[gis_info] Hosting outside data - summary

Tycho Granville tychog at co.wasco.or.us
Wed Sep 28 10:23:52 PDT 2016

Hi all,

Thank you all for the feedback. I have summarized it below. To put this
request into context, the data is from a tree inventory that ODF did for
the City of Mosier (population 400-ish)

I am leaning towards assisting them with putting their data on AGOL and
just incorporating our map services.  Long-term I think will this will be
the best method as they will be able to add other data and mess with the
online map to their hearts content.  (I will also be adding more focused
maps to the county site, one of which may work better for them. Our current
map has so many layers on it that I cringe every time I look at it.)


*Cy Smith, State GIO:*
Depending on what it is, there are multiple ways to do this that might work
better for you.  If it’s Framework data, we could host it.  If it’s not,
but would be useful to others, perhaps ArcGIS Online is a place to host
it.  We have AGOL seats that are free for local governments, so whoever
this is could potentially do it themselves.

*Joshua Tanner, State GEO:*
It sounds like the dataset doesn’t change much, but data and schema updates
are always the biggest concern when hosting services.  If the data needs
updating, it often means republishing the service (if using fgdb) or
updating the database with the updated data (if using enterprise db).  If
the service is public and others are relying on the data, you have to make
sure field names do not change with any updates, and put an emphasis on
making sure the service is always up and working.

If you choose to use ArcGIS Online (available to local governments
participating in data sharing agreement), you can upload the dataset as a
hosted feature service.  Hosted feature services in ArcGIS Online have a
REST endpoint that behaves much like ArcGIS Server and can be consumed by
external applications or ArcGIS Desktop.  ArcGIS Online may be a better
option in many instances.

In short, datasets that don’t need to be updated regularly are relatively
straight forward to host.  Performance isn’t much of an issue for most
datasets for either ArcGIS Server of ArcGIS Online.  ArcGIS Online may
offer some additional benefits if you choose to host it there.

*Eli Adam, Lincoln County:*
Does hosting it and making it available in your web map provide a
benefit to the County or fill any County goals?  How does it impact
your other themes?  Those seem like important evaluation criteria.

If it serves no County benefit or goals, then you have to see how it
detracts from County goals.  For instance, if I ask you to host 200
soils layers you'll say no since it will overwhelm the useful content
you have there and obscure the County goals and benefits.

If it benefits the County's goals, then you have to decide how much to
charge.  If you charge nothing your obligation for service is very
low.  If you charge a lot, then your obligation for reliability and
service increase.

*Karim Naguib, Jackson County:*
I agree with you that this would likely be a simple request, and not take a
lot of effort or resources on your part, and here is how we’ve dealt with
these types of requests.  If the data has a greater use for the public, or
multiple agencies (ie, fire protection, or other public safety type data)
we will make it available through our site at no charge to the agencies.
If the dataset is only useful for a small number of people, we tend not to
make it available through our site.  My concern would be the same as yours,
that you will be opening up a can of worms if you allow in one dataset.

Rachel Smith, DLCD::
I would say that whether an agency decides to do this is definitely a
case-by-case basis.  For example, if you’ve already invested in the
ArcServer license because you’re hosting your own GIS data catalog for the
county, then adding a couple of layers for another agency is not really a
big deal as the real expense is in the license.  Some of your decision will
likely depend on your relationship with the agency.  Is it another county?
Or another department within Wasco county asking for assistance?  Sometimes
it’s just not worth the cost of the paperwork to try and get reimbursement
depending on how much data you’re serving.   I could probably go on and on…

I think that this opens the door for a larger conversation between you and
the other agency, and that you should do your due diligence to talk about
the expectations and what their plans are moving forward.  Is this a
temporary solution because they plan to stand up their own GIS in the next
fiscal year?

The primary issues you may face are:  large files that could cost you more
significant money to host, large files that could put a drain on your
server/network, expectations by the agency for regular updates,
expectations that the data be made available 24x7 (ie…server downtime).

If the answers to all of these issues are, for example, it’s only 2 vector
files (no raster data), they’re updated annually, and you have a good
relationship with the agency, then why not help them out?  Interagency
agreements are always a good practice to make sure you’re both clear on the
expectations.  If you’re using ArcGIS Online and using credits are a
concern, perhaps you agree to a 3-month test, evaluate the credit usage,
and then make a decision on the cost reimbursement to see if it is

I know I’ve kinda rambled on with this email, but there are a lot of
factors to consider and every situation is different.  It sounds like it
might be a fairly easy thing to accommodate.

Thanks again,


Tycho Granville, GISP | *GIS Coordinator*

tychog at co.wasco.or.us | www.co.wasco.or.us
541-506–2658 | Fax 541-506-2641
2705 E. 2nd St. | The Dalles, OR 97058

On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 9:04 AM, Tycho Granville <tychog at co.wasco.or.us>

> Hi all,
> We have received a request from another agency to host some of their data
> on our public facing web map. The data is a small point file of (most
> likely) static data that we would manage in-house. Has anyone else done
> this and if so have you run into any problems/pitfalls? Do you charge for
> the service and if so how much?
> I’m trying to figure out a policy for this (or maybe it should be a flat
> no). While I would personally like to host their data I do not want to be
> overwhelmed with other requests (not likely, but I'm the only one who
> maintains the site), and the Commissioners will want to know what the costs
> are/how to pay for it.
> Thanks,
> Tycho
> Tycho Granville, GISP | *GIS Coordinator*
> tychog at co.wasco.or.us | www.co.wasco.or.us
> 541-506–2658 | Fax 541-506-2641
> 2705 E. 2nd St. | The Dalles, OR 97058
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