Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Geoportal Extension to Become Open Source

Despite code documentation and samples as included on the Geoportal Resource Center, implementers of the Geoportal Extension have continued asking for source code access to support integration with content management systems, map viewers, desktop etc.

Esri listened to these requests and I am happy to be able to announce that:

the Geoportal Extension will enter a next phase in its evolution and become a Free and Open Source solution from Esri.

Seven years ago we created what was then called the GIS Portal Toolkit as a software and services solution, based on code from a number of earlier projects and prototypes for data discovery and map viewing. 

Since starting with GIS Portal Toolkit, those using it to create geoportals and clearinghouses have had access to its source code. Understandably, as people looked at creating websites that reflected the organization's identity.

At version 9.3 this resulted in Geoportal becoming a fully supported extension with a full maintenance program. We put a lot of effort in making Geoportal Extension configurable to a large extent with respect to authentication, metadata profile support, the index used for discovery, localization, skin development, and more.

The Geoportal Extension will be released under one of the variants of the Creative Commons open source license and will include elements like:
  • Geoportal Web application
  • OGC CSW 2.0.2 catalog service with OGCCORE and ISO Application Profile support
  • INSPIRE compliant discovery service
  • Extensible FGDC, ISO, DC metadata support
  • Configurable search engine including spatial ranking algorithm
  • Federated searches to standards-based (CS-W), Web 2.0 (OpenSearch), or other types of search providers (CMS, Document Management Systems, …)
  • CSW clients (.NET + Java)
  • Data Discovery Widget for Flex
  • Data Discovery Widget for Silverlight
  • Data Discovery Widget for HTML
  • Ontology Service (java webapp)
  • WMC clients (.NET)
  • Publishing client (.NET)
We have some administration to do, but check back in later this month and next as we get the code out there. I'm looking forward to working with a larger community to further develop this product.


  1. Creative Commons seems like an unusual IP model for code, as opposed to e.g. lGPL, GPL, MIT, etc. and which Creative Commons license is important for understanding the flexibility and availability of the code. Any further word on which CC will be used and why CC and not a code specific OS model?

  2. Literally a week before this was announced my boss and I were talking with Geoff M. from the GeoPortal team, pestering him with implementation questions. My boss asked "so we think the geoportal would be ideal for becoming an open source project - are there any plans for that?" Whether Geoff knew or not he denied it at the time. But we are excited to know that the geoportal team is ultimately thinking along the same lines as we and probably many other customers are. Making this open source, and thus free license-wise, should help promote more SDI projects all over the world... which is good for the world, and I think it will bring more users to ArcGIS Server in the end, too.

    Nice work Marten!