GITA News Hub
Mar. 12, 2013

FGDC begins development of new NSDI strategic plan
The Federal Geographic Data Committee has initiated a process to develop a new strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. On March 7, FGDC held an NSDI Leaders Forum at the U.S. Department of the Interior to begin to gather input to help build the foundation for the new strategic plan. More than 20 key geospatial associations, plus other leaders in the geospatial community, were invited to the forum to participate in a dialogue about a strategic plan to guide the future development of the NSDI. GITA was represented by Talbot Brooks, President of the Board of Directors. John Moeller, former Board Member, also participated in the forum. The FGDC plans to work collaboratively with partners and stakeholders in the geospatial community to develop and implement a new strategy for continued and sustainable development of the NSDI.

The forum was a very good start for gaining input and ideas. Over the almost three hours of discussion, all of the participants had the opportunity of voicing the perspectives of different segments of the geospatial community. This input, along with that from a meeting earlier in the week, with federal agencies, will help FGDC build an expanded outline for the strategic plan. The timeline has the plan being completed by the end of 2013. While this could shift a bit during the next few months, FGDC anticipates having a draft plan out for public review in mid-late summer.

As a key stakeholder in the NSDI, GITA sees a spatial data infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure asset similar to physical infrastructure assets. GITA supports the development of an updated NSDI Strategy and encourages members to contribute to the planning activities. For more information go to You may also provide Talbot with your ideas and input by contacting him at More

GITA upcoming webinar: The GISCI Certification Program
Join GITA on Tuesday, March 26, at 1 p.m. CDT for a webinar on the GISCI Certification Program. The webinar will cover information about the GISCI application process, background on GISCI as an organization and the future direction of certification and professional development.

This session will detail the GISCI Certification Program for GIS professionals. Started on Jan. 1, 2004, this is a recognition program for established GIS professionals. It is a non-examination, portfolio-based system. Strategies for filling out the application as well as detailed information about the history of the effort and the institute will be provided. Information about certification in relation to licensure and state endorsements of the program will be offered as well.

Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-429-3300

Access code:638 363 555
To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!)
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: GIS
4. Click "Join." More

Take a GIS Certification survey
Members are encouraged to complete a brief survey (no more than three minutes) about the requirements for professional certification in their work environments. Please take a moment to complete the following.More

First Galileo-only position fix performed
GPS World
Entitling its release "From Orbit with Love," the European Space Agency proudly announced March 12 that the first four satellites of the future Galileo Satellite Navigation constellation achieved their first-ever autonomous position fix. The positioning was replicated and confirmed by a team at the NavSAS group of Politecnico di Torino, Italy. More

When will we see the first true GIS app?
Directions Magazine
AudioBrief When will we see the first true GIS app? Who will build it? What will it do? Can it replace the desktop and should it? What can we learn about the future from the current crop of tablets and broadband availability? Do current retina displays and $999 apps mean GIS will come to the tablet?More

What is the economic value of satellite imagery?
U.S. Geological Survey
Does remote-sensing information, such as that from Landsat and similar Earth-observing satellites, provide economic benefits to society, and can this value be estimated? Using satellite data for northeastern Iowa, U.S. Geological Survey scientists modeled the relations among land uses, agricultural production, and dynamic nitrate contamination of aquifers. More

Smart cities, network effects, and the next generation of planning
Sensors & Systems
Michael Batty, a professor of planning at the University College London, Fellow of the British Academy, and founder and chairman of the board of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, has had a distinguished career as a professor of geography and planning and as an author and researcher. Most recently, Batty has been exploring the topic of Cities and Complexity. More

Filling the PNT hole — Why non-satellite-based technology is urgently needed
The American Surveyor
Despite its impressive legacy of success driving many essential position, navigation and time capabilities, GPS is not an infallible system and requires improvement to meet new threats, needs and PNT challenges, some of which go beyond GPS's obvious vulnerability to interference and dependence on an aging satellite constellation. More

House introduces Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act
Directions Magazine
Representatives Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., introduced H.R. 983, the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act. Per Lofgren's website, it "would strengthen the privacy of Internet users and wireless subscribers from overbroad government surveillance by requiring the government to get a warrant based on probable cause before intercepting or forcing the disclosure of electronics communications and geolocation data."More

Purchase mobile computers wisely to boost productivity
Higher productivity, increased labor costs and a strong trend toward true mobility in the workplace all are factors that have put the spotlight firmly on "total costs of ownership" for computers and devices. Organizations will have to start spending more on durable and reliable mobile computers rather than looking for bargains, if they want to avoid losing valuable productive time.More

Smart water: It's not just about meters. You need to modernize your IT backbone too
Smart Grid News
Austin Energy provides a useful example from the electric space. When it decided to modernize its grid, it first installed an enterprise architecture throughout the company. Then and only then did it start layering in smart grid applications. And it was very careful to make sure all those apps conformed to their enterprise architecture. More