King County continues its commitment to making GIS data available to the public. This post introduces the release of the new King County GIS Open Data site. Our new site is hosted on Esri’s ArcGIS Online Open Data platform and initially provides access to more than 100 datasets, in fifteen thematic categories, for inspection, analysis, and download.
Even though this new site contains datasets that are in our KCGIS FTP Data Download Portal, it is not a replacement for the portal. We will gradually be replicating additional datasets to the Open Data site, but the portal site will remain in place for the near future as a complement to the new site. Both sites will host the same data.
Longtime users of the legacy FTP portal should appreciate the significantly enhanced functionality for finding, inspecting, and interacting with datasets, while maintaining the ability to download datasets individually or in thematic groups (as shapefiles, KML, or geodatabase feature classes). Downloading a select set of records, filtered by either a tabular query or spatial extent, is another option.
Access to feature services via GeoService REST and GeoJSON APIs provides additional opportunities to link to live map services for non-critical business applications.
Connecting with ArcGIS Online
Each of the datasets on the Open Data site is a registered ArcGIS Online (AGO) item. Therefore, each of these authoritative King County GIS datasets is available simultaneously via both Open Data and AGO.
Over time this should reduce the need for hosting ad hoc unofficial versions of the same data within AGO. You will need to have an AGO personal or organizational account to access the data via AGO and to exercise AGO functionality to create web maps or Story Maps from within Open Data.
An AGO account is required only for making use of the added mapping and analysis functionality of AGO. You do not need an AGO account to search for, filter, inspect or download data from the Open Data site. More information on how to use the Open Data site and create an AGO account, if you wish, can be found in the How to use this site help pages on the Open Data site.
How current will the data be?
At present, updates to the data on the Open Data site will occur every two weeks. This latency is due to the fact that the data behind the Open Data services is housed on dedicated file geodatabases that store copies of our enterprise Spatial Data Warehouse data. This segregation allows us to host both the data as well as the ArcGIS services from the Public Access Segment (PAS) portion of the network. This should help reduce performance bottlenecks and improve the overall user experience on the site.
But be assured, the data you view on the Open Data site is the same authoritative enterprise data you see and use in any of our online GIS applications, including our flagship web-mapping application, iMap and the highly popular Parcel Viewer.
How can you provide feedback?
We appreciate your feedback! Give the Open Data site a test drive and let us know what you think. We will use your feedback to improve the site and to enhance the support documentation. We hope that you will find the site useful whether you represent a city looking to download several King County GIS datasets, a consultant who just needs a small portion of the parcel dataset, or are an interested citizen, without access to GIS software, wishing to learn how GIS data can answer questions you have about where you live or work.
Contact us at the King County GIS Center: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Leathers is the GIS Data Coordinator in the King County GIS Center.
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