OMB Circular A-16 and Supplemental Guidance

A-16-cover.jpgOMB Circular A-16

Note: This Circular is pending an update per the Geospatial Data Act of 2018.

The Circular provides direction for federal agencies that produce, maintain, or use spatial data either directly or indirectly in the fulfillment of their mission and provides for improvements in the coordination and use of spatial data. The Circular also describes effective and economical use and management of spatial data assets in the digital environment for the benefit of the Federal Government and the Nation. The Circular establishes a coordinated approach to electronically develop the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and establishes the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). 

Version/DateAugust 19, 2002 revised

Read online or Download (pdf, 1.8MB) OMB Circular A-16 and Supplemental Guidance.

Appendix E - NGDA Data Themes, Definitions & Lead Agencies

The table below lists the changes to the OMB Circular A-16 Appendix E - NGDA Data Themes, Definitions, and Lead Agencies.

DateChange DescriptionDocument
August 8, 2016 The "Address" Theme was added Download (pdf)Current Version
June 16, 2016 "Biota" Theme name changed to "Biodiversity and Ecosystems" Theme Download (pdf)
June 29, 2015 Revised to indicate Framework Themes Download (pdf)
February 1, 2013 "Governmental Units" Theme name changed to "Governmental Units, and Administrative and Statistical Boundaries" Theme Download (pdf)
August 19, 2011 Revised the original list of 34 NSDI Data Themes to 16 National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Themes Download (pdf)
August 19, 2002 Established the NSDI Data Themes, Definitions & Lead Agencies  Download (pdf)

A-16 Supplemental Guidance

The A-16 Supplemental Guidance further defines and clarifies elements of OMB Circular A-16 to facilitate the adoption and implementation of a coordinated and effective Federal geospatial asset management capability, and will improve support of mission-critical business requirements of the Federal Government and its stakeholders.  It also provides the foundation for a portfolio management approach to National Geospatial Data Asset Themes (NGDA Themes) and their associated National Geospatial Data Asset Datasets (NGDA Datasets).

Version/Date: OMB Endorsed November 10, 2010

A-16 Supplemental Guidance (pdf, 0.5MB)

Supplemental Guidance Reference Documents

These reference materials are considered part of the guidance and are updated as needed to reflect on-going Work Group and FGDC Coordination Group efforts.  Updates are approved by the Coordination Group and/or the FGDC Steering Committee.

  • FGDC Federal Agency Representation
    The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) organizational structure and committee, work group, and subcommittee membership are managed online.
  • Key Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities  (pdf 205KB)

    Version/Date: Endorsed December 2008, Revised May 28, 2010
    This document lays out the roles and responsibilities of National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Managers and stakeholders.  These roles and responsibilities do not supersede or alter in any way the content or intent of roles or responsibilities defined as part of the FGDC Steering Committee charter, or other FGDC charters.

  • Process for Adjusting OMB Circular A-16 Appendix E: NSDI Geospatial Data Theme Principles (pdf 126KB)

    Version/Date: Endorsed December 2008, Released May 28, 2010
    This document describes the process for identifying, evaluating, and updating the A-16 geospatial themes and establishes a collaborative annual process for their review and update.  The official list of Themes is listed in the Appendix E above.

  • Stages of the Geospatial Data Lifecycle Pursuant of OMB Circular A-16 Sections 8(E)(D), 8(E)(F), and 8(E)(G)  (pdf 359KB)

    Version/Date: Endorsed December 2008, Released May 28, 2010
    This section describes the Geospatial Data Lifecycle stages that agencies should use when developing, managing and reporting on National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Datasets under the auspices of OMB Circular A–16.  The matrix establishes a framework of standard terminology and processes for seven Geospatial Data Lifecycle stages.

  • Lexicon of Geospatial Terminology
    This document is managed online and provides a common set of geospatially-related terms and concepts to encourage consistent use of terminology to promote a clearer understanding of commonly used terms.

National Geospatial Data Asset Management Plan

Version/Date: Steering Committee Approved March 2014

NGDA Management Plan (pdf, 790KB) - Portfolio Management Implementation Plan for the OMB Circular A–16 Supplemental Guidance as it relates to OMB Circular A–16, Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities