States get a seat at the Geospatial One Stop table

Judith Teller will represent states' interests for the Geospatial One Stop e-government initiative.

The National Association of State CIOs this month named Judith Teller, New Jersey's CIO, to represent states' interests to the intergovernmental Geospatial One Stop committee.

The committee is working to establish spatial data collection and classification standards for federal, state and local governments.

Teller will help the committee create geospatial data classification standards that will apply to federal, state and local governments.

Last month, the Office of Management and Budget released its latest version of the A-16 Circular which explains how federal agencies can better classify their spatial data and make it available online.

A-16 does not apply to state and local governments, but including states on the committee would help bring governments at several levels into the Geospatial One Stop portal, said Hank Garie, director of New Jersey's Office of Geographic Information Systems. The portal is scheduled to go online in February.

State and local governments' progress in collecting spatial data actually 'dwarfs what's happening federally,' Garie said. 'The challenge is to try to define a balance between roles and responsibilities between federal, state and local governments.'

For example, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, which is overseeing the development of the Geospatial One Stop portal, is asking agencies to include their spatial information in the national clearinghouse on its Web site.

But most states already have a Web clearinghouse that would be similar to the Geospatial One Stop portal, Garie said. 'I think the states have their data inventory act together better than the feds to a large degree,' Garie said.

New Jersey, like other states, has a formal agreement with its counties: The state helps them put their spatial data online if they participate in spatial data research efforts.

'In exchange, I provide them with incentives, such as hardware and software, so they become part of a statewide government information services network here in New Jersey,' Garie said.

The federal authorities in charge of the project'the Interior Department and Office of Management and Budget'have not explained what they expect from state and local governments for the project, Garie said.

Teller intends to improve the level of communication, he said.

The National States Geographic Information Council met in Park City, Utah, this month to discuss the Geospatial One Stop and other initiatives.

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