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What is the GLIN GIS? | What data are currently available? | How do I obtain GLIN GIS-disseminated data? | How do I publish data through the GLIN GIS? | Who can I contact about the GLIN GIS? | What's under the hood? | What is GML? | What is GML? | What is a Shapefile? | What is KML? | What is WMS? | What is WFS?

What is the GLIN GIS?
the GLIN GIS, Great Lakes Information Network Data Access, is a suite of open source tools and applications intended to aggregate and disseminate geospatial datasets for the Great Lakes region. These data are organized made available through the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN) in a variety of formats and themes.

What data are currently available?
A complete list of data is available through the Great Lakes Information Network's GIS & Maps page, with the ten most recent layers available as an RSS feed. Users can search for datasets through the GLIN GIS by topic, geography, organization, or by upload date. Data being served through GLIN GIS are also available through Geospatial Onestop.

How do I obtain GLIN GIS-disseminated data?
Data being made available through the GLIN GIS come in a variety of formats including GML, Shapefiles, KML, PDF's, GIF's, and as OGC Web services (WMS and WFS).

How do I publish spatial data through the GLIN GIS?
Publishing spatial data through the GLIN GIS is a free service provided to the Great Lakes region on behalf of The Great Lakes Information Network. To publish spatial data, please provide us with some information about your data and your organization/affiliation.

Who can I contact about the GLIN GIS?
Questions and comments should be routed through the GLIN GIS Feedback/Contact page, or alternatively, you may contact Pete Giencke at pgiencke@glc.org

What's under the hood?
GLIN GIS is built completely upon an open framework, leveraging open standards and open source software throughout. This includes PostgreSQL/PostGIS databases, GDAL/OGR-based automatic parsing scripts, Mapserver and Geoserver for generating geospatial products on the backend, and OpenLayers on the frontend for displaying web-based maps.

What is GML?
GML, or the Geographic Markup Language is an "XML encoding for the transport and storage of geographic information, including both the spatial and non-spatial properties of geographic features. GML is intended to provide a means of encoding spatial information for both data transport and data storage, especially in a wide-area Internet context." GML can be viewed using a standard text editor, Java Unified Mapping Platform (JUMP), or TatukGIS Viewer

What is a Shapefile?
The ESRI Shapefile is a "popular geospatial vector data format for geographic information systems software. It is developed and regulated by ESRI as a (mostly) open specification for data interoperability among ESRI and other software products." Shapefiles can be viewed using ArcExplorer 9.1 - Java Edition, uDig, QGIS, or Geomatica 9 FreeView.

What is KML?
KML can be viewed using a standard text editor, or by using Google Earth.

What is WMS?
The OpenGIS Web Map Service (WMS) is an OGC standard which "produces maps of spatially referenced data dynamically from geographic information." This international standard defines a "map" to be a portrayal of geographic information as a digital image file suitable for display on a computer screen.

GLIN GIS WMS getCapabilities

What is WFS?
The OpenGIS Web Feature Service (WFS) is an OGC standard which allows for "requests of geographical features across the web using platform-independent calls."

GLIN GIS WFS getCapabilities


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Updated: April 24, 2014
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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