Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today applauded Congress for its leadership in passing the Geospatial Data Act (GDA) of 2018 as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 302). The bill’s sponsors Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and Representatives Bruce Westerman (R-AR-04) and Seth Moulton (D-MA-06) deserve great credit for their hard work in engaging the broad community of geospatial data users to produce meaningful legislation that will benefit the government and the public.
Agreeing to a common vision will make it easier for federal, state, and local agencies to integrate location data into widespread practice, no matter their size. The passage of this bill presents new and exciting opportunities for the public and private sectors, universities, organizational stakeholders, and the public to strengthen the geoplatform and ensure geospatial data is made more widely available to support government programs.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the GDA’s sponsors, as well as the geospatial organizations that have taken a leading role in shaping this bill,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “This legislation will significantly address how location intelligence is organized and disseminated and will foster continued strength in our industry’s partnership with government users.”
As federal agencies implement the GDA in the coming months and years, it is critical that leaders build upon and augment the incredible work the government is doing with geospatial data and tools. Federal missions will be best served by agencies working collaboratively to utilize geospatial data for analysis, problem solving, and enhancing situational awareness.
Esri stands ready to support congressional leaders, agency heads, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, and the entire ecosystem of geospatial data users and providers as the GDA is put into practice. The power of geospatial data is transformative, and the Geospatial Data Act has paved the way for improved data standards and accessibility, which will fuel innovation throughout the nation.