Building the Geospatial Platform

National Spatial Data Infrastructure Advances

One of the most exciting and progressive advancements for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure is the recent call by the administration for the creation of a geospatial platform to promote the sharing of geospatial data, services, and applications to support all levels of government; the vision for this managed portfolio is for it to be

The platform will provide the environment and leadership to drive technology investments and capabilities to maximize increasingly tight budget resources to meet growing public demands for services. The platform will leverage the expertise and data holdings of geospatial organizations and enhance the nation's development of and access to all things geospatial.

see enlargement

Geospatial platform conceptual model.

As the concept for the platform developed, the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) provided feedback, comments, and suggestions. NGAC, which includes representatives from the private sector, nonprofit organizations, academia, and all levels of government, approved the following resolution in support of the platform earlier this year:

The NGAC endorses the Geospatial Platform concept model as described in the Platform Roadmap and encourages the Administration, along with federal agency leadership, to adopt, support, and implement this initiative in partnership with State, local, regional and Tribal governments.

Says Anne Hale Miglarese, NGAC chair, "The NGAC is highly encouraged that the administration has directed federal geospatial managers to develop a geospatial platform that incorporates common services, portfolio management, place-based initiatives, and an emphasis on addressing intergovernmental requirements. We look forward to continued collaboration on this important initiative."

The partner agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and its stakeholders in government, academia, and the private sector are developing the foundational plans for the platform, which will promote information sharing throughout the geospatial and other communities and provide opportunities to conduct business in new and innovative ways.

"Coordinating the development and delivery of the nation's geospatial data and services is a complicated task," says Ivan DeLoatch, executive director of FGDC, "but the geospatial platform provides a means for us to work together as a community to provide these critical products and services."

Implementing the platform strategy will result in a set of future benefits where

As a means to provide an organized approach to the development of this geospatial infrastructure, FGDC agencies have developed a high-level implementation plan, the Geospatial Platform Modernization Roadmap. The road map is available at The key components are

Stakeholder Engagement

FGDC is seeking community input on the development of the geospatial platform. The outreach process includes use of a social media Web site——to generate dialog and seek suggestions on how to improve the platform proposal. Comments can also be sent to Following completion of the initial stakeholder engagement process in December 2010, FGDC will revise and update the implementation plan to incorporate feedback received from partners and stakeholders.

For more information about the geospatial platform, visit To provide your input, you are invited to join in the conversation at

A Call to Action

President's Budget Fiscal year 2011

In 2010 and 2011, federal data managers for geospatial data will move to a portfolio management approach, creating a Geospatial Platform (see diagram at left) to support GeoOneStop, 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.

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