Geodata Discovery Working Group

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This is a Working Group started by the Public Geospatial Data Committee.

NOTICE: There are two BOFs on this topic at FOSS4G2006 on Geodata and about Geodata Discovery and Metadata Models.

While OSGeo can consider hosting sets of public geodata, (and for the purposes of offering maintained packages of high-quality data for education and demonstration, it probably will), we can compile a set of best practises and references to good prior art for building and maintaining collections of data and metadata.


  • Metadata for collections of geographic information.
  • Providing best practise and prototypes for geodata search facilities
  • Help with providing input into the OSGeo repository/services at
  • Providing 'catalog'/discovery/search services as part of OSGeo activities in promoting access to public domain and open licensed bodies of data.


Existing (Meta) Search Projects and Related Efforts

More on metadata models at Geodata_Metadata_Requirements

Search services:

  • See Geodata_Metadata_Requirements#Discovery
  • (Meta) Data Catalogues / Data Repositories
    • GeoTorrent hosts BitTorrents of shapefile/TIFF format data.
    • GeoNetwork "Find Interactive Maps, GIS datasets, Satellite Imagery and Related Applications"
    • DLESE Collection System offers a metadata repository and editor and supports OAI-PMH as data provider and harvester
    • Geo Meta Data Base (GMDB) - Metadata repository and editor based on ISO 19115/119 Metadata and Dublin Core with XML export and OAI-PMH data provider support (german only)
    • GDI Portals (country specific): US, UK, D, A, CH, LI, FR, CO...
  • (Meta) Search engines:
    • - search engine for geospatial services, data and documents combining structured and unstructured data (currently german only)
    • Google search using 'allinurl' parameter

Lists about data sources and services:

Public Datasets for Possible Mirroring or Distribution

Regional data sets

These data sets comprise raster and vector data (with permittive license):

Gazetteer Data

... basically placenames with coordinates ...

Vector data

  • VMAP0 - 1:1Mio, very generalised vector data for many features, around 70 layers (already at telascience) - see also here for docs
  • World map for APRS, 1:1.1mio
  • GSHHS - world coastlines, different scales available
  • TIGER/Line (USA) - street and addressing data for the US
  • RNF (Canada) - street and addressing data for Canada
  • OpenStreetMap - data available through a HTTP based XML interface. They've also been getting requests for shapefile and GML output of their data.
  • African geodata

Raster data

Wishlist for Public Datasets

Search Protocols

Hosting Plan

(placeholder for an initial hosting plan sketch)

See Also