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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pilot Project Launched for the Florida Geospatial Metadata Index

The Florida Geospatial Metadata Index engine is a pilot project recently launched to assist GIS users searching for geospatial data. The site functions as a “locator and point system” designed to serve Florida as a statewide resource. The intention is not to replicate everyone’s data, but rather to point to the responsible data owner’s web service. A download link from within this index engine always provides credit to the entity sharing their metadata data. The system is ready to expand into full use and awaits data from Florida’s GIS community.

Currently, the pilot is populated with sample data intended to show the potential and value of the service. The goal is to progress toward the seven framework data layers and quickly include other meaningful data for Florida’s government and business use. This pilot project was accomplished with help from the City of Madison, Madison County, and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). Initial state-wide data was provided by the Florida Resources and Environmental Analysis Center and several State of Florida agencies. The objective is to include significant amounts of meaningful data from state agencies, water management districts, regional planning councils, etc. Soon, many areas of the state should be included such as full or partial coverage from the SRWMD’s service area: Alachua County, Baker County, Bradford County, Columbia County, Dixie County, Gilchrist County, Hamilton County, Jefferson County, Lafayette County, Levy County, Madison County, Putnam County, Suwannee County, Taylor County, and Union County.

The Florida Geospatial Metadata Index project was initially funded by a USGS Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) grant through the John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government with significant technical support and GIS expertise provided by the Florida Resources and Environmental Analysis Center (FREAC) of the Florida State University.

Through the project site, GIS users can browse for data by categories such as Geodetic Control, Cadastral Data, Digital Orthoimagery, Elevation, Hydrography, Administrative Units, Transportation, Utilities & Communication, and Environmental Monitoring & Modeling.

The site also offers text input searches by theme, title, keywords, abstract, and purpose. Currently available themes include:

Administration, Municipal & Political
Agriculture & Farming
Atmosphere & Climate
Base Maps, Scanned Maps & Charts
Biology Ecology
Buildings & Structures
Business & Economics
Environmental Monitoring & Modeling
Geodetic Nets & Control Points
Geology & Geophysics
Human Health & Disease
Imagery & Photographs
Land Cover
Land Ownership
Oceans & Estuaries
Planning & Development
Recreation, Tourism, & Cultural
Social, Justice and Emergency Services
Utilities & Communication
Water Resources (Inland)

Project coordinators are currently looking for organizations throughout Florida to submit FGDC-compliant metadata to be included on the site. Automated tools are available to assist you in reviewing and refining metadata to increase its value for all concerned. The Metadata Index engine will host the metadata and include download links or FTP site pointers to the actual data, as well as share organization / personnel contact information. Organizations that do not have the resources to provide direct downloads can provide access to their GIS data, and it can be hosted on the Florida Geospatial Metadata Index project server.

The site is also going through several major refinements in early 2008. These refinements include 1) a better web site URL, enhanced tools and techniques to help you, the data providers, position you sharable data, 2) better ways to honor those organizations that support the larger community through this shared service, and 3) enhanced infrastructure to insure the long-term availability of these core services as part of the State’s strategic approach to GIS services.

If your organization has FGDC compliant metadata that you would like to share through this service or if you would be interested in refining your metadata, for your use as well as sharing with others, please contact Stephen Hodge to submit your metadata, download links, and contact information. Stephen can be reached via email at shodge@admin.fsu.edu or phone at (850) 644-2882.

For general information about the Florida Geospatial Metadata Index project, please contact Ric Dugger via email at rdugger@iog.fsu.edu or phone at (850) 487-1870.