Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Perpetuate GIS and spatial capabilities to a much higher degree

DOI needs to more readily and completely understand and harness the true power of GIS and geospatial technologies when it comes to using these technologies to share information/knowledge to the public. As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words", so why not disseminate information contained in the hundreds and hundreds of stove-piped DOI databases, systems & applications, etc. to the public through more complete cross-cutting spatial viewers and portals. There is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to expedite the collection, analysis, and distribution of data in support of National Security, but what about everything else?

 

One could even envision perhaps a consolidated Federal GIS-cloud or similar that is marketed and integrated with open-source platforms/technologies such as Google Earth, GeoRSS and the like as well as standards organizations such as the Open Geospatial Consortium. This could just really be just a matter of extending or refocusing of the already existing geodata.gov, Geospatial One-Stop, or Geospatial Modernization Blueprint initiatives. Since DOI is the National data provider of 18 of the 34 total data themes described in the OMB A-16 circular, it is perfectly situated in a lead role to continue implementing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure described therein for Government transparency.

 

As an agency, BLM seems to do a pretty good job of promoting the use of these technologies, and with the National Integrated Land System (NILS) and Geocommunicator.gov, it had a platform and underlying set of infrastructure being deployed that, in conjunction with the Forest Service, would serve as a joint spatial platform to provide the public much valuable visual information from different internal database/systems. However, being that it was recently decided by BLM to decommission NILS, it is unknown what the future holds for this type of forward-thinking strategy/platform, one would only hope that this capability will not be completely derailed or the pause very long until a replacement is implemented.

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Idea No. 78