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Summer 2009
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Identifying Case Studies and Examples

National Geospatial Advisory Committee Seeks Best Practices

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) needs the assistance of ArcNews readers in identifying best public and public-private partnership practices. As described in the Summer 2008 issue of ArcNews, NGAC is responsible for providing the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) "advice and recommendations related to management of federal and national geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906." Pursuant to that charge and at the request of the FGDC chairperson, NGAC has established a number of workgroups to provide advice on a variety of key policy issues.

One of the principal NGAC focus areas at this time is the development of recommendations on minimizing/removing investment barriers that impede public and public-private partnerships in advancing the collection, use, and dissemination of geospatial data, products, and technology. The Partnerships Subcommittee of NGAC is currently tasked with developing a series of recommendations to facilitate productive federal, state, local, tribal, academic, and private partnerships to advance NSDI efficiently and effectively.

Understanding that there are a number of exemplary models of existing partnerships among organizations that have roles and responsibilities for NSDI, the subcommittee is conducting an "environmental scan," resulting in the development of a database with best practice recommendations as its initial deliverable. The scan will identify and highlight existing partnership programs that the geospatial community could learn from and take advantage of. This activity is expected to result in an online database containing case studies, best practices, and examples that will be useful to anyone who is exploring public-private sector partnerships to meet shared geospatial mission objectives. This database will ultimately be broadly accessible inside and outside the federal government and will be designed to be a living system that is continually updated as new examples and references are brought forward.

The NGAC Partnerships Subcommittee is requesting input from anyone who has experience and examples to share that might be useful for the development of this data resource. Some of the types of materials that may be useful for this effort include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Case studies in public-private partnerships that demonstrate increased efficiency, cost savings/avoidance, etc.
  • Academic papers and published studies on best practices in governmental public-private sector partnerships
  • Examples of public-private sector partnerships in the international geospatial community
  • Conference proceedings on public-private partnerships in geospatial science
  • Examples of novel and effective procurement methods that enable public/private sector partnerships, particularly those with a federal contracting component
  • Visioning documents/blueprints/goals and objectives that involve partners from multiple sectors of the geospatial community
  • Contact information for organizations or individuals that may have useful information to share on partnerships
  • Examples of progressive or creative joint funding between the public and private sectors

Please provide information to the NGAC Partnerships Subcommittee at to assist in this national effort.

More Information

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this NGAC effort, contact Partnerships Subcommittee cochairs Gene Schiller (e-mail: or Jerry Johnston (e-mail:

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