Invitation - Submit your ideas on the Geospatial Platform

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to invite you, your peers, and your organizations to provide comments and suggestions on the proposed Geospatial Platform initiative.

The vision for the Platform was described in the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget:

“In 2010 and 2011, Federal data managers for geospatial data will move to a portfolio management approach, creating a Geospatial Platform to support Geospatial One-Stop, place-based initiatives, and other potential future programs.  This transformation will be facilitated by improving the governance framework to address the requirements of State, local and tribal agencies, Administration policy, and agency mission objectives. Investments will be prioritized based on business needs.  The Geospatial Platform will explore opportunities for increased collaboration with, with an emphasis on reuse of architectural standards and technology, ultimately increasing access to geospatial data.”

The Geospatial Platform will become a managed portfolio of common geospatial data, services, and applications contributed and administered by authoritative sources and hosted on a shared infrastructure, for use by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs and the broader needs of the Nation.  The Platform aims to deliver valuable geospatial services that can be easily accessed by government organizations and used to provide place-based products and services to the American public. 

Over the past several months, the partner agencies of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) have developed a draft Modernization Roadmap document that provides a high-level implementation plan for the Platform. The Roadmap, which is posted on, describes a future-state technology architecture that leverages industry standards and best practices, identifies processes and organizational elements needed to help ensure success, and proposes a strategic path forward to implement the Platform vision.

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee, whose members recently provided comments and suggestions on the Roadmap, has endorsed the Geospatial Platform concept.  We are entering a broader, 60-day stakeholder review process and are seeking your input.  I encourage you to review the Roadmap and provide feedback utilizing one of the following two approaches:

  • On-line:  The FGDC has launched an IdeaScale website,, providing an online venue where stakeholders can submit ideas and comments related to the Roadmap and the Platform.  IdeaScale, which has been used successfully with and other Open Government initiatives, also offers space for stakeholders to provide meaningful feedback and enter into dialogues on conceptual and specific elements of the Roadmap and the Platform.  The FGDC will use these comments and communication threads to improve the Roadmap and refine the Platform.
  • Via e-mail:  You, or your organization, can submit written comments directly to the FGDC at through December 2010.  Please use the attached Comment Form [Excel] if you submit your comments via e-mail.  Comments will be used to improve the Roadmap and refine the Geospatial Platform.

Upon completion of the stakeholder review period, the FGDC member agencies will incorporate ideas and suggestions into the next version of the Roadmap and move into the next phase of the Platform.  We are committed to an ongoing process for interacting with the geospatial stakeholder community and look forward to hearing your creative ideas.

In the upcoming weeks, the FGDC Secretariat will host a webinar(s) for stakeholders interested in learning more about the Platform, the stakeholder engagement process, and IdeaScale.  Information regarding the webinar(s) will be posted on,, and


Ivan B. DeLoatch, Executive Director
Federal Geographic Data Committee
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S.Department of the Interior