At the recent meeting of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) meeting in Washington DC, June 8 and 9, committee chairman, Dr. David Cowen, provided these key summary recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Commitee (FGDC):
RECOMMENDATION: The NGAC commends the U.S. Department of Transportation (US-DOT) for developing the new Transportation for the Nation (TFTN) Strategic Plan through the engagement of the stakeholder community. The NGAC encourages US-DOT to develop a business plan as the next step in the development of TFTN. In addition, the committee had a discussion about possible impacts on LiDAR data collections from potential new Federal Aviation Administration rules related to laser pointers aimed at aircraft. The NGAC approved the following recommendation:
RECOMMENDATION: The NGAC recommends that the FGDC work collaboratively with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to avoid adverse impacts to the geospatial community in the implementation of potential FAA statutory or regulatory language banning the use of laser pointers aimed at aircraft. The members of the NGAC are concerned that the potential new language may result in adverse impacts to data collections using LiDAR (Light Detecting And Ranging) and similar technologies. The NGAC is concerned that the broad nature of the laser pointer language could cause unintended consequences to LiDAR collection activities, resulting in impacts to government programs, industry, and the public. The NGAC is willing to provide recommendations to the FGDC and FAA, as needed, to help provide the perspective of the geospatial community on this issue.
Another action that came out of the meeting was to have the Workforce Development subcommittee complete a white paper on "strategies to meet the expanding geospatial workforce needs of public and private-sector organizations."
As noted above, one of the major efforts of the FGDC is the Transportation for the Nation (TFTN) strategic plan (PDF). What I found interesting in this document is a discussion of the "pros and cons" of nationwide road centerline data that are being considered as assets for long and short range goals for TFTN. Now included in the data asset inventory are OpenStreetMap and Esri's Community Base Map (CBM) programs. And so, the "inputs" for nationwide centerline data includes three main catorities: TIGER, Commercial (TomTom, NAVTEQ) and "volunteered" (OSM, Esri CBM).
So, what's the cost of develping TFTN? The FGDC is not as yet sure but simply developing the plan (TFTN Business pland + development of protoypes) will cost $450,000. But according to the TFTN strategic plan, "In many ways, this strategic plan hinges on the ability of independent governmental programs being able to work together for increased efficiencies." I think that's the understatement of the year.
All reports from the NGAC's June meeting can be found on the FGDC website.