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Federal data website gets geospatial capabilities

US: The White House’s Data.gov website has added a geospatial interactive mapping tool that enables users to view geographic data and overlay it on other data. The GeoViewer tool offers a preview of geographic data with limited functionality rather than serving as a full-fledged geospatial information system. It allows users to visualise data on a map and to quickly determine which data within Data.gov contains geographic data.

Now, the GeoViewer will be able to preview geographic data for selected datasets only, such as Environmental Protection Agency’s data on environmentally sensitive areas. It has been developed by Esri.

“The question is – can government geographic information system databases be integrated?” Jack Dangermond, chief executive of Esri, asked. “The answer is yes, they can, and if that occurs it would provide great benefit to the public,” he said.

“However, open data policies and data sharing are not enough to integrate geographic databases, he added. Public maps should be made available as shared services along with templates for integrations, free open-source geographic software and tools for developers, Dangermond said.

Source: Federal computer Week