Geospatial Enterprise Architecture Initiative

A Geospatial Community of Practice (GeoCoP), also convened as an FGDC Working Group, has been developing the Profile document along with ancillary best practices for implementation. The current version of the document is available on the GeoCoP website. An interactive "Wiki" site has been created to store all documentation for this initiative, and is available for public engagement. This initiative stems from a proposal by the USGS to develop a national geospatial enterprise architecture to encourage interoperability across all jurisdictions of government. The effort involves federal, state, local government representatives as well as academic and commercial contributors interested in facilitating the exchange of geographic information over common services.

Enterprise Architecture, according to OMB Circular A-130 is: "the explicit description and documentation of the current and desired relationships among business and management processes and information technology" (IT). It defines a framework in which one describes all the work activities and justifies the investments of personnel, data, and applications within an enterprise. Enterprise Architecture is a practice used in business process re-engineering and is widely adopted in electronic government (e-Gov) initiatives. The identification of geospatial capabilities in governmental business and IT planning is needed for a variety of reasons:

  • Geographic information is used in a majority of business settings in and outside of government
  • Geographic information and services are not addressed consistently within and between organizations
  • Interoperability among providers and consumers of geographic data and services requires a common understanding of semantics and functional capabilities
  • Development of common multi-jurisdictional approaches to the use of geographic information and services requires inclusion in Enterprise Architecture approaches

The objectives of this initiative are to:

  • increase awareness of geospatial capabilities within mainstream IT and business planning and to promote awareness of current EA practices within the geospatial community
  • leverage existing EA work within agencies to advance the development of a common geospatial Profile
  • validate the Geospatial Profile through active prototyping
  • identify opportunities to leverage investments in geospatial capabilities across government.

The official initiative co-leads are Brenda Smith (EPA) and Ivan DeLoatch (FGDC). For technical questions and additional information, please consult the Wiki page link, above. The Wiki site includes the community Charter, Workplan, draft documents, meeting notes, presentations, and other best practices materials accumulated in the process of developing the Profile.