Published: April 2012
Author(s): Richard Fry, Robert Berry, Gary Higgs, Scott Orford, Samuel Jones

Transactions in GIS 16(2) pp 105-124

The Wales Institute of Socio-Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) is an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional academic research group based in Wales, UK. One of the key objectives of WISERD is to develop a spatial framework that enhances a researcher's ability to discover socio-economic research data relating to Wales with the aim of encouraging collaborative research and re-use of existing data. This article describes the development of an online geoportal designed to meet this objective. Using free and open-source software (FOSS) components and services, a range of software tools has been developed to capture standards-compliant metadata for a variety of data sources. The geoportal is unique in that, in our review of over 120 geoportals worldwide, we have not previously encountered a geoportal dedicated to supporting quantitative and qualitative social science academic and policy research. A particularly innovative aspect of the geoportal has involved the building of a rich meta-database of government surveys, geo-referenced semantically-tagged qualitative data (generated from primary research), ‘grey’ data (e.g. from transcripts, journal publications, books, PhD theses) and Government administrative data.

Open Source GIS, Geoportal, Socio-Economic Meta-Data