About the Minnesota Geospatial Commons

The Minnesota Geospatial Commons is a collaborative place for users and publishers of geospatial resources about Minnesota. The term “geospatial resources” refers to the wide variety of data sources associated with particular geographic locations.

The Commons is intended to serve both traditional and non-traditional geospatial data consumers. These may include researchers, cartographers, web and applications developers, planners, and journalists who need data for a project, services for an application, or some other resource required for a GIS-based use. The Commons is not intended to provide “out of the box” web mapping functionality like that available through “Google Maps” or “ArcGIS Online.”

See “What is a Resource?” for more information on the types of geospatial resources available through the Minnesota Geospatial Commons. Organizations interested in publishing resources on the Commons are encouraged to read our online help, starting with the "Becoming a Publisher" page.

Brief History of the Commons

  • 2010:  Commons test bed team and workgroup formed
  • 2011:  MnGeo launched an official project to develop the Commons
  • 2012-2013:  A variety of Minnesota IT Services staff formed a team and developed prototypes
  • June 30, 2014:  Initial public release, with a modest initial selection of GIS datasets
  • March 18, 2015:  Official launch following retirement of the DNR Data Deli
  • December 2015:  Retirement of MetroGIS DataFinder; sunset of workgroup
  • May 29, 2016:  Over 500 datasets published
  • March 2017:  The Commons Operations Team was recognized with a MNIT Services "Team of the Year" award
  • August 3, 2017:  The Commons won a NASCIO award for Outstanding Achievement in State Government, in the Information Communications Technology Innovations category
  • October 4, 2018:  The Commons received a Minnesota Governor's Geospatial Commendation Award
  • May 28, 2020:  Upgraded to CKAN version 2.8.4