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Spring 2005
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U.S. Government Selects Esri for Next Generation Portal

  click to enlarge
Geospatial One-Stop Operational Portal.

Following a highly competitive procurement process, Esri was selected by the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop the full implementation of the Geospatial One-Stop Operational Portal (GOS 2). This next generation technology represents a dramatic advance not only for GIS on the Internet but also for the entire geospatial community. It will provide new ways of sharing geospatial information that will help improve the business of government and decision making processes.

The Web site (www.geodata.gov) enables decision makers to share, find, and access geospatial resources and thus react quickly in an emergency to protect lives, property, and basic services. In addition to emergency responses, the portal facilitates long-term collaboration related to transportation planning, social services, regional planning, and environmental protection.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Scott Cameron unveiled a demonstration of the new portal's potential during the plenary session of the Esri Federal User Conference, February 1, 2005, at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Since its launch in July 2003, the Esri-developed prototype has provided a central site for posting and discovering metadata about agency resources. More than 75,000 metadata records are compiled at the site. GOS was launched as one of 24 e-government initiatives of President George W. Bush's administration to make federal technology resources more accessible to state, local, and tribal governments.

GOS 2 will provide an easier, faster, and more integrated implementation that creates a spatial marketplace, which supplies notification of planned data acquisitions, as well as data needs.

A new method for integrated spatial and subject searching uses the proven Google search appliance and allows for extremely fast metadata searches. Implementation of newly established Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC), specifications improves the level of interoperability of GOS 2. The experience Esri gained through administering GOS 1 has directly led to improvements in usability and functionality and the development of powerful, new tools for community building. GOS 2 will make searching for geospatial resources easier, while providing more advanced searching capabilities.

"We look forward to version 2 being even easier to use than version 1," says Karen Siderelis, U.S. Geological Survey associate director for geospatial information, "with more resources available from federal, state, local, and private sources. With geodata.gov and geospatial resources of the U.S. Geological Survey, decision makers can do everything from viewing a real-time weather map of the United States to using stream gauging tools to assess which streams are approaching flood stage to locating sources of emergency help."

GOS 2 employs IBM's WebSphere Portal to provide a true, customizable portal framework for running portlet applications and creating a personalized user experience. WebSphere Portal enables and supports communities of interest, while managing which members collaborate and how they interact through user group management and secure login capabilities.

"It is hard to overestimate the importance of GOS 2 and what this next generation of Web standard technology will bring," says Jack Dangermond, Esri president. "GOS 2 implements the GIS portal vision in a simple and standards-based environment that will provide a gateway for accessing GIS services and data. GIS will become accepted across the Web and information technology world as a platform for providing geographic knowledge."

For more information, visit www.geodata.gov.

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