Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about "NSDI 2.0" - and yet it seems there is much confusion about what it is or isn't - and what we should do, or whether we should bother discussing it at all.
To step backward in time, it primarily deals with National Spatial Data Infrastructure from a federal perspective, as enacted through the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16.
This document was originally issued in 1990, followed by Presidential Executive Order 12906, and then subsequently updated in 2002 (which incorporated EO 12906).
OMB Circular A-16 (as revised 2002)
In its present form, the NSDI (if you were to consider it NSDI 1.0) consists of:
- Defined data themes (geodetic control, orthoimagery, elevation, transportation, hydrography, governmental units, and cadastral information)
- Metadata (FGDC Metadata Format)
- The National Spatial Data Clearinghouse (Geospatial One-Stop)
- Standards (developed only when no existing voluntary standards exist, in accordance with OMB Circular A-119)
- Privacy and Security of raw and processed citizens' personal data and accuracy of statistical data
- Access to these data, subject to OMB Circular A-130
- Protection of proprietary interests to these data
- Interoperability between various federal agencies' information systems within these data
Here nonetheless remains the challenge of populating this framework. Many diverse efforts are ongoing, which align with these efforts, such as Imagery For The Nation, such as EPA's Exchange Network, however some of these efforts still lack adequate resources for completion, may have issues with stovepipes, lack of interoperability, lack of access, and so on.
The drivers for completing this work are manifold - such as providing adequate tools for planning, to better allow informed decision-making for such things as roadways and transportation, for analysis of demographics toward broadband investments, for homeland security, for planning improvements to municipal sewers, for protecting natural and archaeological heritage and biodiversity, and so on. As such, with discussion of massive stimulus and the H.R. 1 bill geared toward many of these things, it is imperative that decisions and investments be made in an informed fashion.
Currently multiple documents of relevance and proposals toward populating this framework and advancing the various initiatives are currently circulating within the GIS community:
- A Proposal for National Economic Recovery, published by ESRI and Booz-Allen-Hamilton
- NSDI 2.0: Powering our National Economy, Renewing our Infrastructure, Protecting our Environment, published by a coalition of government and industry partners
- A Proposal for Reinvigorating the American Economy Through Investment in the US National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), published by Autodesk, Microsoft, Oracle, Google and Intergraph
- Satisfying clear mandates, requirements and drivers for geospatial data
- Delivering data in an accessible, vendor-neutral, platform-agnostic and interoperable fashion
- Leveraging and dovetailing into existing initiatives and investments
- Partnerships: Federal/State/Local/Tribal/Academia/NGO/Industry
- And many more... These need to be considered carefully.