A geoportal is a type of web portal used to find and access geographic information (geospatial information) and associated geographic services (such as GIS services) via the Internet. Geoportals are important for effective use and delivery of geospatial data and services. They collect and distribute geo-information including maps and spatial data sets. Geoportals often are used by GIS professionals, industry experts, and planners who depend on superior data.

What is a Geoportal?

A geoportal is a web-based portal that is used to access geographic data and related geographical services. It’s primary function is to provide users a centralized location where they can access a range of resources related to a specific geography. The resources a geoportal primarily deals with include geospatial metadata, spatial data files, realtime sensor data, GIS services, and cartographic products. Geoportals can be setup to serve a specific industry, a public sector organization, a corporate entity, or can be broad and open to the general public. They can be used to support activities such as decision-making, research, policy making, planning, management, and public communication in areas like environment, transportation, urban planning, emergency response and more.


What are the main components of a Geoportal?

A geoportal usually consist of a user interface for accessing data and services, a metadata catalog for storing and managing data about the resources, a security system for ensuring only authorized access, and a set of services for searching, viewing, and downloading data.

What is the role of Geoportals in GeoSpatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI)?

Geoportals play a crucial role in GSDI initiatives by providing the means for users to find and access geospatial information and services. They also support collaboration by enabling users to share and exchange data and resources.

Are Geoportals difficult to set up?

Setting up a geoportal can be complex and requires expertise in areas such as GIS, web servers, metadata standards, database management, security, and web services. However, there are software solutions available that simplifies the process.

Can anyone access information from a Geoportal?

Yes, the primary goal of a geoportal is to make geospatial information and services accessible to all interested users. However, access may be restricted for certain data or services, depending on the policies of the organization managing the geoportal.

What are some examples of Geoportals?

Examples of geoportals include the USGS National Map Viewer, the European Union’s INSPIRE Geoportal, and the Australia’s NationalMap.

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