MetroGIS DataFinder Improved
By Alison Slaats, Technical Manager, MetroGIS DataFinder
In October, several upgrades to the DataFinder Café and map service components of the MetroGIS DataFinder website were completed. DataFinder, a node of the National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, is a one-stop-shop for discovering geospatial data pertaining to the seven-county, Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area.
The DataFinder Café is an interactive tool for viewing and downloading GIS datasets. The new version of the Café is easier to use, provides some new features, supports more OGC-compliant map services, provides better statistics on downloading and viewing activity, and no longer requires a plug-in, as was the case with the previous version. In addition to browsing data, printing maps and downloading datasets by custom geographic extents, Café users can now save their map session for later use. A saved session can include an area of interest, selection sets and layer visibility choices.
Delivery and documentation of map services were also improved. A map service makes one or more spatial datasets (e.g. roads, land use, aerial photos) available directly over the Internet. This offers an alternative to downloading datasets and storing them locally. DataFinder now provides OGC-compliant WMS and WFS, as well as ArcIMS image and feature map services. Map services can be used by Internet and desktop GIS clients, such as MapServer and ArcMap. DataFinder now provides access to over 100 datasets in 35 map services (18 image and 17 feature services) organized into the same thematic categories as used for the DataFinder Catalog.
Please contact Alison Slaats with any questions you have about the new DataFinder Café or map services.