How to become a Publisher on the Commons

The Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MnGeo) will work with interested partners to make their Minnesota geospatial resources available on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons. We would like you to be one of those partners! 

What are the expectations of publishers?

We want to encourage publishers of data, applications and maps to share them on the Commons. We don't want to make it too difficult, but there are some basic expectations of publishers on the Commons. Please review Expectations of Commons Publishers

What are the requirements to publish resources?

One key requirement is that every GIS dataset must have a metadata record. Applications can have full metadata also, but it is not required. In addition to the metadata record, a few other pieces of information are required.

These additional pieces of information are stored in a file as part of a Geospatial Data Resource Site (GDRS) resource. Together the metadata records and the GDRS data “feed” the content of the site.

Many state agencies already store their data and metadata in a GDRS; however, many organizations that would like to contribute to the Minnesota Geospatial Commons do not yet have, or might not want to set up, a GDRS. For those organizations, the primary method of publishing is via MnGeo's FTP site. Details on the two methods are in the Publishing Overview section.

How much metadata is required to publish my dataset?

While we haven’t defined the minimum number of metadata fields that must be completed for a dataset to be published on the Commons, our goal is to define a level and quality of required metadata that will provide enough information for a user to evaluate a dataset while not making the documentation task too much for the data publisher. Toward that goal, we developed a recommendation that identifies those elements that are mandatory to participate in publishing data resources to the Commons, those that are desirable because their inclusion improves the quality and value of the metadata document, and those that are optional and thus left to the publisher's discretion. This draft recommendation was approved by the Statewide Geospatial Advisory Council on June 24, 2015 and is currently awaiting final approval by the Geospatial Technology Committee. Metadata quality will also be maintained by periodically reminding publishers to check their records and via user feedback. The Commons uses the Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines (MGMG).