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US pushes for geospatial collaboration

US: The White House is urging federal agencies to work more closely on geospatial data efforts, issuing updated guidance aimed at improving management of the federal government’s steadily increasing coffers of geospatial data.

The guidance pushes agencies to adopt standard geospatial data management practices laid out in a new framework, divide their data into themes, work through a collaborative investment process to help make investments more efficiently, increase transparency with regards to agency creation of data sets.

Agencies are also urged to create plans for implementing the guidance and report them to the Federal Geographic Data Committee, an inter-agency entity at the centre of government-wide geospatial data efforts that will annually recommend additional government-wide steps for achieving a more effective approach to geospatial data management across the government.

Though it doesn’t make an appearance in the memo, cloud computing also factors into the government’s geospatial plans. For example, the General Services Administration has said that it plans to work with other agencies to create a cloud-based geospatial information system to store and manage the government’s geospatial data, and geospatial data is already a centerpiece of Data.gov, for which GSA recently signed a cloud contract.

Source: InformationWeek