Curating the GeoPlatform Portfolio

This page introduces the key responsibilities and activities of “Portfolio Curators” — those persons responsible for supporting Portfolio Management functions on Assets registered to the GeoPlatform.


All levels of government and private entities have a role to play in using geospatial technologies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their mission-driven business functions and services. provides cross-agency shared infrastructure and services to:

  • Support management, discovery, and exploitation of foundational data and services such as remotely sensed imagery, address data, infrastructure, and other geospatial resources of national significance.
  • Promote data sharing and interoperability standards to reduce duplicated effort and enhance data sharing.
  • Utilize geospatial data and tools to plan, manage, track, and communicate results of policy or event-driven cross-agency initiatives and projects.
  • Ensure that infrastructure of geospatial data, systems, and services is accessible and open.
  • Streamline governance of geospatial data and programs nationally to reduce duplication and capture increased efficiencies.

Cross-agency aggregation for discovery and access
In the “create-register-curate-utilize” workflow shown below, metadata about geospatial datasets and services flows through and/or directly to the GeoPlatform. The metadata documents describing resources are used to create linked “web objects” representing dataset and service resources (“Internet things”). Web objects (“Portfolio Assets”) are subsequently curated (updated, corrected, augmented, linked, and organized by “curators” into managed collections of mission-relevant resources that are optimized for discovery and access by end-users searching for authoritative or otherwise relevant resources that can be accessed to answer key questions.

Mission-focused integration for sharing and exploitation
In the “create-register-curate-utilize” workflow shown below, metadata about geospatial resources (datasets, services, maps, applications and websites) are “registered” to the GeoPlatform. These web-accessible resources (“internet things”) are typically created elsewhere by external systems and business processes but then registered (i.e., “harvested” or “published”) to GeoPlatform for aggregation and discovery. Registered resources in GeoPlatform are managed as linked “web objects” and the web objects are curated into managed collections (“Portfolio Assets”) of mission-relevant resources. The curated web objects are organized and presented for rapid discovery, access, and exploitation (“utilized”) by end-users who, in turn, may apply processes and tools to create value-added visualizations, analytical products, and decision-aids.

Portfolio Management

Portfolio – A range of investments held by a person, a company, etc. (Oxford Dictionary: American Edition); i.e., A group of resources, assets, product and/or service offerings of an organization or community.
Portfolio Management is the process of tracking, maintaining, expanding, and aligning assets to address and solve the business needs of an enterprise. Portfolio management approaches include a number of components:

  • Strategic portfolio planning;
  • Coordinated development and resource pooling;
  • Established goals and performance measures, indicating the benefits of each asset investment, and how it contributes to the overarching goals (particularly completion/renewal) of the portfolio;
  • Investment selection criteria; and
  • Processes for reviewing the health of, and return on, asset investments that inform investment decisions, redistribution of resources, management of issues and mitigation of risks to the portfolio.”

At a national level, the portfolio-centric model overcomes single agency stovepipes by applying consistent policy, improved organization, better governance, and public engagement to deliver results. This involves coordination of geospatial assets and investments to most efficiently support national priorities and government missions. The Federal portfolio of geospatial assets is a key component of the NSDI, providing a foundational core of digital spatial information for the Nation and for all users of geographic information.

Portfolio Management is a process that supports and optimizes investments in Federal geospatial assets for effective sharing, collaboration, and use of core geospatial data across Federal agencies and with their partners and stakeholders, in an environment that supports efficient and effective decision making.

The processes helps portfolio managers, the stewards of geospatial resources, manage a resource as an asset throughout its lifecycle to promote interoperability and openness of geospatial information across all levels of government, commerce, and public engagement. The geospatial portfolio consists of multiple assets, including geospatial data, technology, and service/application components.

Outcomes include robust and accessible set of core assets: datasets, services, maps, and applications. The availability of and access to these assets will improve support for individual Federal agency missions, partners and stakeholders.

Why use Portfolio Management?

  • Reduces duplication and cost
  • Provides greater accessibility
  • Supports shared services across the Federal Government
  • Offers an accurate and accountable inventory of Federal Geospatial Portfolio assets
  • Improves government accountability and transparency
  • Improves data quality through lifecycle evaluations for content quality and fitness for use
  • Ensures national data are high quality, dependable, consistent, and available to agencies
  • Increases return on existing geospatial investments by promoting the reuse of data, applications, and tools

Portfolio Resources

Learn more about assets of the GeoPlatform Portfolio


Portfolio Asset Model

Learn more about the properties of GeoPlatform Portfolio Assets and their relationships to other Assets and external resources.


Portfolio Asset Lifecycle has thousands of registered geospatial assets from a broad range of Federal State, Local, Tribal, Academic and Non-Governmental organizations. U.S. Federal Government agencies are required to register their open geospatial data to

GeoPlatform enables users to create, register, curate, share, discover, and use mission-relevant geospatial data and related resources. Assets are managed objects in GeoPlatform that represent a variety of information resources such as Datasets, Services, Layers, Maps, Galleries, Applications, Topics, and Websites.

