Tag Archive | SDI

GAO Says OMB and Feds Need to Make Coordination a Priority

Geospatial Information

GAO-13-94, Nov 26, 2012

What GAO Found

While the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have established policies and procedures for coordinating investments in geospatial data, governmentwide committees and federal departments and agencies have not effectively implemented them. The committee that was established to promote the coordination of geospatial data nationwide–the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)–has developed and endorsed key standards– including a metadata standard that includes descriptive information about a particular set of geospatial data–and established a clearinghouse of metadata; however, the clearinghouse is not being used by agencies to identify planned geospatial investments to promote coordination and reduce duplication. The FGDC has not yet planned 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 is missing key elements, such as performance measures for many of its defined objectives. Further, none of the three federal departments in GAO’s review have fully implemented important activities for coordinating geospatial data, such as preparing and implementing a strategy for advancing geospatial activities within their respective departments.

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NRC Releases New Report on USGS Spatial Data Infrastructure

Official United States Geological Survey Logo

Official United States Geological Survey Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Science is increasingly driven by data, and spatial data underpin the science directions laid out in the 2007 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Strategy. A robust framework of spatial data, metadata, tools, and a user community that is interactively connected to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way–known as a spatial data infrastructure (SDI)–must be available for scientists and managers to find, use, and share spatial data both within and beyond the USGS. Over the last decade, the USGS has conducted breakthrough research that has overcome some of the challenges associated with implementing a large SDI. This report is intended to ground those efforts by providing a practical roadmap to full implementation of an SDI to enable the USGS to conduct strategic science.

For a PDF copy of the National Academies of Science / National Research Council Mapping Science Committee’s Report, visit: Advancing Strategic Science: A Spatial Data Infrastructure Roadmap for the US Geological Survey

International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

 International Workshop on Geospatial Data Quality: Legal, Ethical and Technical Aspects

Post GSDI Conference Workshop, May 18 2012

2. Organizer/Contact Person
Marc Gervais (Marc.Gervais@scg.ulaval.ca) or Rodolphe Devillers (rdeville@mun.ca)

3. Workshop Description and Goals
This Friday workshop will summarize the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The agenda is below. More details will be found on the GSDI-13 Conference web site shortly, including registration instructions. A small fee will be charged to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The workshop is open to the public.

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Responsible Geospatial Data Sharing: A Canadian Viewpoint

by Rodolphe Devillers, Spatial Data Infrastructure Magazine, March 19, 2012

This article summarizes the main research findings of a 4-year Canadian GEOIDE project that looked at law, data quality, public protection and ethics in relation to geospatial data. The project involved geomatics engineering professionals, geographers and lawyers, giving a multidisciplinary perspective on those questions. Relatively little work had previously been carried out in Canada on the legal framework related to geospatial data, including liability, privacy and intellectual property questions. This project, in collaboration with a number of government (e.g. Natural Resources Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Transportation Canada), industry (i.e. Groupe Trifide) and international partners (e.g. CERTU, Eurogeographics, international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)), laid important foundations in these areas. …

For full text of the article, visit Responsible Geospatial Data Sharing: A Canadian ViewpointSDI Magazine.

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.

New NASCIO Guidebook for State CIO’s, Chapter on Geospatial Systems


Image via Wikipedia

Posted on NSGIC Blog, May 30, 2011

Every state CIO should have received a new guidebook in May that highlights the value of GIS and gives them pointers on how to maximize those benefits. The book, CIO Leadership for State Governments – Emerging Trends and Practices, was sponsored and distributed by NASCIO, the National Association of State CIOs. NSGIC wrote the chapter…called “A State CIO’s Guide to Geospatial Systems – Putting everything in its Proper Place.” It provides a history of evolution of the technology and then presents many ways it is being used to make government more efficient and effective. …

For full text of the article, visit NSGIC News: GIS for CIOs.

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!

Developing a New Zealand Spatial Data Infrastructure

Developing a National Spatial Data Infrastructure

Author: Hon Maurice Williamson, 16 December 2010, New Zealand Geospatial Strategy

On Monday, Cabinet agreed to the development of a national spatial data infrastructure for New Zealand, and directed Government agencies to get involved now – at the development stage. Cabinet also mandated LINZ, through the NZGO, to assume a leadership role in driving the development of this infrastructure. …

Full text of the article via Developing a National Spatial Data Infrastructure // New Zealand Geospatial Strategy.

Spatial Data Infrastructure – A symbol of confidence and trust

Summary: John Moeller, a senior principal engineer with Northrop Grumman, provides his thoughts about the “future prospects for spatial data and associated technologies, the importance of easily accessible and usable spatial data, the value and economic ramifications of spatial data, legal and policy issues, and management and governance questions.” What do a community youth mapping project in Alexandria, Va., a Cape Cod Commission effort to map water wells, and a law enforcement agency’s use of satellite imagery to certify swimming pools have in common? Each is the subject of a recent newspaper article and while not unique on its own, when put together they illustrate key points about the current and future prospects for spatial data and associated technologies, the importance of easily accessible and usable spatial data, the value and economic ramifications of spatial data, legal and policy issues, and management and governance questions.

For full text of the article, click here.

Source: John Moeller, Directions Magazine, Tuesday, October 5th 2010

Articles in the series:

  1. Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) – A Symbol of Confidence and Trust (October 5th, 2010)
  2. Spatial Data Infrastructures – Challenges and Opportunities (July 28th, 2010)
  3. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) – Challenges and Opportunities (June 30th, 2010)
  4. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) – Why Should We Care About Them? (February 22nd, 2010)
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