The annual FOSS4G Conference – Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial – occurred virtually at the end of September, early October 2021. As part of this, we were able to support our client’s efforts on GeoPlatform.gov in presenting on “Geoplatform: FAIR Data Principles for Geospatial Data in the United States of America” having the privilege of partaking in a discussion involving the recently redeveloped Geoplatform.
We addressed questions on open source usage, capabilities regarding APIs and tiles. Also the availability of the data and roles of geoplatform.gov. Finally, we addressed the challenges of metadata aggregation and curation. The Project Sponsor, David Carter, Geospatial Information Officer of the Department of the Interior, presented on the relaunch of geoplatform.gov and about the changes. He discussed new harvesting, discovery, improvements to metadata, generation of open source formats.
Geoplatform.gov provides a searchable geospatial metadata catalog, access to geospatial data, integration with the Geoplatform ArcGIS Online Enterprise Organization (AGOL). It also provides a community shared workspace dedicated to the work of individual agencies, OMB Circular A-16 themes, and cross-cutting program areas. GeoPlatform is the authorized source for all the official US National Geospatial Data Assets (NGDAs). The NGDAs then organize into 17 Data themes as guided by the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).
In 2020, Geoplatform, operating under the authority of the Geospatial Data Act of 2018, redeveloped Geoplatform. It did so to better meet the FAIR data principles. The goal was to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. The redeveloped Geoplatform includes:
- A new harvesting capability for harvesting geospatial records from data.gov
- Open Standard Geospatial Cloud Serverless Product Generation – Geoplatform.gov evaluates harvested NGDAs, evaluates where open standard files are missing. Then it generates and publishes open standard format files (GeoJSON, GeoPackage, Shapefiles), tiles (Map Vector, XYZ Raster), and OGC Web Services (WMS, WFS) using Cloud infrastructure and triggered serverless functions.
- Improved Discovery & Preview Platform – With a set of quality harvesting rules, Geoplatform.gov is focused on “less is more”. This new site is based on open-source components (GeoNetwork, TerriaJS, more). It also includes capabilities for suppliers to improve their results through improving their metadata.
- All solutions are available for open source re-use – Whether its the Catalog, Viewer, data pipeline, product generation, or reporting tools, allow components are made available back to the broader community for use.