Manage Federal Geospatial Resources

Managing geospatial data as a capital asset is critical to our Nation’s ability to leverage and target public investments and to make our tax dollars more effective, transparent, and accountable. Locational intelligence derived from geospatial data is driving modern technological advances in all fields, and the dynamic nature of our increasingly digital and sensor‐based networked environment creates new management challenges across Federal agencies. 

The OMB Circular A-16 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).

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 prescribes a “portfolio management" approach to manage the nation's geospatial data assets. Portfolio management is the process of tracking, maintaining, expanding, and aligning assets to address and solve the business needs of an enterprise. At a national level, this approach is intended to overcome the single agency, stovepipe model by applying consistent policy, improved organization, better governance, and public engagement to deliver outstanding results.

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee oversees the A-16 NGDA portfolio management process which is being implemented through the National Geospatial Data Asset Management Plan (NGDA Management Plan) to ensure that the goals of Circular A-16 and it's supplemental guidance are being met. Outcomes of A-16 NGDA portfolio management process the include a robust and accessible set of core geospatial datasets, called National Geospatial Data Assets (NGDAs). The availability of and access to these NGDAs will improve support for individual Federal agency missions as, well as their partners and stakeholders. 

The NGDAs are made available through FGDC's Geospatial Platform ( The Geospatial Platform provides shared and trusted geospatial data, services, and applications for use by the public and by government agencies and partners to meet their mission needs.

To identify opportunities for collaborative investments and potentially duplicative investments, FGDC developed the Geospatial Platform Marketplace  which provides a listing of datasets that are planned for acquisition by one or more of the FGDC member agencies. The Marketplace allows users to quickly and easily search for planned data acquisition activities provided by FGDC partners as metadata records to the catalog. This capability is designed to foster partnerships among organizations looking to procure or create data of common interest.