At the recent ESRI Federal GIS Conference in Washington, DC, Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Letitia Long, had some interesting comments about the future. First, drawing on NGA's experience during the Typhoon Haiyan response, she recommended that Federal agencies should make their data readily accessible to others if they wanted to maximize its value. Second, that NGA's Map of the World effort will allow "full immersion" understanding of the world by as early as 2020. Articles on both themes can be found below:
(FCW, February 11, 2014)
(FCW, February 18, 2014)
Comment: Yup, basically two ideas we've been babbling about here. The value in data doesn't come from selling it to the nation's citizens after the taxpayers have already bought it - it comes from making that data freely available so the inventive American spirit can develop more diverse and valuable uses for it. And, we are headed for a world where command of geospatial data and systems will radically reshape our understanding of the world. More to follow in the years ahead.