to get enhanced Web site tools

Geospatial mapping tools are likely to gain broader use and visibility for government agencies and the private sector with the planned July release of Version 2 of,.

The site currently offers access to an extensive array of national and local mapping data. The new version will work more like a portal and incorporate a number of new tools and enhancements'including Google search technology'to find specialized data more quickly and easily.

Version 2 will also introduce a new marketplace capability, according to Leslie Armstrong, deputy staff director for the Federal Geographic Data Committee. Armstrong spoke of the planned improvements during an American Council for Technology conference late last month.

Researchers, government planners and others will be able to mark off an area on a U.S. map, define types of geospatial information they're searching for and identify other users who may be working with similar data on the system.

The marketplace tool is designed to foster communities of interest around specific geospatial data, such as state administrators who want to map wildfire activity layered on top of population centers in a particular region.

'The (revised) Web site offers a new way to harvest the underlying metadata in a more automated way,' said Armstrong.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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