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Creation of the NYS GIS Clearinghouse
The Coordinating Body sponsored several initiatives that would put the new state GIS policy into action. The most visible of these efforts is the NYS GIS Clearinghouse. The NYS GIS Clearinghouse was created and established on the World Wide Web ( [ Dead Link ] by the New York State Library. It includes a publicly available metadata repository describing GIS data sets held by many different organizations within NYS and around the world, as well as information about how to obtain the data. It also has extensive information about New York's GIS Data Sharing Coordination Program; information on and links to GIS education and training opportunities; other state and federal GIS resources; GIS user groups throughout New York; and GIS-related listservs. In addition, users can have direct access to selected data sets from many state agencies. The Department of Transportation (DOT), the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS), and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) were among the first ones to post their data on the site.

The Metadata Repository was created to allow producers of geographic data to describe the data sets they have available so that potential users can identify existing data before they attempt to create new data sets. Data producers describe their data sets using a simplified version of the Federal Geographic Data Committee Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata. It includes information about who produced the data, the geographic area covered, the data set category or theme, scale, accuracy information, and how to obtain the data sets. Users access metadata by doing a search online. A list of data sets is returned as the result of a search and the complete metadata record for each of these data sets can be viewed to determine the relevance of the data to the user's need. Users then contact the data "owners" to obtain the data they want. A formal Data Sharing Cooperative (described below) gives special privileges to those who sign a data sharing agreement.