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Introduction to Geoportals

What is a geoportal?

A geoportal is a gateway to Web-based geospatial resources, enabling users to discover, view and access geospatial information and services made available by their providing organizations. Likewise, data providers can use the geoportal to make their geospatial resources discoverable, viewable, and accessible to others.

What is the ArcGIS for INSPIRE Geoportal Server?

The ArcGIS for INSPIRE Geoportal Server is a suite of software modules that together allow an organization to build a custom geoportal that meet its style, resource needs, and use objectives. The Geoportal Server provides seamless communication with data services that use a wide range of communication protocols, and also supports searching, publishing, and managing standards-based resources.

The suite of software modules includes the following:

  • A customizable geoportal web application for publishing, administering, and searching resources
  • A live data previewer map interface for viewing live resources
  • Integration with content management systems to organize resources to support focused user communities
  • Data extraction service customization for downloading data for a resource, with the ability to specify an extent, projection and download format
  • Search results exposed through the REST API so resources can be easily shared among applications and users
  • Widgets for searching geoportals from an HTML page, a Flex-based viewer, or a Silverlight-based viewer

What is a resource?

A resource - in geoportal terms - is information, data, or a repository that hosts information or data. Resources can be metadata records, web services, Wikipedia articles, Flickr® content, YouTube videos, SharePoint® documents, RSS feeds, KML documents, REST URLs, metadata catalogs, and more.

There are a number of things that can be done with a resource using the Geoportal extension. Users can discover resources through the geoportal and read metadata about the resource. Users can preview the resource if it is a live service through the geoportal Preview page. Users can share the resource with other users by sending its REST API URL through an email, Twitter feed, social network posting, or content management system link. Providers of the resource can publish it to the geoportal so users can discover the resource and more like it.