GeoPlatform Portal Experience (Portal & Theme Content)
Compared to the very significant updates to GeoPlatform Portal in previous releases, this release has relatively minor tweaks to portal layout and content to improve usability, navigation, and Section 508 compliance. Most changes reflect comments received from users and stakeholders. Changes of note include enhancements to better support Microsoft’s aging (soon-to-be-retired) Internet Explorer (IE 11) and fixes to the “More” menu to prevent occlusions of banner pull-downs.
Dynamic Digital Community Themes and Plugins(https://www.geoplatform.gov/help/community/)
The dynamic community experience continues to mature with significant enhancements of the Community Core Bundle (CCB) for WordPress 5.2.3 and the Community Tool Kit (CTK) themes and an expanding suite of GeoPlatform and 3rd-party plugins. The new GeoPlatform “CCB 4” theme is the out-of-the-box WordPress theme that is installed with each new Community Space. The CTK Plugins were updated for general use by GeoPlatform CCB Communities and for compatibility with the CCB4 theme.
Enterprise SearchWe continue to tweak the search scoring algorithms to improve search performance for more relevant results. In this release the scoring is adjusted to weight higher items that have more occurrences of user-specified key-phrases. Little known fact: Users, but more importantly, “machines,” can “see” multiple representations of GeoPlatform Assets including their schema.org and DCAT properties. Why is this important? Because structured data enables search engines (think Google Dataset Search) and other applications to, based on open standards, discover, ingest, index, and access the resources of the GeoPlatform Portfolio. We’ve made adjustments to accomodate the Google crawler’s limited support for embedded json-ld and exclusive use of schema.org elements in HTML microdata. Here’s how structured data about all kinds of geospatial assets (e.g., datasets, services, layers, maps, galleries, etc.) is exposed: All assets can be identified and resolved using this URI pattern:
https://www.geoplatform.gov/resources/ [resource type]/ [object id][format]
[resource type] = datasets, services, layers, maps, galleries, ... [object id] = unique id of the object of interest [format] = any of JSON (.json), JSON-LD (.jsonld), RDF (.rdf), Turtle (.ttl), Notation3 (.n3), NTriples (.nt)For example, many representations of the same resource can be resolved:
- Single Page App representation (human readable):
Portfolio ManagementIn R16, the Resource Performance Module (RPM) Dashboard made its first public appearance, providing insights into performance and utilization of Portfolio Assets registered to the GeoPlatform. In R17, the RPM Dashboard was enhanced for improved usability and to report more information about GeoPlatform asset, content, and application utilization. Enhancements to Object Editor (OE) have been made to allow styles to be set on MapBox Vector Tile (MBVT) type Layer objects. There are a number of behind-the-scenes enhancements underway to streamline the harvesting and update of information about NGDA and other authoritative assets managed as the GeoPlatform Portfolio.
RPM Dashboard(https://dashboard.geoplatform.gov/rpm/#/dashboard) Another GeoPlatform “Performance Dashboard” designed to provide both high-level and detailed insight into the utilization of GeoPlatform and, more importantly, the utilization of GeoPlatform Portfolio Assets, Applications, and Communities. Here are the performance analytics reported for these capabilities:
Some UI/UX tweaks and improvements for metadata ingest. A notable a new feature is the ability to create and edit “Vector Tile” type Layer objects, specifically MapBox-style Vector Tiles. In addition to creating MBVT-type Layer objects, curators can associate MapBox styles with the Layers as a “related resource” of the Layer object. What does this all mean? It means there’s a flexible way to exploit the new generation of cloud-based “serverless” technologies for accessing and rendering geospatial datasets. Styling allows symbology to be associated with the layer and/or with particular feature classes of the layer. Other updates were made for improved handling of metadata import and attaching documents as “auxiliary resources” to portfolio assets (think: attaching a style document to a Vector Tile Layer or browse-graphics (thumbnails) to assets). Click here for more information on styling Vector Tiles and other new features for curating portfolio assets.