The US National Spatial Data Infrastructure: Where do we go from here? (Ballroom A)
The initiative to create the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) was launched by President Clinton in 1994. The ambitious – and as yet partially unfulfilled goals – of the NSDI include creating a national network of distributed geospatial data that can be used to support a wide range of public and private sector applications. At the dawn of the Internet, creating such a network was an extremely lofty goal that stretched the capabilities of technology. Moreover, at that time the federal government was a major architect of and content provider for the nation’s growing geospatial data and technology ecosystem.
Fast forward more than twenty years, and the geospatial landscape is strikingly and fundamentally different. Geospatial data and technology are abundant and ubiquitous. The government now plays a larger role as a consumer of geodata and an increasingly smaller role as a producer, while the private sector and open source communities have innovated at an astonishing rate.
With this as a starting point, this talk will explore the possibilities for the next evolution of the NSDI, and attempt to answer important questions: Is the concept of the NSDI even relevant anymore? What role should the government play and what roles should other sectors take on? And perhaps most importantly – what are some things that government could do to better support the community?