Background and Evolution
FGDC has contributed to the evolution of Federal and national geospatial initiatives since its creation in 1990. Several of these initiatives have been sponsored as Administration priorities and these are highlighted in the following figure.
National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Network (1992)
The National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Network (Clearinghouse Network) was developed by the FGDC in the early 1990s as a way to query geospatial resources. The Clearinghouse Network was a distributed system of non-hierarchical Internet servers containing standardized metadata records of available digital spatial data and services. Using readily available Web technology for the publication and discovery of available geospatial resources, the Clearinghouse Network served as a detailed interoperable catalog service. The Clearinghouse Network functioned as a component of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and provided access to digital data and services, while minimizing duplication of data collection, promoting coordinated collection efforts, and providing a primary data dissemination mechanism. The Clearinghouse Network was comprised of hundreds of government and other user organizations and served as the foundation for the evolution of the Geospatial One Stop.
Geospatial One Stop (2001)
Established in 2001, the Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) promoted coordination and alignment of geospatial data collection, maintenance, and access among all levels of government. GOS served as an interoperable, Internet-based portal and repository for spatial data and Web services to support cross-government collaboration. Developed in response to agency mission-specific drivers -- including support for government business processes, decision making, and the service needs of citizens -- the portal provided one-stop Web access to over 900,000 national, state, and local records of geospatial information. The coordination of government geospatial data and services through GOS improved efficiency while enabling easier, faster, and less expensive discovery and access to geospatial data. GOS provided much early content for Data.gov.
Geospatial Line of Business (2006)
A government-wide initiative sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget in support of the identification of priority geospatial investments in the Federal space, the Geospatial Line of Business (LoB) is comprised of twenty-six Federal agencies. The Geospatial LoB is tasked with developing a set of common solutions and target architecture to enhance the management, timeliness, effectiveness, and performance of Federal geospatial programs and investments. The Geospatial LoB aims to further refine the opportunities for optimizing and consolidating Federal geospatial-related investments to reduce the cost of government and, at the same time, improve services to citizens. Cross-agency coordination will reduce redundancies, and result in a more coordinated approach to producing, maintaining, and using quality geospatial data. The Geospatial LoB has served as the organizational umbrella to plan and begin development of the Geospatial Platform.
Geospatial Platform (2010)
The Geospatial Platform is an Internet-based capability providing a managed portfolio of shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs and by the public. Hosted on a shared cloud-computing infrastructure, the Geospatial Platform leverages interagency coordination efforts and utilizes best practices, new technologies, and open standards to provide more accessible data and services while realizing efficiencies through shared infrastructure and economies of scale. The Geospatial Platform is the logical outgrowth of previous data discovery mechanisms, building on lessons learned from the Clearinghouse Network and the Geospatial One Stop. The Geospatial Platform provides a new and enhanced focal point for easy discovery and access to trusted geospatial data, services, applications, and infrastructure. It serves to effectively support problem solving and policy formulation for the complex issues facing our Nation, assist decision-making with data in readily available and intuitive formats, and inform day-to-day Federal agency management activities while avoiding duplicative costs.