Frequently asked questions All the details you need to know

What is GeoPortal Genie?

GeoPortal Genie is a new, stand-alone front-end for Esri Geoportal Server. It allows for greater flexibility in designing the user interface for your geoportal site.

Whereas Esri Geoportal Server is quite difficult to customize (requiring a Java developer), GeoPortal Genie allows any competent web developer to make changes using standard HTML and CSS.

Why is GeoPortal Genie necessary?

Esri’s Geoportal Server does a good job at the back-end tasks, such as creating and managing metadata elements, and cataloguing vast quantities of spatial data. However, Esri Geoportal Server has an ageing user interface, and isn’t designed with novice users in mind.

For example, Esri Geoportal Server expects all users (even casual members of the public) to learn the complicated user interface before they can even search for a dataset. By contrast, GeoPortal Genie is designed using user-centric principles, making it far more intuitive for your end-users.

How is GeoPortal Genie architected?

GeoPortal Genie is a web application which comprises:

  • user interface components written in HTML
  • stylesheets written in CSS
  • an engine written in JavaScript, using the Backbone framework

GeoPortal Genie interacts with your Esri Geoportal Server programmatically, without using the Esri Geoportal Server’s user interface.

What are the system requirements for GeoPortal Genie?

At its simplest, GeoPortal Genie requires an HTML page containing a number of elements, including a map, a results table, and a search bar. These may be styled and positioned to fit your organization’s style guides, or the out-of-the-box user interface may be used.

The main engine for GeoPortal Genie is a JavaScript application which must be referenced on the main page.

The final component is an instance of Esri Geoportal Server. GeoPortal Genie has been written for the latest 1.2.6 release, but is designed to work with older versions too.

How is GeoPortal Genie licenced?

GeoPortal Genie is open-source and may be customised as required. Download the source code at

Can I test GeoPortal Genie?

See the demo at