Appendix C
Previous Recommendations and Observations on National Mapping Activities

TABLE C.1 Previous recommendations and observations sampled from reports and meetings providing advice on national mapping activities.

Date

Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author

1980

Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre—NRC (1980)

 

“Numerous conferences have been held and reports prepared that discuss the problems with our present land-information systems, such as duplication, lack of accessibility, single-purpose data systems, lack of standards, and institutional arrangements that limit coordination among land—related functions.”

 

Selected Recommendations:

1. That local governments maintain land data compatible with a multipurpose cadastre and transmit these data to high levels of government when needed.

2. That federal legislation be prepared to authorize and fund a program to support the creation of a multipurpose cadastre in all parts of the nation.



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Appendix C Previous Recommendations and Observations on National Mapping Activities TABLE C.1 Previous recommendations and observations sampled from reports and meetings providing advice on national mapping activities. Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1980 Need for a Multipurpose Cadastre—NRC (1980)   “Numerous conferences have been held and reports prepared that discuss the problems with our present land-information systems, such as duplication, lack of accessibility, single-purpose data systems, lack of standards, and institutional arrangements that limit coordination among land—related functions.”   Selected Recommendations: 1. That local governments maintain land data compatible with a multipurpose cadastre and transmit these data to high levels of government when needed. 2. That federal legislation be prepared to authorize and fund a program to support the creation of a multipurpose cadastre in all parts of the nation.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   3. That the Office of Land Information Systems established by each state…be responsible for: • Promoting effective, efficient, and compatible land-information systems among governmental levels, in cooperation with the federal government to ensure compatibility on a national basis; • Setting standards for state, regional, and local government surveying, mapping, and land-data collection efforts, making use of federal technical studies; • Providing guidance to those local offices with major responsibilities for land information (namely, recorders, assessors, surveyors, engineers, and planners); • Serving as the focal point and clearinghouse for state and federal agencies collecting or mapping land information, taking responsibility for the quality of the information that is forwarded; and • Enlisting the resource of other state agencies having important contributions to make to the developments of the cadastral system, especially those responsible for land assembly, construction, and management of public lands and efficiency of state administrative services. 1981 Federal Surveying and Mapping: An Organizational Review— NRC (1981)   1. The Panel believes that state and local governments should assume greater responsibility for those surveying and mapping functions that relate to regional and local programs. However, the federal, state, and local roles must be completely integrated. 2. We recommend that the mapping, charting, geodesy, surveying, and cadastral agencies of the federal government continue to sponsor cooperative programs, with state and local governments providing sufficient guidance to ensure conformance to national specifications and standards and thus to the development of a fully integrated national information system. 3. We recommend that the geodetic and cartographic data bases be adequately supported, be readily accessible to all users, and, even though serving different interests and needs, be made integral parts of a national mapping, charting, geodesy, surveying, and multipurpose cadastre information system.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1982 Modernization of the Public Land Survey System—NRC (1982)   1. This committee endorses the creation of a Federal Surveying and Mapping Administration. In the interim, we recommend an interagency working group be formed with participation of all relevant federal agencies and interested groups at the state, local, and private sector levels to integrate the geodetic, cadastral, and mapping activities necessary for the modernization of the Public Land Survey System. 2. It is recommended that the USGS National Mapping Division accelerate the development of digital files of the 7.5 minute mapping series and provide documentation of the current status, cost, and methods and procedures being employed in the development of the National Digital Cartographic Data Base. 1982 Duplicative Federal Computer Mapping Programs: A Growing Problem—GAO (1982)   1. GAO recommends that the Director of OMB issue a circular or other directive requiring the interagency coordination of computer mapping and preventing duplicative programs. 