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⚠️ While the pipeline can still be implemented with the resources in this repository,
The Geodisy Project is no longer in active development/maintanence as of Nov 8th, 2022 ⚠️


The world of data at your fingertips

What is Geodisy?

Find research data visually, spatially and quickly

Research data can be hard to find, and even harder if you're researching a specific place. Geodisy changes that, giving you a window into the world of research data with map-based tools familiar to everyone. Search by place name, or by drawing a box. The world of research data is yours to discover. Geodisy is the software that will let you do just that.

Who will use Geodisy?

Anyone looking for research data who wants to use a map or a box to find data. Researchers, students, journalists, and anyone else with an interest in data from university research will benefit from Geodisy's search tools.

The first users of Geodisy will be FRDR, Canada's Federated Research Data Repository, for the quick and easy discovery of Canadian Research Data. When released, anyone with the available infrastructure will be able to plug in Geodisy and make a compatible repository more discoverable.

Why use Geodisy?

Data, and in particular research data, has always been difficult to find. Keywords can be hit and miss, and text based descriptions don't show you where your place of interest lies. Geodisy changes that, showing you where, not just what.

If you're a running a research data repository based on Dataverse, Geodisy will take your repository's data, search for geospatial metadata and files, and copy them to a new system which allows for visual searching. Your original data and search methods are untouched; you have the benefit of both.

How does Geodisy work?

Geodisy is a separate server software component that examines the metadata, such as the study records for research data and any associated data. If Geodisy finds spatial data, metadata and data are harvested, then normalized to have the same geospatial metadata standard. Afterwards, both data and metadata are injected into a geospatial data server and a viewer/search component.

For the more technically inclined

Geodisy consists of middleware (a piece of software living on a server, not directly accessible to end users) that:

  1. Harvests data and metadata from a repository (intially Dataverse)

  2. Cleans and normalizes metadata and data found in study recods

  3. Creates bounding boxes for data sets if applicable, and reads geometry from compatible files, such as shapefiles

  4. Injects bounding box data and/ or geospatial data into a geospatial server, in this case Open Geoserver

  5. Presents a visual search in the form of a Geoblacklight front end

Geodisy is open source All of the software you need will be free and open source (FOSS). The Geodisy middleware component will be available for download from Github. In addition to Geodisy, you will need:

  1. A Dataverse repository to harvest from

  2. Open Geoserver in which to place your data

  3. Geoblacklight to allow users to search

When will it be available?

Geodisy is available now. See it in action at

Where can I find documentation?

Geodisy documentation is available in our Github repository

Where is the software?

Because Geodisy is an open source project, all of our software is freely available. Download or fork the software from Github.

Who is behind all of this?

None of this would be possible without our grant (RDM-059) from CANARIE, to whom we extend our thanks.

Core Project Team (UBC) Eugene Barsky Principal Investigator
Paul Dante Software Developer
Edith Domingue Advanced Research Computing (ARC) Client Services Manager
Mark Goodwin Geospatial Metadata Coordinator
Tang Lee Project Manager
Paul Lesack Co-Principal Investigator
Evan Thornberry Co-Principal Investigator
Project Partners Jason Brodeur McMaster University
Marcel Fortin University of Toronto
Alex Garnett SFU
Amber Leahey Scholars Portal
Jason Hlady University of Saskatchewan
Joel Farthing University of Saskatchewan
Venkat Mahadevan UBC ARC
Todd Trann University of Saskatchewan
Lee Wilson Portage Network

I want to know more!

Look for us on Twitter! #geodisy

We are happy to chat. Contact the Geodisy team at