2008 FGDC Annual Report Released


The U.S. Geological Survey’s Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC) 2008 Annual Report is now available online.

The report includes remarks by Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne at the ESRI User Conference in San Diego, Calif., on August 4, 2008:

… My vision for the future is that with the click of a mouse, decisionmakers and land managers…will have access to maps that Lewis and Clark could never have imagined-

  • Maps that include up-to-date digital imagery of the landscape.
  • Maps that overlay population data, land use, wildlife habitat, and other forms of geographic information, to paint a more complete picture of our planet.

Information is power, and this information will be a powerful tool in the hands of policy makers, land managers, and scientists in the United States and around the world.

Finally, the Department of the Interior will continue to partner with other countries, the importance of which I saw first-hand in December when I led the U.S. delegation to the World Summit of the Group on Earth Observations in South Africa. Seventy-three nations were there. The other leaders and I left that summit united in the belief that the world must embrace the idea of science without borders, achieve global data compatibility, and have full access to coordinated Earth observations. We agreed to focus on helping countries to better share data from their weather satellites, ocean monitoring buoys, earthquake sensors, and other geospatial technology. …

As we look to the future, we can envision a time when we can use GIS to better see and predict other disasters, like drought and crop failures. That way we can pre-position food and prevent massive starvation. We can make a difference in peoples’ lives.

After all, we don’t inherit the Earth from our parents-we borrow it from our children.

In the report, the FGDC Chair James E. Carson also commented:

… We established and conducted the initial meetings of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), a Federal advisory committee whose membership includes representatives from 28 Government and nongovernmental organizations. The NGAC holds public forums to discuss geo­spatial activities and solicits input from State, Tribal, regional, and local governments, academic institutions, and the private sector. At its inaugural meeting in April 2008, I asked the NGAC to provide advice on FGDC priority areas, including advancing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), public-private partnerships, and OMB Circular A-16. I also asked for an evaluation and recommendations on key data initiatives such as Imagery for the Nation (IFTN), The National Map, the National Land Parcel Study, and the National Land Imaging Program. …


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