2. Interior to accelerate the production of computerized maps most in demand by other federal agencies. 3. OMB agreed that it should take action to improve the coordination of federal computer mapping. 1990 Circular A-16 Revised—OMB (1990)   1. The major objective is the eventual development of a national digital spatial information resource with the involvement of Federal, State, and local governments, and the private sector. This resource would include base topographic mapping, cadastral, geologic, geodetic, soils, wetlands, vegetation, cultural, demographic, and ground transportation data. 2. Coordinate Federal survey, mapping, and related spatial data activities and establish the FGDC as the coordination mechanism. 3. Promote the development, maintenance, and management of distributed spatial databases that are national in scope.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1990 The Future of the National Mapping Program—NRC (1990)   1. Expand the role in developing the National Digital Cartographic Data Base (NDCDB) so that its functions include management and coordination, standards setting and enforcement, data production, cataloging, and data dissemination and related services. 2. Increase its activities to provide a large number of classes of spatial data to better meet national needs both within the earth science/ natural resources sector and other sectors that are dependent on spatial data. 3. Speed the creation of the NDCDB by increasing emphasis on work-sharing and cost-sharing programs, developing prototyping, testing and implementing a digital data donor program throughout the public and private sectors, and allocating adequate National Mapping Division resources to information management and user/donor coordination, and, if necessary increasing these relative to traditional data production programs. 4. Continue and, if possible, expand its efforts in establishing and promulgating digital spatial data quality standards, including standards for larger-scale data sets and maps. 5. Establish plans for and begin prototyping a national spatial database, which would be an enhancement of the NDCDB and would be feature-oriented and on-line by the year 2010 or sooner. 6. Expand its current research activities in digital cartography, geographic information systems and remote sensing, and image processing. 7. Transform USGS’s National Mapping Division from a mapping service organization to the federal agency responsible for structuring and coordinating the geographic or spatial component of the national infrastructure. 1993 Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastructure—NRC (1993)   Effective national policies, strategies, and organizational structures need to be established at the federal level for the integration of national spatial data collection, use, and distribution.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   1. Procedures should be established to foster ready access to information describing spatial data available within government and the private sector through existing networks, providing on line access by the public in the form of directories and catalogs. 2. A spatial data-sharing program should be established to enrich national spatial data coverage, minimizing redundant data collection at all levels, and create new opportunities for the use of spatial data throughout the nation. Specific funding and budgetary crosscutting responsibilities of federal agencies should be identified by OMB, and the FGDC should coordinate the crosscutting aspects of the program. 1993 Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less—Report of the U.S. National Performance Review (1993)—Vice President Gore   1. In partnership with state and local governments and private companies, we will create a National Spatial Data Infrastructure. 2. The administration will develop an NSDI to integrate all of the data sources into a single digital resource accessible to anyone with a personal computer. 3. The FGDC, which operates under the auspices of the OMB, plans to raise enough non-federal funding to pay for a least 50 percent of the project’s cost. 1994 Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships—NRC (1994)   1. The size and diversity of the federal establishment suggest that viable partnerships will require focal points within the federal government for coordinating data production and partnerships activities. 2. Clear guidelines for cost sharing in partnerships need to be developed. 3. It is imperative that state and other organizations be involved in the standards development process and that only standards essential to NSDI objectives be required of partnership agreements. 4. Incentives are needed to encourage partnerships that are designed to maximize use and benefits to the broader user community.