Tag Archive | DOI

US Senate introduces Geospatial Data Reform Act 2015

Latest Title: Geospatial Data Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] (introduced 3/16/2015)      Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 3/16/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.



Also see the congressional record (search for word “geospatial”):

Draft Strategic Plan for the National Spatial Data Infastructure

Date: July 31, 2013

Subject: NSDI Strategic Plan – Public Comment Period


I am pleased to announce that the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is seeking public comment on the draft strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The draft plan, which has been developed through collaboration with partners and stakeholders in the geospatial community, describes a broad national vision for the NSDI and includes goals and objectives for the Federal government’s role in continued sustainable development of the NSDI.

I encourage you to review the plan and offer any comments for improvement. The strategic plan, along with instructions for providing comments, is posted at the following address: http://www.fgdc.gov/nsdi-plan and a copy is attached. Comments may be submitted electronically to: nsdicomments@fgdc.gov. Comments are due by August 21, 2013.

The new NSDI plan is important and timely for several reasons. First, while the FGDC community has engaged in a series of strategic initiatives over the past several years, including the Geospatial Line of Business and Geospatial Platform initiatives, the current NSDI strategic plan has not been revised for a number of years. Second, geospatial technologies, industries, and applications have seen tremendous growth and change over the past several years, and our strategies need to be modernized to align with and leverage these changes. In addition, the recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), “OMB and Agencies Need to Make Coordination a Priority to Reduce Duplication” (GAO-13-94), reaffirmed the importance of improving coordination and reducing potential duplication and recommended the development of an updated NSDI strategy.

As we have developed the plan, we have provided multiple opportunities for participation and input. These opportunities have included forums for leaders of key geospatial organizations, workshops for Federal leaders, sessions at geospatial professional conferences, and public meetings of the FGDC Coordination Group, the FGDC Steering Committee, and the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). Our goal has been to engage leaders of key geospatial organizations in the early stages of the planning process, gather initial input, and seek continuing involvement. The input and suggestions we received from our partners, both within and outside of the Federal government, has been instrumental in shaping the new plan. The NGAC, in particular, has provided extensive and thoughtful input into the plan.

Following the public comment period, a revised draft of the plan will be prepared for final review and adoption by the FGDC Steering Committee. Following completion of the strategic plan, the FGDC community will develop more detailed project plans for the goals and objectives in the strategic plan.

We appreciate your long-standing involvement and support for the NSDI, and we look forward to working with you and your organizations as we finalize and implement the new NSDI strategic plan. Additional information about the NSDI planning process is posted at: http://www.fgdc.gov/nsdi-plan. We will post additional information on the webpage as the planning process advances.


Anne J. Castle

Chair, Federal Geographic Data Committee

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. GAO – Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies

Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies, GAO-11-377 April 20, 2011

Summary: The federal government manages about 650 million acres, or 29 percent, of the 2.27 billion acres of U.S. land. Four land management agencies–the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS) in the Department of the Interior (Interior) and the Forest Service, in the Department of Agriculture–manage about 95 percent of these federal acres. Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BoR) manages another 1 percent of these acres and focuses on water projects. The five agencies collect certain data to help manage these federal lands. GAO was asked to review whether the five agencies collect certain federal land and resource data (referred to as data elements), how these data elements are stored, and their potential reliability. GAO included over 100 data elements at each agency in its analysis that can be categorized as information on (1) federal land and the resources the five agencies manage, (2) revenues generated from selected activities on these lands, and (3) federal land subject to selected land use designations. GAO assessed the potential reliability of data elements collected by the agencies generally for fiscal years 1996 through 2009 based on a survey of agency officials and a review of available audits and evaluations. GAO did not collect data for each data element. GAO is making no recommendations in this report.

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National Geospatial Program and the President’s 2012 USGS Budget Proposal

The National Geospatial Program (NGP) sponsors USGS Geospatial Liaisons in every state and provides USGS Partnership funds, which are used to leverage local and state efforts to acquire new geospatial data, such as orthophotography and LiDAR. Both of these activities likely will be impacted under the FY 2012 budget, which proposes a net reduction of approximately $5.4 million (USGS FY 2012 Budget Factsheet).


