Solution Architecture

Custom Notifications/RSS Feeds for New Datasets

An API to provide customizable RSS feeds should be considered, to allow users to subscribe to specific thematic areas, geographic areas and so on. This way, if for example someone was interested in data on aquatic resources in the Chesapeake Bay, they could subscribe and apply filters by custom search terms, by geography of interest, thematic keywords and so on.

This could either provide notices via e-mail, or by RSS, et cetera. As an example, Google allows users to do a custom search (e.g. Google News search or Google Blog Search with a user-specified query) and then the search results page displays an RSS feed icon, which users can then load into their RSS feed reader, to get regular updates matching those search parameters.


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


  1. Comment

    Agree! Using Datagov as a repository of authoritative sources for warnings, alerts, and notifications from federal, state, local govts using CAP protocol as standard format (allows for easy RSS, atom, and other iPhone, cell alerts, TVs, video, mobile integration and 508 accessible technologies, etc) is a winner. OASIS has accepted the CAP standard so no need to develop world wide stnd. Chinese, Canada, Mexico and many state and local govts are adopting CAP for messaging. e.g., Sheriffs alert to all within a 911 district for train crash cehmical spill such as NC. Example for weather - CAP identifies the alert as a authoritative source of warning across country and the warning is updated every two minutes in multiple feeds and sources s o the warning gets accepted earlier as a valid warning/alert . This example could be replicated using a federal directory of all alerts/warnings/notifications for areas of health, safety, life, property, H1N1, geophysical, security, fire, pollution, environmental, transportation such as train/plane crashes, etc. Using Datagov as a basic repository and requiring common CAP format the concept of a "" would need a separate server and domain or just expand DataGov tool catalog to identify and allow developers to find a feed of authoritative CAP(RSS/Atom) feeds in the tool catalog for searching, signing up for via email, twitter or SMS (txt messaging by phone), and populating their own databases with alerts/warnings/notifications of their choice. Basic issue is if we get alerts out in standard format (CAP/RSS/Atom/txt) then the user/developer can decide how the message gets sent at no cost to the govt - third party apps and services, iphone app, email, video, tv, cell, txt message, Walgreens marquee/info display on outside of bldg, road signs on major highways, endless possibilities. Infrastructure and maintaining a email servers and service to support the cazillions of alert messages would need to happen. I believe National Weather Service did a successful pilot and Weather service and USGS have been issuing alerts for longest period of time and have years of experience with weather, volcanos, earthquakes, tsunami.

    Short approach: 1. Get a federal directory of authoritative feeds in DataGov tool catalog identify with alert symbol 2. Offfer delivery or feature to create an alert (download or signup) in basic formats of CAP/Atom/RSS/TXT on DataGov or another special domain such as with feeds from DataGov as authoritative source.

  2. Comment

    Great idea. To riff on it a little, would be great if people could save/name their search and then request an RSS feed on it for updated data sets or new data sets. We did this recently on our ~G2.0 web application ( and initial results are good. Examples:

    Users can subscribe to a RESTful RSS feed on an individual habitat restoration project:

    Or they can build a "portfolio" of projects based on a wide range of criteria and then subscribe to an RSS feed on that:

    Another related idea is to wire in an automated Twitter feed for the entire site. Could standardize some keywords by topic to help twitter readers filter for relevancy. We also did this on - any time a project is updated, the web app posts a tweet. However, this is really only for Fish & Wildlife program insiders or info junkies.

  3. Comment
    Marten Hogeweg

    This API is available for the geospatial content portion of This content comes from while uses the OGC CS-W interface, also exposes a REST interface that supports GeoRSS, Atom, KML, and GeoJSON, based on ESRI ArcGIS Server Geoportal Extension technology.

    To find the latest geospatial content shared with use:

    In addition keywords, spatial extent, format and such may be specified. This allows you to be updated of new content available in in your area for your specific topic of interest. Details on this API may be found here:

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