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    Exploring all aspects of mapping and geography, from field data collection, to mapping and analysis, to integration, applications development, enterprise architecture and policy

Federal Geospatial Platform

Posted by Dave Smith On 6/25/2010 01:31:00 PM 1 comments

"In 2010 and 2011, Federal data managers for geospatial data will move to a portfolio management approach, creating a Geospatial Platform to support Geospatial One-Stop, place-based initiatives, and other potential future programs. This transformation will be facilitated by improving the governance framework to address the requirements of State, local and tribal agencies, Administration policy, and agency mission objectives. Investments will be prioritized based on business needs. The Geospatial Platform will explore opportunities for increased collaboration with, with an emphasis on reuse of architectural standards and technology, ultimately increasing access to geospatial data."
- President’s Budget, Fiscal Year 2011
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend one day of the multi-day National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) meeting in Shepherdstown, WV - Though I had attended a few of their meetings previously, the thing that I was most interested in for this particular meeting is discussion of the emergent Geospatial Platform.  As the NGAC is a FACA committee, non-member involvement and participation is limited, though was able to get to get a sense of things...   The intent has a lot of potentialities, such as being able to provide more robust visualization and geospatial tool capabilities such as geocoding services, to augment ongoing Data.Gov efforts, as well as support ongoing FGDC initiatives.

The sense I got is that thre are many pieces still undefined, many things not yet prioritized, and so on, and discussion of options and alternatives was a big focus of the discussion that I sat in on - and one big challenge yet ahead is refinement of governance structure - as to how its' strategic vision and board of directors would be structured and at what level of government, where its' managing partner and operational/tactical component would reside.  These things are being discussed in iterative fashion, as they develop their roadmap.

Some interesting thoughts and ideas, not new, but again being raised - of the need for a strategic ownership stake in geospatial data at the White House level, e.g. a Federal GIO to reside within OMB, who would have the authority and teeth to centrally direct and manage geospatial policy in executive agencies at the federal level.  Another question, at the operations level, of commoditized geospatial technology platforms which could be shared across all federal agencies - a federal geocoding service, for example, or a geospatial data services hosting platform where individual stewards in agencies which might not have their own robust geospatial infrastructure could upload data and register it, apply symbologies, et cetera to be served as fed-wide robust, shared OGC web services, and so on.

What shape this will take is yet to be determined, and it sounds like the plan is to firm up the roadmap internally within the NGAC and then circulate it more broadly when v3 of the Roadmap is completed.

More about the Geospatial Platform:

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