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   5. The FGDC should investigate the extent to which federal procurement rules (and future revisions resulting from the National Performance Review) are an impediment to the formation of spatial data partnerships and identify steps that can be taken to ease them. 1994 Executive Order 12906—President Clinton   1. The Executive Order is intended to strengthen and enhance the general policies described in OMB Circular A-16. Each agency shall meet its respective responsibilities. 2. In consultation with State, local, and tribal governments and within nine months of the date of this order, the FGDC shall submit a plan and schedule to OMB for completing the initial implementation of a national digital geospatial framework by January 2000. At a minimum, the plan shall address how the initial transportation, hydrology, and boundary elements of the framework might be completed by January 1998 in order to support the decennial census of 2000. 3. The Secretary, under the auspices of the FGDC, and within 9 months of the date of this order, shall develop, to the extent permitted by law, strategies for maximizing cooperative participatory efforts with State, local, and tribal governments, the private sector, and other nonfederal organizations to share costs and improve efficiencies of acquiring geospatial data consistent with this order. 1995 A Data Foundation for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure— NRC (1995)   1. The Mapping Science Committee (MSC) recommends that geodetic control, orthorectified imagery, and terrain (elevation) data be considered the critical foundation of the NSDI. 2. The FGDC should be responsible for coordinating the development and certification of a foundation and for its maintenance and availability. Programs to acquire the data that comprise the foundation should be accelerated to ensure that the foundation is adequate to meet the needs of the NSDI, particularly for the integration of other data. Data partnerships among federal agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, and others should be a key component of these programs.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   3. Specific spatial data themes should be designated as Framework data. 4. The FGDC should: • Coordinate identification of the various components of existing framework data through its clearinghouse; • Encourage efforts to integrate those data with the foundation; and • Identify gaps in data coverage and encourage the establishment of programs that include partnerships to populate these framework data themes. 5. To accomplish the needed compilation, maintenance, quality control, and access of the foundation and framework data, additional research and development efforts are required to technically support these activities. 6. The MSC also suggested that, at a mitimum, Framework data must: • Be compiled, archived, and maintained in digital form; • Include metadata descriptions; • Be mathematically and semantically integrated with the NSDI foundation; • Be available in an accepted, openly publicized, standard data exchange format; and • Be accessible to the public. 7. The TIGER files could be integrated with the foundation by the following actions: • Improving coordinate accuracy using orthorectified imagery that is tied to the geodetic control network; • Completing and improving street and address coverage in partnerships with the U.S. Postal Service, 911 emergency agencies, state and local government, and the private sector; and • Establishing an ongoing update facility employing local government partnerships for timely information (transactional updates) about new streets.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1996 Congress on Applications of GIS to the Sustainability of Renewable Natural Resources—Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (1996)   1. Despite the wealth of data that already exists, we still do not have a good understanding of the condition of our natural resources. 2. Federal agencies should take the lead in developing baseline data sets. 3. We need better metadata. 4. Simplify the use of GIS through Web-based interfaces. 5. Federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector must work to improve cooperation and coordination. 6. We need more commitment to use existing mechanisms of coordination such as the Federal Geographic Data Committee. 7. We need better public/private partnerships. 1997 The Future of Spatial Data and Society—NRC (1997) While the report does not include specific recommendations, it does list a number of trends that will impact the NSDI, framework, and The National Map, including:   • Analysis, visualization, and cognitive technologies: Development of search and integration tools, and virtual reality; • Pervasiveness of technology: Improved access to data and technology; • Data Integration: Spatial data becomes transparent to the user; • Timely data and use: Needs for currency will change data management; • Quality assurance/quality control: Greater role of metadata; • Spatial literacy: Increased geo-understanding; • Partnerships: Data utilities may emerge; • Control of data: Conflicting public policies will continue; • Data collection agents: More local collection of spatial data;

