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US Govt considers integrated geospatial data sharing

US: The US federal government is pondering ways to integrate the sharing of geospatial data across federal, state and local government agencies, including a programme that uses enhanced digital images called to collect and disseminate aerial and satellite imagery, according to a new federal government report.
As much as 80 percent of government data has some kind of geospatial component, according to the report, “Issues and Challenges for Federal Geospatial Data.” However as the data is collected by any number of federal, state, tribal, and local governments, private companies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organisations, collection and management is considered to be the most expensive part of a GIS system used to store, analyse and display geospatial data.
While the federal government used to be the primary and authoritative provider of geospatial information in the US, now it plays more of an aggregator role, coordinating and managing data and facilitating partnerships among the entities that collect and manage it. Challenges it faces include how to eliminate duplicative data sets collected by various authorities, including governments at the local, state, and federal level, according to the report.
One solution that’s been proposed is a programme under development by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) called Imagery for the Nation (IFTN). The programme would collect and disseminate satellite imagery as digital orthoimagery and allow access to that information available to government agencies that need it, according to the report.
The NSGIC estimates that IFTN would cost USD 1.38 billion during the first 10 years. However, the effort would save USD 120 million over that period by reducing overhead and other costs associated with current geospatial data collection efforts, according to the report.
Source: InformationWeek