In this report, the committee has set forth a vision for the future of the National Geospatial Program Office (NGPO) in GIScience—a vision not only of leadership within the USGS, but across the federal government anywhere that geospatial data are critical to operations; across the state and local offices that rely on consistent, up-to-date geospatial data; and even across academia and industry where many of the difficult research problems in GIScience will be solved.
Central to successful execution of this charge is focus. CEGIS has lean resources. It has the potential to fill the role of leadership in GIScience in the United States, but it must focus on a few critical projects and execute them flawlessly. With early successes and a focus on the research priorities described in this report, the committee is confident that the USGS will grow and emerge as strong as in the days of the paper topographic maps and to eventually encompass a much broader research agenda than discussed here.
In this report, the committee endeavored to prioritize the many possible avenues of research into a solid core of interrelated research topics that provide early and visible results that are of importance to the nation’s need for accurate and accessible geospatial information. This was a compact study, in both time and resources. It is possible that some aspects of CEGIS’s mission were missed; therefore, this report should be considered a starting point for refinement and final prioritization of the CEGIS research agenda. However, it is the committee’s hope that this report will provide a fertile beginning for achieving focus and ultimately successful execution by CEGIS and NGPO and that it will be the start of the reemergence of the USGS as the leader for GIScience research for the nation.