President’s 2012 USGS Budget Proposal

USGS Press Release, Released: 2/14/2011 3:31:22 PM

The President’s proposed $1.1 billion budget for the U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 emphasizes cost-containment and program savings while investing in research and development programs to restore and protect the nation’s lands and waters for future generations.

“The USGS supports Secretary Salazar’s and the Administration’s strong commitment to use science as the cornerstone of natural resource management by providing timely, unbiased research related to our nation’s most important natural resources,” said Marcia McNutt, USGS Director. “By providing funds for the sustained operation of Earth-observing satellites and for scientific research to enable understanding of complex ecosystems, the USGS budget will help our nation meet its energy needs, protect its land, water and wildlife, and make wise decisions about natural resources.”

The 2012 budget represents an increase of $6.1 million from the 2010 enacted level, which includes net program increases of $28.8 million, administrative cost savings of $23.4 million, and fixed costs and related change increases of $710,000.

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U.S. Federal Agency R and D Budget Briefing Schedule FY 2012

AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program

For information and analysis of the U.S. federal R&D budget, visit: http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/

Appropriations Progress Chart

AAAS Analysis of R&D Investment in Appropriations
Status of Appropriations Legislation for Fiscal Year 2011

Agency Budget Briefing Schedule FY 2012


When: Monday, February 14, 2011, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Where: AAAS Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC (entrance at 12th and H)
Metro: Metro Center (red, blue, and orange lines)
RSVP: Press should RSVP to Phil Larson
Details: Live webcast will be available at http://www.aaas.org/go/ostp

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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. …

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Geospatial Information Officer for DOI? Chief Technology Officer for the Nation?

Two things of possible interest: The first is a discussion of the implications of a possible appointment of a Geospatial Information Officer (GIO) for the Department of the Interior.  Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg explore two questions: is there time to find the right person? And, what should be the role of a GIO for such a large agency?

The second  is an interview with Vint Cert on the need for a national technology policy, on the question to centralize or not to centralize, and the possibility of a national Chief Technology Officer.

Podcast: A GIO for DOI

“Last week Secretary Kempthorne announced plans to appoint a Geographic Information Officer, or GIO, for the Department of the Interior. After having a week to ponder the announcement, our editors raise some practical and political questions about the position and who may fill it.”

For podcast, visit: http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=2840&trv=1

Source: Joe Francica and Adena Schutzberg, Directions Magazine, August 12, 2008

See also NSGIC commentary on GIO for DOI: http://www.nsgic.org/blog/2008/08/discussion-of-roles-of-gio-and-state.html


Towards a National Technology Policy

“A final excerpt from my conversation with Vint Cerf (previous bits here; I’ll get the whole thing online soon, with a shorter version set to appear in the print mag). Here, Cerf discusses the need for a national technology policy. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an architect of the internet, he believes a relatively decentralized approach would work best.

When it comes to national policy, I worry about the idea of trying to centralize everything. The Washington tactic is, when there’s a problem, you appoint a czar, and the czar is responsible. It’s like the War on Drugs, or the War on Poverty. But it never quite works like that, because the economy is highly distributed, and our entire governmental structure is highly distributed, so what you’re looking for, more than centralizing, is to infuse our very distributed environment certain postures and principles that will influence people’s decisions, whether it’s a company CEO or a policy-maker somewhere in the government structure, whether it’s local or state or national.

An example of a posture that I’d be very pleased to see would be increased attention to technical input into policy development. We have lost a great deal of that input over the course of the last eight years.

I’d like to see visible evidence of the reconstitution of bodies providing technical input to policy makers. A small example would be the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, PITAC, that President Clinton put in place. I’m a little biased because I served on the committee, but what I observed in the course of my time on that committee is that it had a very strong drawing power, convening power to bring together people from various parts of the government who were particularly concerned about information technology and its further development.

And the consequences of the committee deliberations had what I thought was direct effect not only in policy decision in the executive branch, for example in the research area, but also helped influence thinking at the legislative level. The committee went out of its way to brief members of Congress and staff about issues that had come under the purview of that committee. …”

For full text of the article, visit: http://blogs.cioinsight.com/knowitall/content001/towards_a_national_technology_policy.html?kc=CIOQUICKNL09022008MOD

Source: Ed Cone, CIOInsight, on August 28, 2008

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