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.
- SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
- SEC. 3. FEDERAL GEOGRAPHIC DATA COMMITTEE.
- SEC. 4. NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
- SEC. 5. NATIONAL SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE.
- SEC. 6. NGDA DATA THEMES.
- SEC. 7. GEOSPATIAL DATA STANDARDS.
- SEC. 8. GEOPLATFORM.
- SEC. 9. COVERED AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES.
- SEC. 10. LIMITATION ON USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS.
Also see the congressional record (search for word “geospatial”):
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.
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.
- National Geospatial Advisory Committee Challenges Feds to Restructure, Use GSA Procurement Process (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- GAO to Evaluate Federal Coordinating Investments in Geospatial Data (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Legislation Authorizing the Creation of State Geospatial Coordination Councils (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Geospatial Platform provides shared and trusted geospatial data, services, apps (bespacific.com)
- Feds Offer Data For Do-It-Yourself Maps (informationweek.com)
Draft Recommendations of National Geospatial Advisory Committee Working Group Advises Feds to Restructure
By Joe Francica, Directions Magazine, January 2, 2012Summary: [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.
- GAO To Evaluate Federal Investments in Geospatial Technology (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- CRS Reports on Geospatial Technology for the Nation.
- Former FGDC Executive Director on Mapping and the Spatial Data Infrastructure (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Legislation Authorizing the Creation of State Geospatial Coordination Councils (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
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.
- Open Geospatial Consortium’s New Deal for Local and Subnational Governments (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- NAPA Forum on Place-Based Public Management (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- New Congressional Research Service Reports on Geospatial Technology for the Nation (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Feds Consider Integrated Geospatial Data Sharing (informationweek.com)
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. …
- Modernization Roadmap for the Geospatial Platform Version 4.0, March 2011 (FGDC)
- National Location Data Standard Approved – Does The Private Sector Care? (readwriteweb.com)
- USGS Requests Public Input on Six Science Strategies (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
February 15, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed 15 individuals to serve as members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and advice on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community. The new and re-appointees for 3-year terms (2011 appointment list) are:
- Mr. Dick Clark, State of Montana
- Mr. Jack Dangermond, ESRI
- Ms. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, University of Mississippi
- Dr. Jerry Johnston, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Ms. Laurie Kurilla, Ventura County, CA
- Dr. E. Donald McKay, State of Illinois
- Ms. Anne Hale Miglarese, Booz Allen Hamilton
- Dr. Timothy Nyerges, University of Washington
- Mr. Matt O’Connell, GeoEye
- Mr. Pat Olson, Aero-Metric, Inc.
- Mr. Mark Reichardt, Open Geospatial Consortium
- Mr. Anthony Spicci, State of Missouri
- Mr. Gary Thompson, State of North Carolina
- Mr. Gene Trobia, State of Arizona
- Mr. David Wyatt, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians