GeoDASH – A New Approach to Open Geospatial Data for Bangladesh

GeoDASH – A New Approach to OpenGeospatial Data for Bangladesh
By : Ahasanul Hoque; GIS & Data management Specialist


As we all know the importance and varied application of geo spatial data now a days. It become the integral part from everyday lives to good governance, resource planning, risk management so on. But managing and sharing of geo spatial data are always high technical, time consuming, security dependent. Opensource GeoNode application brought an state-of-art solution in this regard, which is a platform for the management and publication of geospatial data. It brings together mature and stable open-source software projects under a consistent and easy-to-use interface allowing users, with little training, to quickly and easily share data and create interactive maps. In a nutshell, GeoNode is the application of the lessons learned from social media platforms to spatial data infrastructures. GeoNode has been customized and being used successfully by many international and national organizations as well as Governments. As part of the country’s OpenDRI to facilitate data sharing between government stakeholders, academia, and the public World Bank in Bangladesh also has established a customized geonode application called GeoDASH what has been hosted in Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) and fully functional by government.

GeoDASH allows for integrated creation of data, metadata, and map visualizations. Each dataset in the system can be shared publicly or restricted to allow access to only specific users. Social features like user profiles and commenting and rating systems allow for the development of communities around each platform to facilitate the use, management, and quality control of the data the GeoDASH instance contains.

At its core, GeoDASH is based on open source components GeoServer, GeoNetwork, Django, and GeoExt. These provide a platform for sophisticated web browser spatial visualization and analysis. Atop this stack, the project has built a map composer and viewer, tools for analysis, and reporting tools. GeoDASH also supports facilities for styling data as well as collaborative features like ratings, comments, and tagging for data, maps, and styles. GeoDASH is built on four key tenets: Collaboration, Distribution, Cartography and Data Collection. To promote collaboration, GeoDASH is designed on Web 2.0 principles to:

  • Make it extremely simple to share data
  • Provide user statistics
  • Easily add comments, ratings, tags
  • Allow collaborative filtering
  • Provide rankings of best ‘views’ and data sets contributed o Highest rated, most viewed, most shared
  • Allow connectivity between several GeoDASH instances to augment the collaborative potential of government GIS databases.

Simply put, users will be able to comment and rate data; these ratings will influence search results, much the same way that YouTube uses user feedback to promote quality works. To allow for more institutional oversight, GeoDASH will also all participating groups to endorse data. Endorsement provides a “lightweight” way for organizations to provide official guarantees on data without stifling unofficial but productive crowd-sourced data collection, neo-geography, and amateur cartography.

A good amount of data has already been collated, and it is envisioned that in the near future, GeoDASH will include further information and visualization to the platform from various global and in-country sources, expanding institutional commitments to open data, supporting community mapping activities, and developing decision support tools that leverage open data to assist the Government of Bangladesh with contingency, planning and management activities. We do hope you can share your or your institution’s datasets on the GeoDASH portal to enable others to benefit from this work. Please join the GeoDASH Bangladesh community group for getting updates and sharing your issues and comments too.

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