Tag Archive | Geoinformation

Viewpoint: We need ground rules for geo-information

By Christopher Rees and Kevin Madders, BBC News, 28 February 2013

Since the issues are transnational, we’ve proposed the development of an international Geo-information Convention.Its aim is to be technology-neutral, so that it is future-proof enough also to cover new systems like hyper spectral sensors reminiscent of Star Trek and drones with privacy implications reminiscent of 1984.Continue reading the main story “Start Quote What limits should we put on use of its power?”The essential questions are: how do we make geoinformation reliable enough for the particular applications for which it is to be used, and what limits should we put on use of its power?Work on these difficult questions has already begun through the International Bar Association.

For full text of this op-ed, visit BBC News – Viewpoint: We need ground rules for geo-information.

Thank you to Adena Schutzberg (@adenas) for passing this along.


Registration still open for Workshop on Socio-economic Benefits of Geospatial Info/GEOSS

The Workshop on the Socio-economic Benefits of Geospatial Information/GEOSS is set to take place from June 12-14 in Boulder, Colorado. Registration is still open. Geospatial information, whether derived from Earth observation sources or elsewhere, can be an important tool in approaching the many challenges we face on the local, regional, and global level. Those include assessing food security, flooding, air quality, disasters, and more. Effective uses of this information can assist in decision-making to enhance the social and economic well-being of communities. The workshop, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Foothills Campus, will review quantitative and socioeconomic methods for assessing and communicating the value of geospatial information

For full text of the article, vitist The Latest on the Socio-economic Workshop in Boulder | Earthzine.

Mandatory use of Geo-spatial Data for Delhi Government

by The Economic Times, April 8, 2012
“Delhi government’s 30 departments and agencies will have to mandatorily use geo-spatial data of overground and underground assets before planning any infrastructure projects, when an ambitious legislation comes into force in the city in May. The IT Department has already completed a three-year project under which images of all overground and underground utilities like telephone lines, power cables, water and sewer lines and roads have been made available on a single portal to facilitate better urban planning and governance. The Delhi Assembly in March passed the Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Bill which was brought to make sure that each of the 30 selected agencies like the PWD, DDA and MCD use the portal to ensure better planning for projects and proper co-ordination among the agencies for their implementation.” For full text of the article, visit Mandatory Use of Geo-spatial Data for Delhi Govt Departments – EconomicTimes.
See also:
Delhi Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act of 2011
Mandatory Geospatial Data Use in Delhi: 3D Modelling To Expand
Sharing geospatial information on infrastructure mandated by Delhi NCT

Congressional Research Service Update to Federal GIS Report

The Congressional Research Service has published an update to one of their GIS reports:

Issues and Challenges for Federal Geospatial Information (R41826)

by Pete Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy, April 27, 2012


Congress has recognized the challenge of coordinating and sharing geospatial data from the local, county, and state level to the national level, and vice versa. The cost to the federal government of gathering and coordinating geospatial information has also been an ongoing concern. As much as 80% of government information has a geospatial component, according to various sources. The federal government’s role has changed from being a primary provider of authoritative geospatial information to coordinating and managing geospatial data and facilitating partnerships. Congress explored issues of cost, duplication of effort, and coordination of geospatial information in hearings during the 108th Congress. However, challenges to coordinating how geospatial data are acquired and used—collecting duplicative data sets, for example—at the local, state, and federal levels, in collaboration with the private sector, are not yet resolved. Two bills introduced in the 112th Congress, H.R. 1620 and H.R. 4322, would address aspects of duplication and coordination of geospatial information.

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GAO to Evaluate Federal Coordinating Investments in Geospatial Data

Government Accountability Office

Image by dcdan via Flickr

In a letter dated December 8, 2010 from the GAO to Mr. Douglas A. Glenn, Director, Office of Financial Management, Department of the Interior:

“The General Accountability Office (GAO) is initiating an evaluation of Federal initiatives aimed at coordinating investments in geospatial data — specifically, activities coordinated by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and OMB. …. GAO is beginning this work in response to a request made by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The two key questions for this engagement are:

1. Have Federal initiatives been effectively established and implemented to coordinate investments in geospatial data?
2. Does unnecessary duplication of investments in geospatial data continue to exist?”

