The U.S national spatial data infrastructure
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Poore, Barbara S.;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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As the information industry puts greater and greater processing power on desktops at ever cheaper prices, organizations in many nations are realizing the value of geographic information systems (GIS) technology. By means of GIS, many data sets of diverse types can be integrated over a particular geographic location and used to solve problems in such areas as transportation, resource allocation, land use, and environmental management. Accurate and timely geographic data serve as the fuel for GIS, but often organizations do not have the resources to produce or maintain all the data sets that are required. In the United States, many groups have been established, particularly at the state and local level, to enable sharing data for use in geographic information systems. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) was established in 1990 by the President's Office of Management and Budget to coordinate the sharing of geographic data on a national level. (Office of Management and Budget 1990) The FGDC promotes the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure1 (NSDI) to facilitate production, discovering, sharing, and making use of accurate and current geographic data at multiple levels of resolution. This paper describes the development of the NSDI, the activities by which the FGDC is promoting the NSDI, and some of the constraints and opportunities that will affect the future of the NSDI.