Future of Open GIS Data Portals and possibilities

Open GIS data portals are becoming more common, and can contain lots of geospatial data, but is it a case of too much of a good thing?

What is a Portal?

An internet site providing access or links to other sites. In the case of open GIS data, the file may appear on the same page, link out to another website (or portal) or require more digging. In addition, some GIS portals have links to web map services.

Search is the thing…

Open data portals house more and more data and therefore can become more difficult to search over time. Creating complex searches is sometimes not available and can slow the discovery process.

What are they made of?

Open data portals leverage free and open, propriety, or hybrid data and/or GIS platforms.

Here one minute, gone the next…

While often data can be downloaded directly, some sites link to external or partner data sources. Some data may seem accessible and near-at-hand but actually require more searching and digging.

Syndication

In some cases, this is the result of syndicated data sets. For example, on federal data portals, local and state governments can have their data sets metadata appear in search results and link out to the resource. In others, this can be overused, frustrating, or lead to broken links or missing resources. Sometimes going directly to the source can be easier than navigating a much larger data portal.

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