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Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges
Geospatial Information and Geographic Information

Our Price: $20.00
By Peter Folger (au)
Year: 2009
Pages: 26
Binding Paperback

Product Code: 1437919472

This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report discusses geospatial information, which is data referenced to a place — a set of geographic coordinates — which can often be gathered, manipulated, and displayed in real time. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. In recent years consumer demand has skyrocketed for geospatial information and for tools like GIS to manipulate and display geospatial information. Global Positioning System (GPS) data and their integration with digital maps has led to the popular handheld or dashboard navigation devices used daily by millions. The fed. govt. and policy makers increasingly use geospatial information and tools like GIS for producing floodplain maps, conducting the Census, mapping foreclosures, and responding to natural hazards such as wildfires and hurricanes. For policy makers, this type of analysis can greatly assist in clarifying complex problems that may involve local, state, and fed. govt., and affect businesses, residential areas, and federal installations. Congress has recognized the challenge of coordinating and sharing geospatial data from the local, county, and state level to the nat. level, and vice versa. The cost of geospatial information to the fed. govt. has also been an ongoing concern. As much as 80% to 90% of govt. information has a geospatial component, according to different sources. In 1990 the Office of Mgt. and Budget (OMB) revised Circular A-16 to establish the Fed. Geographic Data Comm. (FGDC) and to promote the coordinated use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data nationwide. OMB Circular A-16 also called for development of a national digital spatial inform ation resource to enable the sharing and transfer of spatial data between users and producers, linked by criteria and standards. Executive Order 12906, issued in 1994, strengthened and enhanced Circular A-16, and specified that FGDC shall coordinate development of the Nat. Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The high-level leadership and broad membership of the FGDC — 10 cabinet-level departments and 9 other fed. agencies — suggest that geospatial information is a highly regarded asset of the fed. govt. Questions remain, however, about how effectively the FGDC is fulfilling its mission. Has this organizational structure worked? Can the fed. govt. account for the costs of acquiring, coordinating, and managing geospatial information? How well is the fed. govt. coordinating with the state and local entities that have an increasing stake in geospatial information? What is the role of the private sector?

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