The Emergence Of Geoportals
Geoportals are World Wide Web gateways that organize content and services such as directories, search tools, community information, support resources, data and applications.
"Easy access can now be provided to up to date information that is always available (subject to Internet access) and the publishers of data can encourage proper use of information by providing [information about] provenance, quality, age and fitness for purpose. Technology is now the least pressing problem as far as policy makers are concerned. The focus has shifted instead to [geographic information] legal, economic, and social issues.
...Geoportals ... have made a major contribution to simplifying access to GI, and in so doing have helped to encourage and assist people who want to use [geographic information] concepts, databases, techniques and models in their work. Today geoportals are being built using industrial strength, industry standard commercial off the shelf information system technology. Geoportals can connect widely distributed [geographic information] providers and users via the medium of the Internet."
Thanks to Chris Steins