A Second Look at the Changing Geospatial Landscape

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National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) recently released an update to its original 2009 report about the Changing Geospatial Landscape.  From the report:

In 2009, the NGAC produced a report titled The Changing Geospatial Landscape. As noted in the preface to that report, during its first year of activity, the NGAC “endeavored to create a common level of understanding as it relates to geospatial technology, policy and programs that exist in the public and private sector.”2 The committee published The Changing Geospatial Landscape “to describe the changes and advancements the community has witnessed over the past three-plus decades and to set a context from which in part we will base our future deliberations. While this paper is not meant to be all- inclusive in chronicling the growth of the industry, we do believe it captures the major milestones and identifies several of the major issues that lie ahead.”

The subsequent eight years have been a time of rapid technological change in the geospatial industry. Some of the “the major milestones and … major issues” have been achieved and some have been superseded. For example, the rise of cloud computing has changed the way we collect and share information. This can be a beneficial change, as was seen in the global response to the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. However, it also has raised significant concerns about privacy, and information integrity and security.

This report is intended to build upon The Changing Geospatial Landscape. In this document, the committee contributes its perceptions of incipient technologies that we expect will guide, define or determine the development of this industry in the near and medium term. Of even greater importance, the report highlights those aspects of innovation that bear directly on public policy and on individual privacy and security. The NGAC has also prepared this report to help inform the development of the next iteration of the strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the development of transition recommendations for the next Presidential administration.

The report: The Changing Geospatial Landscape: A Second Look, December 2015


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