Tag Archive | NGAC

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”):


NEW US Gov Accountability Report on Geospatial Information

Geospatial Information: Office of Management and Budget and Agencies Can Reduce Duplication By Making Coordination a Priority

GAO-14-226T, Dec 5, 2013

The President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have established policies and procedures for coordinating investments in geospatial data, however, in November 2012, GAO reported that governmentwide committees and federal departments and agencies had not effectively implemented them. The committee that was established to promote the coordination of geospatial data nationwide–the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)–had developed and endorsed key standards and had established a clearinghouse of metadata. GAO found that the clearinghouse was not being used by agencies to identify planned geospatial investments to promote coordination and reduce duplication. In addition, the committee had not yet fully planned for or implemented an approach to manage geospatial data as related groups of investments to allow agencies to more effectively plan geospatial data collection efforts and minimize duplicative investments, and its strategic plan was missing key elements.

Other shortfalls have impaired progress in coordinating geospatial data. Specifically, none of the three federal departments in GAO’s review had fully implemented important activities such as preparing and implementing a strategy for advancing geospatial activities within their respective departments. Moreover, the agencies in GAO’s review responsible for governmentwide management of specific geospatial data had implemented some but not all key activities for coordinating the national coverage of specific geospatial data.

While OMB has oversight responsibilities for geospatial data, GAO reported in November 2012 that according to OMB staff, the agency did not have complete and reliable information to identify potentially duplicative geospatial investments. GAO also reported that FGDC, federal departments and agencies, and OMB had not yet fully implemented policies and procedures for coordinating geospatial investments because these efforts had not been a priority. As a result, efforts to acquire data were uncoordinated and the federal government acquired duplicative geospatial data. For example, a National Geospatial Advisory Committee representative stated that a commercial provider leases the same proprietary parcel data to six federal agencies. GAO concluded that unless the key entities determined that coordinating geospatial investments was a priority, the federal government would continue to acquire duplicative geospatial information and waste taxpayer dollars.

Why GAO Did This Study

The federal government collects, maintains, and uses geospatial information–information linked to specific geographic locations–to support many functions, including national security and disaster response. In 2012, the Department of the Interior estimated that the federal government was investing billions of dollars on geospatial data annually, and that duplication was common.

In November 2012, GAO reported on efforts to reduce duplicative investments in geospatial data, focusing on OMB, FGDC, and three agencies: the Departments of Commerce, the Interior, and Transportation.

This statement summarizes the results of that November 2012 report on progress and challenges in coordinating geospatial information and includes updates on the implementation of recommendations made in that report.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is making no new recommendations in this statement. In November 2012, GAO recommended that to improve coordination and reduce duplication, FGDC develop a national strategy for coordinating geospatial investments; federal agencies follow federal guidance for managing geospatial investments; and OMB develop a mechanism to identify and report on geospatial investments. Since that time, FGDC and several agencies have taken some steps to implement the recommendations. However, additional actions are still needed.

National Geospatial Advisory Committee Defers Final Action on Innovative Strategies Paper

In a briefing to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) on January 12, 2012, Dr. Dave Cowen and Dr. Time Nyerges, co-chairs of the Innovative Strategies for Geospatial Programs and Partnerships Subcommittee, reiterated the “need to reconfigure, focus, reposition, empower and authorize the FGDC as the national lead for developing, managing, and assuring Geospatial Information Services for the Nation. These services are critical to support the development of information products required by the public sector, and form the basis for the Geospatial Platform and the implementation of A-16 Supplemental Guidance.”

The overarching recommendation of the subcommittee, Dr. Nyerges stated, was for “the establishment of a “leadership role” in the Executive Office of the President that would coordinate and direct the efforts of the federal geospatial enterprise, including choosing, directing and enabling the Managing Partner of the Geospatial Platform.” The Subcommittee’s DRAFT recommendations also encouraged the FGDC to:

  • “develop a comprehensive business plan to manage and operate the Geospatial Platform…”
  • “adopt operating formula funding and/or in-kind services strategy for the Geospatial Platform and for the purchase, production and dissemination of critical geospatial data…”
  • “[move] the [FGDC’s] administrative home to a higher level in the administration with substantial cross-government programmatic, budgetary and procurement authority.”
  • “develop [an] application to track common data interests” to “enhance efforts to eliminate redundant data creation and funding across all levels of government…”
  • “utilize public-private partnerships and other innovative solutions to develop geospatial data, fill critical data gaps, and leverage scarce resources”; which includes developing “a strategy for ‘procurement’ partnerships and encouraging “OMB to enforce A-16 stewardship.”

From the Meeting Summary: “The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) will defer final action on the Innovative Strategies paper until the April NGAC meeting. The Subcommittee will consider recent developments and feedback from Anne Castle, Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), and other NGAC members in developing the next version of the paper. The Subcommittee will work with FGDC staff to develop an interactive process to refine the recommendations.”

The next NGAC meeting is scheduled for April 17-18 at the American Institute of Architects Building in Washington, DC.


Draft Recommendations of National Geospatial Advisory Committee Working Group Advises Feds to Restructure

Logo of the Federal Geographic Data Committee.

By Joe Francica, Directions Magazine, January 2, 2012

Summary: [A working group of t]he National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) is recommending that the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) move the procurement process for geospatial technology under the auspices of the General Services Administration (GSA). Why? [A working group of t]he NGAC has deep concerns about how well the FGDC has performed its statutory duties. This article provides information on the NGAC’s additional warnings and “barriers to success” for the FGDC. For full text of the article, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE – January 16, 2012: The NGAC is still discussing the DRAFT recommendations of a working group that will be included in an “innovative strategies report.”  The report was discussed at the public meeting on January 12, and this conversation will be continued at subsequent meetings. For a copy of the agenda, meeting summary, and powerpoint slides, click here.
For PDF copies of CRS Reports on Geospatial Technology for the Nation and the upcoming GAO evaluation of federal investments in geospatial technology, see the links below.

National Geospatial Advisory Committee Interagency Data Sharing – A Primer

National Geospatial Advisory Committee – June 2011
One of the challenges of the geospatial community is to foster data sharing and collaboration among multiple agencies and organizations, across multiple levels of public, private and not-for-profit entities. Successful interagency data sharing and collaboration is based on adopting guiding principles, identifying best practices and recognizing the challenges, which may include policy issues, scientific issues and technological issues.

For a PDF copy of the primer, visit the FGDC Website: http://www.fgdc.gov/ngac


Final (V4) of Geoplatform Roadmap Published But Only Some People Got the News – All Points Blog

by Adena Schutzberg, All Points Blog, Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I learned of the FGDC document’s publication from Matt Ball at Spatial Sustain. He pointed me to this document, originally identified online as a press release. It is in fact, “news content … from an email … through NSGIC from Ivan to NGAC members announcing the release of Version 4.” I found no announcement  on the geoplatform.gov website, nor official news from FGDC on its website. …

via Final (V4) of Geoplatform Roadmap Published But Only Some People Got the News – All Points Blog.


Would the lack of federal government mapping be a good thing?

Thank you to Kevin Pomfret who alerted us to this article:

Written by Matt Ball, V1 Magazine, posted Friday, 08 April 2011 00:00

Trading off this week’s highly-charged political theme of a potential federal government shutdown in the United States, it’s worth discussing the implications of a lack of federal mapping. Elimination of federal mapmaking is really out of the question as the federal government needs to map for so many policy and security reasons, yet there has been a steady reduction of the role of federal mapmaking for decades. What would the implications be if there weren’t a national mapping effort at all? …

For full text of the op-ed, visit Would the lack of federal government mapping be a good thing?.

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