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   • Data security and protection: Possible restriction on public access; • Decision-making process: Spatial analysis continues to grow in importance; • Citizen involvement: Spatial capabilities will expand involvement; and • Privatization: Suggestive trend of increasing privatization. 1997 NSDI Framework, Introduction and Guide—FGDC (1997a)   1. Framework is built through cooperative efforts. Partnerships and cooperation for geographic data-sharing activities among local, state, and federal governments and the private sector are essential for the development of framework. 2. The goal is to have nationwide framework data coverage composed of the pieces produced for smaller area extents. 3. Framework data are seamless across collection areas. 4. Framework data are consistent among themes. 5. Framework data supports transactional updates. 6. Charges for access to framework are limited to the costs of providing access or dissemination. 7. Framework contributions by contributors must be certified. 8. Develop a good business plan for building framework data. 9. Clearly identify components of framework. 10. Provide incentives for developing framework. 11. Near-term needs necessitate a phased implementation that will put useful pieces in place as soon as possible. 12. Specific goals in phase two (1995–98) include implementing institutional arrangements for framework and begin to reorient federal agency and other program activities to support the framework.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   13. The goal in phase 3, beginning in 1998, is to spread framework participation and bring the framework to maturity. 1997 A Strategy for the NSDI—FGDC (1997b)   1. Increase the awareness and understanding of the vision, concepts, and benefits of the NSDI through outreach and education. • Demonstrate the benefits of participation in the NSDI to existing and prospective participants; • Promote principles and practices of the NSDI through formal and informal education and training; and • Identify and promote the attitudes and actions that help to develop the NSDI. 2. Develop common solutions for discovery, access, and use of geospatial data in response to the needs of diverse communities. • Continue to develop a seamless National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse; • Support the evolution of common means to describe geospatial data sets; • Support the development of tools that allow for easy exchange of applications, information, and results; and • Research, develop, and implement architectures and technologies that enable data sharing. 3. Use community-based approaches to develop and maintain common collections of geospatial data for sound decision-making. • Continue to develop the National Geospatial Data Framework; • Provide additional geospatial data that citizens, governments, and industry need; • Promote common classification systems, content standards, data models, and other common models to facilitate data development, sharing, and use; and • Provide mechanisms and incentives to incorporate multi-resolution data from many organizations into the NSDI. 4. Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   • Develop a process that allows stakeholder groups to define logical and complementary roles in support of the NSDI; • Build a network of organizations linked through commitment to common interest within the context of the NSDI; • Remove regulatory and administrative barriers to agreement formation; • Find new resources for data production, integration, and maintenance; • Identify and support the personal, institutional, and economic behaviors, and technologies, policies, and legal frameworks that promote the development of the NSDI; and • Participate with the international geospatial data information community in the development of a global data infrastructure. 1997 Geospatial Information Infrastructure Master Plan—NIMA (1997)   1. Change the geospatial support strategy to provide the geospatial information framework for an integrated and interoperable view of the mission space. 2. Change the NIMA production strategy to provide a near-global foundation of geospatial information that can be intensified to meet the requirements for mission specific data sets, including NIMA standard products. 3. Update the NIMA mission to incorporate the development and maintenance of a shared geospatial framework of information and services. 4. Implement a new requirements process that ties together user missions, resources, and systems with the essential elements of geospatial information needed for operational success. 5. Develop a web-based architecture to facilitate access to the share framework and to speed the dissemination of framework information and services. 6. Equip and train users to exploit new resources. 7. Establish the infrastructure and business practices needed to sustain the changes.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1998 Geographic Information for the 21st Century—Building a Strategy for the Nation—NAPA (1998)   1. Interagency, intergovernmental, and private sector GI users and producer groups, whose cooperation is essential to implementing NSDI, should continue to be convened to encourage and accelerate the development, sharing, and maintenance of NSDI framework data files. These groups should be used to negotiate additional data sharing and joint funding agreements. 2. The federal government policy of promoting open access, especially for all data used in public policy decision-making, should be maintained and the state and localities should be urged to adopt similar policies. 3. Establish through legislation a national goal to create and maintain a robust NSDI. 4. Forward to Congress legislation to transfer the National Geodetic Survey to USGS and authorize the establishment of a Geographic Data Service. 5. Develop a reorganization plan to implement the GDS and realign the federal field structure for [the development of] base geographic information. 6. Develop coordinated goals, strategies, performance measures, and budgets for federal agency GI programs and activities. Explicitly establish selected strategic goals and performance measures, as required by the Results Act, to help move the NSDI toward further and faster realization. 7. The FGDC should act as the focal point for coordinating the high priority GI technology needs of civil government at all levels and for mobilizing interagency, state, and local support for selective high-payoff technology developments with utility in multiple civil applications. 8. NIMA should become much more actively engaged in the FGDC because of the increasing need to coordinate GI activities, including

