In its first year, Data.gov has grown from 47 datasets to over 270,000 datasets. These datasets aren’t actually hosted at Data.gov. The government agencies making these datasets available, host the files (or web services), and share them with the community through data.gov. But how did these datasets become discoverable at Data.gov?
Actually, the datasets are registered with Geodata.gov, a national catalog of geospatial resources that has been around for some 7 years and that “serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data under the Geospatial One-Stop E-Government initiative”.
Geodata.gov provides access to almost 400,000 geospatial resources from over 300 partner collections from federal, state, and local government, as well as academia and commercial providers. Rather than having to sift through as many web sites, users can go to Geodata.gov and perform searches there. Creators of the geospatial resources can register this content with Geodata.gov if they choose to do so.