GeoPlatform Portfolio Assets are managed according to Portfolio Management practices and following a lifecycle model for continuously adding, maintaining, organizing, finding, exploiting, and deprecating assets. The asset lifecycle consists of these five stages, each supported by specific GeoPlatform applications:

Create and Register

Producers of geospatial resources create online, Internet representations of resources in the form of downloadable datasets, web services, web maps, web-accessible applications, and websites. Producers of these resources register their creations as web objects to the GeoPlatform. For dataset resources in particular, metadata is used to describe those resources in a way that allows the description of each resource to be exchanged from one system to another in a standardized way.. When a resource is registered to the GeoPlatform as an asset in the GeoPlatform Portfolio, the user is enabling that asset to be easily organized, discovered and utilized by a wide variety of users, organizations, and systems to answer key, mission-specific questions.

    Object Editor: Users browse the GeoPlatform Portfolio of Assets (Datasets, Services, Layers, Maps, Galleries, Applications, Websites, Communities, and Topics), register new Assets from externals sources (e.g., import dataset metadata documents, harvest web map and web service assets from ArcGIS Online (AGOL), and create new Assets from scratch.

    Resource Registration Plugin: Geospatial Assets can also be registered to GeoPlatform through the use of the Resource Registration tool, which is found on the GeoPlatform home page and can be installed as an embedded widget in GeoPlatform Community Spaces. This tool allows users to quickly register all kinds of geospatial resources to GeoPlatform without having to navigate through Object Editor.

To learn more about creating and registering Assets:



Edit and Augment

An important part of the curation process, asset maintenance requires that the user is aware of how their data evolves over time and keeps track of that data in the Portfolio. Using ObjectEditor, metadata can be edited to keep the asset up to date. The Performance and Resource Dashboards allow users to monitor how their assets are doing and determine whether they need to make any changes. Occasional maintenance helps keep services, datasets, and other important assets discoverable and relevant to GeoPlatform users searching the portfolio for the important data they need. We encourage all users registering assets in the Portfolio to consider how they can augment the descriptions of their assets and their relationships so they are more effectively organized, discovered and exploited using GeoPlatform’s facilities for finding, organizing, and accessing data.

    Object Editor: Users browse the GeoPlatform Portfolio of Assets (Datasets, Services, Layers, Maps, Galleries, Applications, Websites, Communities, and Topics), register new Assets from externals sources (e.g., import dataset metadata documents, harvest web map and web service assets from ArcGIS Online (AGOL), and create new Assets from scratch.

Curate and Share

These GeoPlatform application enable users to curate (manage, organize, and present) Assets and related content of the GeoPlatform Portfolio:

  • Map Viewer: GeoPlatform-specific tool that allows users to create and save maps from within the GeoPlatform web page. These maps can be created with open layers registered in GeoPlatform.
  • Map Manager: A map viewing tool that allows users to view maps created in GeoPlatform Map Viewer and ArcGIS Online without leaving the GeoPlatform web page. In Map Manager, users are able to compile maps into map galleries.
  • Community Space: Community Spaces provide a managed website for agencies to collaborate as communities-of-interest across government on specific topics or events as well as curate and share community assets, documents, upcoming meetings & events, news, and other helpful resources.
Search and Exploit

Searching for (and finding!) Assets is an important part of utilizing the Portfolio to accomplish mission-relevant tasks. GeoPlatform enables users to search and browse the Portfolio using key facets (e.g., Asset type, publisher organization, geographic extent, keyword tags, themes, community associations, etc) and semantic concepts. Semantic concept searches allow use of unique terms with well-known and unambiguous, mission-relevant meaning to be used for searching (instead of relying on simplistic searches by lexical string matching of keyword tags). Users are also able to label and relate their Assets to communities, organizations, themes, and topics to make their data more discoverable and relevant to GeoPlatform users.

    GeoPlatform Search: The primary means to search and access GeoPlatform Portfolio Assets is via the GeoPlatform Search application:

    Object Details Page: The Object Details Page provides the means to discover information about a given Portfolio Asset, including its relevance, provenance, distributions, related concepts, and associations to other Portfolio Assets and related web resources. From this page, users can launch actions to open (view), edit, download, access, and share Assets.


To deprecate is “to withdraw official support for or discourage the use of (something, such as a software product) in favor of a newer or better alternative.” [Mirriam-Webster]

Portfolio Assets have a “shelf life” — the period of time in which they are most relevant, correct, and current — and, especially for geospatial assets, their shelf-life is typically limited. Dataset and service resources are often regularly updated with new releases by their responsible producer or publisher organizations. Sometimes an Asset must be “sunsetted” (deprecated) when it is no longer maintained, no longer relevant, has been replaced or is superseded by a more currently updated and released resource. Online services and their associated layers, web maps and web sites come and go and their access URLs often change, typically without notice. When a Portfolio Asset is no longer active, supported, valid, accessible or relevant then it should be deprecated.

Object Editor:In addition to changing or updated descriptive information about an Asset, curators can mark the status of Assets as deprecated, obsolete, deleted, or any number of other labels indicating the current state of an Asset. Assets can also be marked as deleted such that they are no longer discoverable or editable.

Updated on February 26, 2020
Have Other Questions?
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