Highlights of HR 1604 (Proposed National Geospatial Technology Administration)

This is a reintroduction of HR 4233 to create the National Geostpatial Technology Administration which was introduced last March (2012) , but never made it out of committee. The title of the bill has been updated to the Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act, echoing the common geographer’s mantra.  Unfortunately govtrack.us has dropped the probability of HR 1604 ever making it out of committee from 34% to 20%.

The full use and exploitation of geospatial technologies can foster economic growth, contribute to environmental stewardship, and enable scientific and technological excellence.

-HR 1604  Sec 2, 5

Some highlights of the bill are:

  • Aims at centralizing and standardizing national data sets and systems to reduce duplication and cut costs.
  • The NGTA shall establish and maintain a comprehensive database of geospatial data for all lands owned or managed by the United States (including public lands), all Indian trust parcels, and, to the extent possible, all non-Federal lands in each State. The database shall be known as the ‘‘National Geospatial Database’’.
  • Forward looking to national broadband coverage, deployment of smart energy grids, and use of geospatial data to fend off another mortgage crisis.
  • Except for issues of national security, the data sets will be made public.
  • All geospatial functions of the Department of the Interior, including the geography division of the USGS, the Department of Agriculture with respect to the National Forest System, and NOAA will be turned over to the NGTA.
  • The NGTA will promote the growth of private geospatial firms by encouraging the acquisition of geospatial data, products, technology, and services from private geospatial firms, and by fostering an environment in which all private geospatial firms may compete effectively and grow to their full potential.
  • Encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the geospatial field by promoting the advancement of geospatial products and technologies, and value-added services related to such products and technologies, and providing an avenue through which new and untested geospatial products and services may be brought to the marketplace.

Read the full text of the bill:  House of Representatives Bill 1604


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