- SPECIAL REPORTS
- THE MAGAZINE
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior Scott Cameron will unveiled a demonstration of the new portal's potential during the plenary session of the ESRI User Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The Web site, www.geodata.gov, enables decision makers to access geospatial resources and thus respond quickly in an emergency to protect lives, property and basic services. The full value of the contract, if all options are awarded, will be $2.38 million over five years.
"Geodata.gov serves as a critical information resource during emergencies," said Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget. "In the fall, for example, Geodata.gov served as a one-stop source for crucial information for state and local officials while multiple hurricanes pummeled the Southeast."
"Today, as tragic natural disasters in Asia and California claim so many lives, Geodata.gov underscores the importance of having one place to go for geospatial information in times of emergency," Scarlett emphasized. The Department of the Interior and its U.S. Geological Survey manage the intergovernmental project in support of the president's Initiative for e-government. The contract covers a second-generation portal to succeed the highly successful www.geodata.gov.
"We look forward to Version 2 being even easier to use than Version 1, with more resources available from federal, state, local and private sources," said Karen Siderelis, U.S. Geological Survey associate director for geospatial information.
"With Geodata.gov, together with additional geospatial resources of the U.S. Geological Survey, decisonmakers 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," Siderelis said.
In addition to emergency responses, www.geodata.gov facilitates long-term collaboration related to transportation planning, social services, regional planning and environmental protection. Federal, state and local partnerships for data-sharing are at the heart of Geospatial One-Stop and Geodata.gov.
The administration launched Geospatial One-Stop in November 2001 as one of 24 e-government initiatives to help make federal technology resources more assessible to state, local and tribal governments. The www.geodata.gov portal, which was launched in June 2003, now provides access to more than 72,000 federal, state and local government geospatial resources.
ESRI, a company that specializes in GIS and geospatial software, was also the contractor for Version 1 of Geodata.gov. The updated Version 2 will:
- enhance the ease in using geodata.gov for those with less technical experience;
- allow users to take advantage of new search capabilities and include them on their own portal applications;
- maximize interoperability to facilitate sharing of information from multiple sources; and
- allow faster response to search requests and online management of 17 featured subject "channels" that highlight innovative Web services and information sources based on specific subject areas.
Source: USGS, Jan. 31, 2005