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   technological research, standards, security policy, procurement practices, and international activities. 1999 FGDC Coordination Retreat at Shepherdstown, W. Va.—FGDC (1999a)   1. Create and adopt a common vision for “Framework.” 2. Develop content standards for framework data. 3. Improve the integration of framework data themes. 4. Foster collaborative data collection and integration of framework data. 5. Improve agency compliance and involvement in framework data development. 6. Encourage all lead agencies to develop a framework action plan. 7. Sell NSDI benefits to Congress and other agencies. 8. Sponsor a 2001 cross-cut initiative for framework data. 9. Establish performance measures for NSDI goals. 10. Develop public/private partnerships through the use of a web portal that includes FGDC Clearinghouse and commercial webpages. 1999 FGDC Steering Committee/Stakeholders Meeting—FGDC (1999b)   1. Framework must be built. 2. Must have strong local, state, and federal involvement. 3. Enact policies that define the roles in managing the framework data. 4. Provide leadership. 5. Sustain funding support for framework activities.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author 1999 National GeoData Forum—FGDC (1999c) Questions raised at the meeting and issues discussed relevant to the topic of this report:   1. How can the current investment in framework data be leveraged to maximize benefits and minimize cost? 2. What are the barriers to achieving the vision to develop, maintain, and integrate framework data within a geographic area? 3. How can the private sector contribute to and benefit from this effort? 2000 Improving Federal Agency Geospatial Data Coordination— FGDC (2000)   1. Get serious about coordination among federal agencies. 2. Use FGDC funds to provide partial support for a GI coordinator in key federal agencies. 3. Foster partnerships among federal agencies by focusing on specific applications requiring interagency sharing and coordination of geospatial data and budget initiatives. 4. Promote other federal agency support and testimony at FGDC member agency budget hearings. 5. Re-evaluate and redefine framework and the federal role in its development. 6. Develop a model of multi-agency data development and user participation that includes local, state, and national players. 7. Develop a coordinated crosscut budget initiative to achieve the vision of integrated geospatial data assets. 8. Bring agencies together to facilitate development of national data assets and complementary standards.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   9. Promote the initiation of interagency collaborative projects. 10. Develop an implementation plan with timelines and responsible parties once the recommended actions are adopted. Review the action plan with OMB and add appropriate progress measures for performance management 2000 Geospatial Information Roundtable—OMB (2000)   1. We need to develop data assets as a nation and accelerate framework data and standards. 2. Much work still is needed on data standards. 3. Our challenge is to leverage investments that we are already making and budget for the full life cycle. 4. We need to look at financial strategies that include more than appropriations. 5. The primary barriers to success are organizational and financial. 6. We need to empower state, local, tribal, local federal and others to build consistent framework data layers. 7. There is not an easy way to track the status of framework. We need to build and maintain a comprehensive NSDI framework inventory. 8. Although a policy framework exists, agencies have had mixed success in overcoming the technical, institutional, and financial barriers to developing an NSDI that is fully populated with current, accurate, and readily accessible spatial data. 2001 National Spatial Data Infrastructure Partnership Programs: Rethinking the Focus—NRC (2001) This report did not include the typical set of recommendations. It reviewed the FGDC partnership programs and provided the following suggestions:   1. The partnership programs should have more rigor so they can be a true assessment of whether the funds have made a difference.

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Date Report/Meeting—Sponsor/Author   2. The partnership programs need to take a long-term view. One year funding is inadequate to assess the real success. 3. The partnerships should be established in a hypothesis testing mode so that there are measurable outcomes. 4. The MSC also suggested the need for an extended framework. 5. It is becoming increasingly obvious that an effective and widely used NSDI will be developed with substantial if not primary input from organizations outside of federal government. 6. The requirement for large-scale source materials is critical for the development of federal-local partnerships. 7. In other words, if a data layer is part of the NSDI and also a component of both a State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) and a Local Spatial Data Infrastructure (LSDI), the data for these layers need to be collected at the lowest level and generalized to the other levels. This ensures logical consistency among the parts of the extended NSDI framework. 8. There are at least nine major steps necessary to realize this extended Framework: • Definition of the contents of the city, county, or local extended Framework; • Definition of the contents of the state or tribal nation extended Framework; • Definition of the extended Framework hardware architecture; • Definition of coordination mechanisms; • Assignments for layer responsibilities; • Definition of quality standards (collection and maintenance) and procedures for the development of the extended Framework at all levels; • Data generation in agreement with the corresponding Framework; • Data maintenance program; and • Budget allocation.