Catalog Redesign

  • GSA has selected the open source CKAN metadata catalog system to replace the DMS and index by Q1 CY 2013

  • and the Geospatial Platform will both use the new catalog to harvest and store all data descriptions

  • GSA is prototyping collection of agency ‘raw’ (non-geo) data descriptions using HTML with embedded RDFa and will provide tools to help agencies create and edit those records

November 6, 2012

Redesign continued
Redesign, continued

  • There will be one registration process for ‘raw data’ and geospatial data, services (APIs), and applications

  • Primary method will be harvest from registered agency metadata WAF, CSW, or geoportal instances, secondary option is form based entry

  • Search facets are created to help users browse all resources quickly by topic, agency, geography, resource type combinations

  • Planned links to visualization applications and APIs for data graphing, charting, and mapping


  • Tasking to the Open Knowledge Foundation is in place to start CKAN customization, which will be folded into open source and OGPL codebase and integrated with existing Drupal framework

  • Several development spirals will be completed by February to provide initial functionality

  • Workflow testing, documentation, and deployment on GSA Cloud infrastructure will occur by early Spring 2013

CKAN prototype with records from

The UI is flexible. AGOL “Groups” will be

Implemented as GSA Communities hosted either at or under Platform

System will include a single registration and approval workflow for ‘raw’ data and geospatial, for catalogs, APIs, services, and apps from federal and non-federal publishers

We will go beyond datasets to include data, services, applications, and metadata collections, and visualizations

Search facets provide instantaneous combination search filtering on multiple filters as selected by users on the left. This example is of USGS source in Alaska. This is a sort of browse that facilitates data exploration. We plan to populate these search facets based on controlled vocabularies on the processed metadata, such as ISO Topic Category, A-16 theme, agency, resource type, and geographic extent.

When the resource type is determined to be viewable in a map viewer, a viewer will be launched. It should be possible to have multiple access methods described and exploited from the metadata.

We propose to use the AGOL-hosted javascript viewer and application builder via API to supplement the OpenLayers embedded viewer.

Q&A application builder via API to supplement the OpenLayers embedded viewer.

  • FGDC Metadata will be collected and saved for display, but managed as ISO 19115-2

  • Validation of FGDC metadata will occur before acceptance and ingest, errors sent to publishers

  • Current registration info will be carried over

  • CKAN content will be based on fresh harvest and testing

  • Will be engaging providers of large homogeneous collections to support two-phase query

  • Will be deploying “Communities” module from into Platform with light links into CKAN

  • Marketplace will be revived to support “Planned”

  • Tutorials will be built for roll-out in early 2013