M2: Oral Presentation C Thursday, 4:00 � 4:30 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom L

Web Map Services and More -� New Developments in Sharing Data on MetroGIS DataFinder

Alison Slaats, Mark Kotz
Metropolitan Council
230 East 5th Street
St. Paul, MN  55101-1626
651-602-1561

This presentation will focus on new data and information sharing features of the MetroGIS DataFinder web site. In particular, we will describe and demonstrate web map services. A map service is a digital data set that is published over the Internet. It may contain a single data layer (e.g. imagery, roads or land use) or a collection of complimentary data layers. Map services allow users of GIS software to access and use GIS data directly over the web, just like any other local data set. This exciting technology makes the sharing of GIS data easier and much more flexible. The Open GIS Consortium (OGC) has defined a standard protocol for map services called �Web Mapping Services� or WMS. DataFinder will use this protocol, allowing its map services to be used by any software from any vendor that supports this independent protocol.

DataFinder is also developing a mechanism to allow users to interactively download a user-defined area of data on the fly. This presentation will explain the status of this initiative as well.

DataFinder (www.datafinder.org) is the MetroGIS website that provides the mechanism for sharing GIS data between MetroGIS participants. It currently includes features that allow users to find GIS data and metadata quickly. DataFinder tools include a GIS data catalog and a search engine interface that queries the MetroGIS DataFinder NSDI Clearinghouse node. These tools provide quick access to over 70 metadata records. In addition, the DataFinder site features online-mapping and help and resources pages.

MetroGIS (www.metrogis.org) is a collaborative organization representing over 250 local governments and other organizations. MetroGIS was established to foster sharing of geospatial data in the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area of Minnesota.