Commonly, a broad range of information about the environment is needed for estimating environmental situations accurately. A multiplicity of environmental information is generated by public administration on different hierarchical levels. Unfortunately the access to this information is mostly difficult. The environmental information portal PortalU aims to overcome this obstacle.

PortalU offers central access to environmentally relevant web pages, data catalogues and databases from over 450 public organisations in Germany. You can search through the whole information range or search selectivly through single environmental topics, digital maps, measured data, press information or historical events.

The PortalU software InGrid consists of several modules, which can be described as information grid. The information grid ties web pages, data and metadata under a single roof. The software consists of a portal surface, which can be configured flexibly, a web catalogue service, a map viewer and several technical interfaces to connect and transfer information. InGrid is based on open source components and internal developments. Therefore it can be used without external licence costs within the public administration.

PortalU is based on an administrative agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Federal States. The agreement partners aim at improving the active dissemination of public environmental information through a common environmental information portal. The main focus is thereby set on the conformance of requirements of the Aarhus Convention and of the EU Directive 2003/4/EC which defines the public access to environmental information, respectively the German environmental information acts (Umweltinformationsgesetze). Besides this, the requirements of the EU INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC are crucial for the web catalogue service of PortalU (InGridCatalog).

The project is managed by the Coordination Center PortalU at the Ministry of Environment of Lower Saxony in Hanover, Germany. For questions and suggestions please contact the Coordination Center PortalU. For further background information please visit the Homepage of the Federal-State-Cooperation PortalU .