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 application developers, planners, and journalists who need data for a project, services for an application, or some other resource required for a GIS-based purpose. 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 implementation 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 implementation workgroup
  • May 29, 2016: Over 500 resources published
  • March 2017: Commons Operations Team recognized with a MNIT Services "Team of the Year" award
  • August 3, 2017: Commons wins a NASCIO award for Outstanding Achievement in State Government, in the Information Communications Technology Innovations category
  • October 4, 2018: Commons receives a Minnesota Governor's Geospatial Commendation Award
  • May 28, 2020: Upgraded to CKAN version 2.8.4
  • May 1, 2023: Over 1,000 resources published