Geo Week News

May 1, 2013

Congressman reintroduces bill to create geospatial tech agency

‘Map It Once, Use It Many Times’ Act seeks to disrupt bureaucratic mindset of hording geospatial data

U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has reintroduced his “Map It Once, Use It Many Times” legislation intended to streamline federal bureaucracy dealing with map making by reforming, consolidating, and reorganizing federal geospatial activities.

Recently, a number of Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports have identified duplicative and a lack of coordination in federal geospatial activities.

Currently, dozens of separate federal agencies have geospatial activities, leading to duplication and overlapping and a federal bureaucratic mindset of “map it many times and horde the data,” whereas it should be to “map it once and use it many times,” Lamborn said in a statement.

H.R. 1604 would create the National Geospatial Technology Administration as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to streamline geospatial activities throughout the government and establish a centralized and comprehensive database of geospatial data for use by the federal government. The bill consolidates existing agency activities and committees to focus on geospatial activities.

“This legislation will save money, make government more efficient, and eliminate not only government agency duplication of one another, but government duplication of and competition with private enterprise. Use of the private sector for geospatial data, technology and services is important to national economic growth and job creation, and is of particular interest to Colorado given the significant concentration of firms doing this work in our state,” said Lamborn.

The reintroduction of the legislation, previously introduced in the 112th Congress, was met with praise from MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms.

“We know through multiple GAO reports that the federal government is investing in geospatial technology, but lacking effective coordination of geospatial activities for use by the agencies and citizenry,” said John Palatiello, MAPPS executive director. “MAPPS applauds Rep. Lamborn for reintroducing the ‘Map It Once, Use it Many Times Act’, which we firmly believe will enable the government to more efficiently manage its investment in geospatial data and to more effectively utilize the private sector geospatial market to provided the products and services that benefit the federal agencies and taxpayers of the United States.”

Based in Reston, Va., MAPPS has 160 member firms and is the only trade group exclusively comprised of private firms using spatial data and geographic information systems including LIDAR, photogrammetry, aerial and satellite remote sensing and image processing, and GPS and GIS data collection and conversion.

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