Spring 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Award Nominations Open

GIS Drive to Excellence
GIS Pandemic Needs
GeoService Finder
Red River LIDAR
Groundwater Webmap
08 Photo Update
Improving Structures Data

Governor's Council
Strategic Planning Directions
Award Nominations Open
Meeting Webcasts

OpenSource Group

Input for State Planning
Goodhue User Group

Census Atlas
Census PSAP
NGAC Named
USGS Research Agenda
Sunspots Impact GPS
GPS with Maps
Geology Map
Soil Viewer Update
Recycle Cell Phones

Higher Education
Dangermond to Speak
UofM Career Day
GIS Primer

Borchert Remembered
Two Minnesotans on NGAC
Jay Bell
Bob McMaster

Other Places
Free GPS Visualizer
Global Incident Map
Russian GPS Update


GeoService Finder: A second-generation catalog of shared GIS services
By Fred Logman and Chris Cialek, Land Management Information Center

A top priority for MetroGIS has been to further develop an inventory of GIS services – not simply data – to help GIS users in Minnesota meet their business needs. The term "service" covers a wide range of resources, from online geocoding to a site that provides streaming access to air photos to software modules that can be reused in a variety of applications.

To move the idea forward, LMIC and MetroGIS have collaborated to build GeoService Finder, a catalog of GIS services and software, located at:

GeoService Finder is based on the Shared Services Survey  that was developed by LMIC and the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information in 2006.

Find or share
We encourage GIS specialists in Minnesota to give GeoService Finder a try:

  • Look before you build new applications – what you need, or something close to it, may already exist!
  • Add a catalog entry of your own describing services or software that you have developed and are willing to make available to others. It is fine to list software and services that require license or use fees.

GeoService Finder incorporates several improvements over the previous Shared Services Survey. Fewer fields make it faster and easier to add and read records; more pulldown lists reduce data entry effort and standardize information; on-line help has been expanded; and all data entries conform to international metadata standards.

Resources listed in the Shared Services Survey have been moved into GeoService Finder. MetroGIS and its members, along with LMIC, will be adding more entries to the Catalog in the coming months.

The big picture
This is another step in a process to make shared GIS services a reality for the Minnesota GIS user community. GeoService Finder is part of an effort to move toward ultimately implementing a robust general purpose Enterprise Broker as conceived in the 2005 white paper, Minnesota State GIS Enterprise Conceptual Architecture Design. Find the full report at:

More about catalogs
GeoService Finder adheres to a model similar to that promoted in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) concept of a Catalog Service [Figure 1]. In that model, a catalog entry summarizes the content of a geospatial service created by a provider. An organized collection of these catalog entries forms a catalog; users can browse and query the catalog to find what they need. Services may be placed in a library where users can access or retrieve them, based on information they discovered in the catalog.
Figure 1. From Catalogs in the Library World;
OGC Abstract Specifications Topic 13: Catalog Services

Further Information and Feedback
For more information or to provide your comments on GeoService Finder, contact either Fred Logman at, 651-201-2495 or Chris Cialek at, 651-201-2481.