National Geospatial Advisory Committee holds December 2018 meeting

December 20, 2018
Julie Sweetkind-Singer

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) held their final meeting of the year on December 6, 2018 via teleconference.  The full report of the meeting is available on the NGAC website.  The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).  Our role is to provide advice and recommendations related to the national geospatial program and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

The group spent a good portion of the meeting being briefed by Ivan DeLoatch and John Mahoney on the FGDC's implementation approach of the Geospatial Data Act.  The Geospatial Data Act (GDA) was signed on October 5, 2018 as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act.  The GDA codifies the roles and responsibilities of the FGDC and the NGAC.  It establishes requirements for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the NSDI strategic plan, the National Geospatial Data Asset Data themes, geospatial data standards, the GeoPlatform, and covered Agency planning and reporting requirements.  The FGDC has established a Tiger Team to begin working on the analysis and interpretation of the GDA to identify its impacts and requirements.  The team will also develop an implementation strategy.  Members of the NGAC agreed to serve on an ad-hoc committee to review initial work of the Tiger Team and will report back to the Team before their next meeting in January.  We expect to establish longer-term subcommittees in the new year who will help advise the Tiger Team and the FGDC on the Act. 

Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, spoke to the group and encouraged the members to deeply engage with the FGDC and the Tiger Team to ensure they are on the right path and to look for things they may have missed.  He noted that the potential exists to update laws to match the technology of the 21st century.  

The four subcommittees gave status reports on the progress of their work.  The Data as a Service Subcommittee is in the final stages of editing on their paper, Geospatial Data as a Service Use Cases.  We expect the paper to be released early in January.  The Geospatial Technology and Infrastructure Subcommittee continues to work on their best practices paper, which they expect to finish in the first quarter of 2018.  The Cultural & Historical Resources Subcommittee is analyzing the results of their survey and have a report in draft stage.  The Landsat Advisory Committee is working on their cost sharing paper and are awaiting results of the US Geological Survey study, which they expect to receive in the few months.  

The NGAC is scheduled to meet in person three times in 2019.  The dates are: March 26-27, June 11-12, and September 4-5.