Geospatial SmartBUY Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Who is permitted to use this Geospatial SmartBUY?

All Federal geospatial initiatives (should be/are) permitted to utilize the Geospatial SmartBUY to the extent they find it favorable to satisfying their needs. In addition, some GSA Schedule 70 holders have committed to offering the new Geo-SmartBUY to state, tribal and local governments. Interested parties should contact U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) or the vendor to see if they have authorized purchase by state, tribal or local governments.


2.    As an agency, how do I participate in the Geospatial SmartBUY?

Agencies can take advantage of the Federal Government’s immense buying power by submitting task orders through the Geospatial SmartBUY using the same procedures as when issuing task orders under the U.S. General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule.  Ordering is available from the following GSA websites: or or

In addition, agencies are encouraged to volunteer associates to serve as members of the Common Services Work Group for the Geospatial Line of Business managed by the U.S. Geological Survey at the Department of the Interior.  For more information on this work group, please contact the Geospatial Line of Business Senior Program Manager, Lew Sanford at 


3.    Does this SmartBUY include professional engineering services, as prescribed under the Brooks Act?

RFQ 348667, Attachment C, Statement of Work, subsection 3.0, SCOPE, page 6, states:  “This procurement DOES NOT include professional engineering services as prescribed under the Brooks Act.”  The GSA SmartBUY Program is limited to software with some support for installation services.


4.    How does this Geospatial software SmartBUY affect existing GIS services contracts?

GSA SmartBUY Blanket Purchase Agreements only effect existing contracts under GSA Schedule 70 specific to those products and services covered by this potential Geospatial SmartBUY.  The effects are limited to changes in price, terms, and conditions as that contract enters a new option year.  If the prices, terms, and conditions are more favorable under SmartBUY then those prices, terms, and conditions are required to be adopted under subsequent GSA Schedule 70 contracts.  Since geospatial services are not included under this SmartBUY effort, and those existing contracts are not classified as GSA Schedule 70 contracts, there will be no impact.

Existing contracts for GIS services such as consulting, guidance, program management and other similar professional services will not be affected by this proposed Geospatial SmartBUY for software and software support services.  Agencies with existing contracts that include line items for software support services may choose to transition those contracts to the SmartBUY terms, conditions, and prices if that vendor receives a SmartBUY award.


5.    Will existing GIS contracts for software and services be forced into termination by implementation of this Geospatial SmartBUY?

No.  Existing GIS contracts for software and services will not be forced into termination, but agencies may choose to transition the procurement of similar software and software support services covered by existing contracts to the Geospatial SmartBUY.


6.    How does this Geospatial SmartBUY affect other Federal geospatial initiatives such as Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) and HIFLD?

The intent of the Geospatial SmartBUY is to serve as a complimentary acquisition tool that will be fully available to any Federal initiative seeking to procure Geospatial software and associated software support services.  In accordance with OMB Memorandum M-03-14, agencies are required to consider SmartBUY as part of their market research and obtain a waiver from OMB and the GSA SmartBUY Program to procure similar software and services outside of SmartBUY.  Every effort is being made to include them in the SmartBUY process.  Naturally those efforts may need other forms of contracting to satisfy their needs.  SmartBUY will make every effort not to overlap those needs.


7.    Will this SmartBUY hurt small businesses?

No, if anything we believe this has been a UNIQUE opportunity for small businesses and resellers on the GSA Schedule to extend their products and services well beyond their existing customer base to the entire Federal Government. Most procurements involve complex, bureaucratic processes that normally only large companies can afford to endure. SmartBUY eliminates these processes associated with Federal Government procurements thereby leveling the playing field between small and large businesses.


8.    If multi-agency participants in Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) or Inter-Agency Agreements (IAAs) combine their purchasing power, would there be one signing authority that binds the entire group to the ELA terms?  Could a federal agency combine requirements with a local government agency?

The construct and content of future MOUs and IAAs will establish the rules of engagement for the respective MOU or IAA participants.





9.    How do I know what software I need?

The first step is to understand the task your organization is trying to accomplish. Discussions with geospatial experts within your organization (if available) or a detailed analysis of task requirements and outcomes can provide perspective on what software needs to do. The next step is to research the capabilities of products available under the Geospatial SmartBUY, perhaps in collaboration with applicable experts, to determine what products would support your needs.


10.    Will I need training or installation support to use geospatial software?

As with any software product, there is a level of familiarity or expertise required to successfully use or implement geospatial software products. The level of training or installation support can vary based on the resources or experience available within an organization and the operational complexity, requirements, or dependencies of the geospatial software.


11.    How can geospatial software be deployed?

Generally speaking, geospatial software can be deployed on a desktop or on a mobile device as an individual application or on a server made available to multiple distributed users through the web. Desktop, mobile, or server based software will vary in licensing, complexity, installation requirements, and extendibility (how the software can be customized to provide new or refined features). The choice of desktop, mobile, or server based products depend on the requirements for the software within an organization.

  • Desktop software tends to be the choice for highly trained professionals who do very detailed spatial data editing, manipulation, or analysis.
  • Mobile software is generally used for collecting or using spatial data in the field, often in conjunction with Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
  • Server based software is useful for providing visualization or limited spatial data analysis or manipulation capabilities to distributed users over the web.

Again, organizations should understand both their requirements and the capabilities of the software products to fully inform how the products can be deployed.


12.    Does geospatial software only perform specific functions in support of specialized requirements?

It depends on the product. There are geospatial software products that focus on a specific spatial requirement or set of functions while other software products are very broad in scope and cover many requirements or functions. Consumers are encouraged to research the available products in relation to their operational requirements to define whether a product of specific or broad focus will be necessary.


13.    Can you provide a copy of the “Geospatial Profile of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA)” document? 

The document is available for download here.