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Spring 2004
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Norway's Geodata Portal Prototype

  ribbon cutting ceremony photo
Jack Dangermond (center) congratulated the Norwegian Mapping Authority for the new portal—one of the first of its kind in the world.

At the Norwegian Esri User Conference, February 5, 2004, in Oslo, Norway, Olaf Østensen, chairman of ISO/TC 211, with Esri's President Jack Dangermond, opened the Norwegian prototype portal for geographic information and services. The ISO/TC 211 Geographic Information/Geomatics committee is responsible for the ISO geographic information series of standards.

The prototype portal was implemented by Norwegian Esri distributor Geodata AS, together with the Norwegian Mapping Authorities (NMA). The decision to develop a portal was in response to the Norwegian Parliament's June 2003 white paper Digital Norway.

The portal is based on Esri's Portal Development Toolkit, and Østensen, who is also responsible for building Norway's National Geographical Infrastructure (NGIS), says that the choice of platform was based on the toolkit's openness and support for several international standards as well as availability and functionality.

Roy Mellum, NMA portal project manager, says that the portal will be a joint effort in which a number of national and local government organizations will contribute to the portal's content and further development.

The portal contains several important functions such as publishing capabilities, catalog services, ArcExplorer Web, metadata harvesting, and a national data sharing service from all main partners.

Dangermond says, "This new portal is one of the first of its kind in the world. I am proud to have the opportunity to join Olaf Østensen in opening the Norwegian portal. As chairman of ISO/TC 211, he is a key contributor to global standardization in the geospatial area worldwide."

This activity is also supported by several other government initiatives such as the eNorway 2005 plan that includes the national strategy for electronic content. A national program for the support of broadband for the Internet is another important initiative to support the national infrastructure for electronic information.

For more information, contact Olbjørn Kvernberg, managing director, Geodata AS (tel.: 47-23-24-90-00, e-mail:

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