ArcNews Online

Spring 2002
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The GeoCommunicator--A New Land Information Portal

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With the Land Manager Viewer, users click on the federal land they are interested in and receive information about what agency manages the land, who to contact, and the agency URL.

Created with ArcIMS software and hosted on the Geography Network, GeoCommunicator provides a Web portal for land managers and the public to share information and data.

GeoCommunicator ( is the first deployed module of the National Integrated Land System (NILS) and represents a strategic partnership between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service, states, local governments, and private industry.

The NILS project was launched to create a Business solution by integrating survey data with parcel-based land records in a true enterprise GIS environment and developing a common land data model. GeoCommunicator is a powerful, easy-to-use Web portal for one-stop access to land information.

"With assistance from Esri, we have designed GeoCommunicator to serve as a place where land managers, data providers, and the general public can both access and share the most current land information," said Leslie Cone, project manager for NILS.

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The GeoCommunicator Explorer enables users to access data by employing search tools.

GeoCommunicator provides a virtual land community where users can subscribe to an area of interest and receive notification of activities, events, updated data sets, new maps, and more that occur and reoccur within their specific areas of interest. The goal of GeoCommunicator is to facilitate data sharing and collaborative efforts among land managers.

Participants of a county can seek out cost-sharing partners in their area and remain current on potential partnership opportunities by sharing project information and other items of particular geographic interest. GeoCommunicator can also accommodate communication forums to circulate information on land activities, data calls, and other networking activities.

"Most importantly, the site provides access to data served directly from the originator of the data, ensuring the most current data available and reducing the need to download and maintain duplicate data sets," said Pete Culp, BLM assistant director for Mineral, Realty & Resource Management.

GeoCommunicator is a featured service on the Geography Network and provides a subscription service and additional search capabilities, allowing users to locate areas of interest by township and range, cadastral criteria, and more.

Esri played a leadership role in the development of the GeoCommunicator Web site by utilizing ArcIMS technology. ArcSDE was implemented as the spatial engine. GeoCommunicator features ArcIMS technology that provides true data streaming served directly from the Geography Network.

Maps can be streamed live directly to users' browsers. A wide range of Esri GIS tools, such as ArcExplorer, can be used in conjunction with the Web site to integrate multiple data sources located via GeoCommunicator.

Metadata is also available, displayed for each content area as part of the search results, giving the user a way to determine the value and relevancy of the data. GeoCommunicator also features a land tool to locate the specific agency responsible for selected land areas.

Currently, GeoCommunicator is soliciting data providers to publish links to their respective geographic data. GeoCommunicator is built and hosted on the Geography Network ( infrastructure to facilitate the sharing of data and services between the two applications and provide a high level of system availability. The Geography Network system includes a metadata catalog that provides access to maps, data, and related services published through ArcIMS 3.1 to both Web and GIS applications.

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