K.J. Wilkinson, H.J. Brynard

Council for Geoscience South Africa


Geospatial Portal is a framework of policies, standards, technology, and human resources that supports and facilitates the management and use of geographic information. Over the past two decades local governments around the world have begun to organize their geographic information system (GIS) assets into Geospatial Infrastructures.

The technical aspects of implementing a spatial data infrastructure involve hardware, software, network infrastructure, and the business applications required to support:

A Geospatial Portal provides wider access to geographic data and services and can serve as a catalyst for advancing Spatial Data Infrastructure activities. Geospatial portal implementations provides users with a set of tools to easily discover, query, and access information on Geospatial data holdings and services, including the ability to interactively display and query the data and services. In other words, the structure provides a set of tools to:

In general, the primary purpose of a Geospatial Portal is to support government-to-government agency, government-to-citizen, customer sharing of Geospatial data, maps. The broad objectives of the Geospatial Portal are to:

The Geospatial Portal is a useful, concrete first step in implementing a comprehensive Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). A Geospatial portal can typically be implemented quickly, providing a mechanism for distributing the existing data resources to a broader community of users. The broader access to Geospatial data and services often drives further discussions about data harmonization and enhancement. A Geospatial portal is not the principal objective of the SDI efforts; rather it is a complementary component of the SDI and one of the toolsets to move SDI discussions and efforts further.

By knitting together existing geographic information system assets, the full value of GIS (Geographic Information System) investments is realized. GIS is the collection of hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, storing, updating, manipulating, analysing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

The Geoportal will enable users within the Council for Geoscience to access different applications and data provided by the Spatial Data Management Unit.