Geospatial Commons Workgroup
This workgroup was officially sunsetted 12/2/15
since the Minnesota Geospatial Commons
is now operational.
The workgroup's mission
was to define and facilitate the implementation of
a Minnesota Geospatial Commons. The Commons was envisioned to be a
coordinated, next-generation site that would allow users to find, view and
download data; publish metadata and data; and find and use web services and
applications. Additional proposed functions of the site included:
web service ratings and monitoring; back-end broker that connects
applications to web services; user reviews of data and web services.
The workgroup was a joint effort of the
Technical Leadership Workgroup and the
MnGeo Standards Committee. It included the organizations that have developed the
MN Geographic Data Clearinghouse, and
DataFinder, along with other staff
from state, regional, and county government.
This workgroup laid the groundwork for the current
Minnesota Geospatial Commons
which became publicly available July 1, 2014. As the Commons
develops, it is becoming the one main location where people can find and share
geospatial resources in Minnesota, replacing previous major Minnesota
geospatial data discovery sites.
Minnesota Geospatial Commons
The Minnesota Geospatial Commons: A vision, Jan. 5, 2012 (22 slides,
700 K, PDF)
Services Requirements report:
- Clarifies what comprises a comprehensive documentation of a web service
- Determines key characteristics needed to achieve "trust" in a web
The Workgroup created a test site using Esri's Geoportal Extension v.
9.3 that implemented some, but not all, of the
desired functions of the Commons. The group
then recommended next steps which included developing a project plan for a production version
and seeking approval of the plan by stakeholder agencies.
Mark Kotz, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644,
Work Plan 2010-11
Check the Project
Plan (pages 6-7, updated 6/7/10) and the most recent meeting materials (in next section below) for
progress on the workplan.
- Commons (previously called a Broker or Portal)
- Refine list of functions.
- Prioritize functions (click here for the
current list of priorities)
- Create a collaborative work site for our workgroup.
- Compare prioritized desired functions to off-the-shelf product
- Compare prioritized desired functions to existing
- Research activities in progress in other states, and
internationally, that can be leveraged for this project.
- Determine if an off-the-shelf product could be used in whole or in
part or if an existing site could be copied or used to meet the highest
priority needs. If so, is additional design work needed to meet all
- Research sources of funding.
- Recommend a course for achieving a preliminary version that
exemplifies what is ultimately wanted, even if not all functions are
- Implement a test-bed broker as a first step in understanding the
needs and as a way to “kick the tires” on at least some of the desired
- Include an assessment of user needs to clarify the functionality
that users really want (so we are not building something we don’t
- Set a course for production of a complete commons.
- Web Service Trust Issues
- Clarify what comprises comprehensive documentation of a web service.
- Review lessons learned from the GeoService Finder project, in
particular, that project team’s investigation of best practices and
standards promoted by the OGC, FGDC, etc.
- Review services portion of the North American Profile of the ISO
- Agree on a list of key characteristics that must be addressed to
achieve “trust” in a web service.
- Further define the roles of the Broker (both machine and human) and
the Enterprise Service Provider with respect to quality of service and
- Develop or find a template or model for service level agreements (SLA).
- Work toward an SLA for the MnGeo image service.
- Articulate the benefits of sharing services and of achieving a
system that effectively supports sharing of services.
- Let federal partners, NSGIC and others know what we are doing. They may have
valuable input or assistance.
Publications and links
MnGeo Standards Committee