Check out SERVIR-Amazonia’s new data catalog. Any large enterprise or organization needs some way to document its data resources to improve work internally and to serve its clients. The type of geospatial data that we work with has unique characteristics that make data documentation a particular challenge. Geospatial data has been developed for decades now according to the spatial data infrastructure (SDI) framework. Geospatial data often needs to be searched through mechanisms that are different from standard Internet searches, mostly because this data needs to be mixed with other spatial data. Therefore, documentation frameworks must include unique spatial characteristics of the data, such as map projection and datum information. Knowing these unique spatial characteristics, data users can quickly integrate spatial information into their software platforms.

SERVIR-Amazonia’s data catalog was built on FAO’s Geonetwork open source platform, providing for standardized geospatial metadata and search capacity. The program requires SERVIR-Amazonia partners to develop metadata records for all geospatial data produced under the program. That way, we can track product development, data use and ultimately the impact that this information has. The catalog includes some data sets that were previously developed or otherwise worthy of inclusion for people interested in data on the Amazon region. Our aim is to realize the FAIR principle in data management. We will make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. All metadata records within this catalog direct potential users of the data to where it can be downloaded or otherwise acquired.

Leader of this project and author of this blog post

Glenn Hyman, Senior scientist