A geoportal is a Web site providing a single point of access to spatial data, allowing its users to browse through extensive collections of data and related materials, evaluating their potential fitness for use. Geoportals may include data that are in the public domain or are otherwise available free of charge, and may also support licensing and purchasing of proprietary data. They include the ability to search through catalogs, examining the contents and quality of data.
The http://www.publicprofiler.org geoportal shown in Figure 2‑13, below, is a UK example of a geoportal that brings together datasets concerned with pupil and student education, along with associated population characteristics and framework data. Geoportals include standard layers of data on topography, roads and streets, rivers and streams, named places, imagery, and political boundaries; and may also provide access to more specialized data. A number of geoportals are listed in the Web links: “Selected national and international data and information sources” Annex to this Guide.