The GAO conducted a similar study in 2004, titled “Geospatial Information: Better Coordination Needed to Identify and Reduce Duplicative Investments? (GAO-04-703, June 2004).”

To conduct this evaluation, the GAO plans to contact representatives from DOI and OMB, as well as members of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Executive Committee, Steering Committee, Coordination Group, Secretariat staff, other working groups, and community.

Global Geospatial Group to Promote Equitable Data Access

by Gozde Zorlu, SciDev.Net, August 18, 2011

A high-level global group promoting geospatial information could help developing countries gain better access to data to help tackle issues such as climate change, conservation and disaster management. The UN has set up an expert committee and a programme on global geospatial information management under its Economic and Social Council to encourage international cooperation and establish best practice on the use of geographic data, collected by technologies such as remote sensing and the global positioning system (GPS). The decision, announced last month (27 July), was triggered by a report earlier this year by the UN secretary-general that concluded that many developing countries have a “serious lack of institutional capacity to harness the enormous potential of geospatial information technologies and to build a sustainable national infrastructure”.

For full text of the article, click here.

Open Geospatial Consortium’s New Deal for Local and Subnational Governments

The OGC GovFuture Membership

By   Steven Ramage, Executive Director Marketing & Communications, OGC

Abstract: The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international consensus standards organization, has worked since 1994 to integrate geospatial information into the world’s information infrastructure. OGC standards dissolve the stovepipes preventing geospatial data from moving between different systems. Now geospatial data is everywhere in the world’s digital information environments. This presents many opportunities, but also policy challenges for local, state and provincial governments. These governments are major OGC stakeholders because they have much to gain from more efficient and effective ways of sharing spatial data. Their policy challenges include introducing new workflows to their partners and constituents and managing the risks associated with making spatial data more accessible. This article describes GovFuture, a new OGC membership offering designed to help governments address these challenges.

The first of a planned series of free OGC GovFuture Webinars, produced and presented by Directions Media, is scheduled for 2 June 2011. Darren Mottolini, Business Development Manager for SLIP at Landgate in Australia, will be our featured speaker.  Darren will describe the groundbreaking SLIP project, which benefits citizens, businesses and communities by making it easy to share government land and property information. Attorney Kevin Pomfret, a member of the OGC Board of Directors who writes and speaks extensively on spatial law and policy, will review the privacy, security and data rights management issues surrounding government spatial data initiatives. Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of the OGC, will provide a brief introduction.

Through technical interoperability enabled by OGC standards, location information has become an integral part of the information environment for people working in local and subnational (county, province, district etc.) governments worldwide. Ubiquitous location information and geospatial processing offer governments unprecedented capabilities and efficiencies, but this progress also poses new challenges in areas such as privacy, security and data rights management, and in readjusting workflows and institutional arrangements.

The OGC membership includes both technology users and technology providers. National mapping agencies and many other government agencies collect and maintain important geospatial information.  These organizations represent an important subgroup of the technology users. The value of a network grows with the number of users, and so it is with National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDI). National to local government agencies have an interest in helping local and subnational jurisdictions deploy geospatial systems that use and contribute to their NSDIs. Many of the OGC members who are technology providers have local and subnational governments as customers, so they, too, support the OGC’s new outreach to these levels of government.

The OGC is a rapidly growing global hub of geospatial activity and is thus able to provide GovFuture members with access to a wide variety of information resources and networking opportunities.

The key thing to remember about GovFuture is that it is more about planning and policy than it is about technical nuts and bolts. At the OGC GovFuture website (http://www.ogcnetwork.net/node/1568) you can learn more about what OGC has in store for government stakeholders. We invite you to become a part of GovFuture!

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