Polices & Planning

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Congress set policy for Federal agencies. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), a federal interagency coordinating committee established in law:

  • Acts as the lead entity in the executive branch for the development, implementation and review of policies, practices, and standards relating to geospatial data.
  • Leads the development and management of and operational decision making for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) strategic plan and geospatial data policy.
  • Establishes additional cross-government policies and guidelines on how the FGDC agencies collaboratively implement federal geospatial policies.
  • Engages with other coordinating bodies responsible for implementing Federal data laws and policies, including the Federal Chief Data Officers Council (CDOC), established in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking act of 2018.
  • Engages in on-going strategic planning to ensure continued investment of resources in high value programs, activities and technologies for the advancement of the NSDI.


A policy is an official plan or course of action intended to influence and determine decisions, actions and other matters. Guidelines denote one or more rules that describe a process.


The Geospatial Data Act and OMB Circular A-16 assign to the FGDC the responsibility to prepare and maintain a strategic plan for the development and implementation of the NSDI.

NSDI Strategic Plans and Strategies

Other FGDC Strategic Planning Activities