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Discovering and sharing spatial data is increasingly critical in a world where crisis can – and does – occur at any moment. If you or your organization manages spatial data, you understand how important it is to share your resources and be able to access others. Often in an organization, valuable data is stored in disparate locations and users have no idea that the data they need exists. This presentation discusses the importance of spatial data discovery, and the accessible open source tools for implementing a data-sharing catalog. The use of web services to enable this sharing, and how those web services work, will also be described. Esri’s Geoportal Server (http://geoportal.sourceforge.net/) will be used as a tool to illustrate scenarios of data sharing and discovery in action. Steps to deploy your own spatial data discovery catalog on a completely open-source base software platform will also be presented. This talk assumes familiarity with spatial data – e.g., any data with a ‘where’ component – and is open to any level of attendee.
My research interests are spatial data infrastructure, with emphasis on the study of geography (B.S. and M.S. in Geography from University of South Carolina). I have worked at Esri in Redlands, CA for four years as a consultant, helping large organizations manage and share their spatial data. Last Fall, our company decided to release the Esri Geoportal Server product as 100% open source, under the Apache 2.0 license on sourceforge. Since then, I’ve enjoyed learning about and participating hands-on in the open source community, and being a contributer instead of just a beneficiary of open source solutions.
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