October l9, l990
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
SUBJECT: Coordination of Surveying, Mapping, and Related Spatial Data Activities
A major objective of this Circular is the eventual development of a national digital spatial information resource, with the involvement of Federal, State, and local governments, and the private sector. This national information resource, linked by criteria and standards, will enable sharing and efficient transfer of spatial data between producers and users. Enhanced coordination will build information partnerships among government institutions and the public and private sectors, avoiding wasteful duplication of effort and ensuring effective and economical management of information resources in meeting essential user requirements.
b. Can contribute to:
c. Result in cartographic representation of international boundaries other than those of the United States with Canada or Mexico.
Excluded are surveying, mapping, and related spatial data activities conducted or supported by a Federal agency to meet specific agency program needs that are not met by the programs specified in paragraph 2a and 2b of this Circular and that cannot practicably or economically contribute to the national programs. However, these activities should be performed in such a way that the resulting products are provided in a format that can be shared with other Federal agencies and non-Federal users.
Determination of the surveying, mapping, and related spatial data activities that are required to meet program needs is the responsibility of the agency that manages each program. However, evaluation of the potential contribution of those activities to a national surveying, mapping, or related spatial data program must be made by such agency in consultation, or pursuant to a general agreement, with the responsible agency, or agencies, as described in paragraph 3 of this Circular.
This departmental governmentwide leadership for surveying, mapping, and related spatial data coordination will be carried out under the policy guidance and oversight of the interagency coordinating committee established pursuant to paragraph 4 of this Circular. Additional responsibilities and agencies may be added to paragraph 3 by recommendation of the interagency coordinating committee and concurrence by the Office of Management and Budget.
The Department of the Interior exercises governmentwide leadership in assuring coordinated planning and execution of these functions and related surveying, mapping, and spatial data activities of Federal agencies, including activities financed in whole or in part by such agencies, for the following purposes:
b. The Department of Commerce is responsible for establishing and maintaining the networks of geodetic surveys that compose the National Geodetic Reference System (NGRS) and maintains information on the status of geodetic surveys that meet the standards for inclusion in the NGRS. The Department also produces and maintains nautical and aeronautical charts, promulgates standards, and is responsible for collecting, processing, and tabulating cultural (e.g., economic data and the names and boundaries of domestic governmental entities) and demographic data through its decennial, economic, agriculture, and governments censuses and related statistical activities. In addition, the Department produces maps and other products concerning marine natural resources.
In carrying out these functions, the Department of Commerce exercises governmentwide leadership in assuring coordinated planning and execution of its national geodetic surveys, nautical and aeronautical charts, standards activities, census and sample surveys, and the related survey and charting activities that are financed in whole or in part by Federal funds, for the following purposes:
c. The Department of State exercises governmentwide leadership to assure that cartographic representations of international boundaries, other than those of the United States with Canada or Mexico, by all Federal agencies are consistent with and conform to United States foreign policy.
d. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program. It exercises governmentwide leadership to assure coordinated planning for the collection, maintenance, and distribution of digital soils and vegetation data, for the following purposes:
e. The Department of Transportation exercises governmentwide leadership to assure coordinated planning for the collection, maintenance, and distribution of national ground transportation data, for the following purposes:
In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, each coordinating Department will arrange, through periodic meetings or other appropriate means, for exchange of information among Federal agencies and other governmental authorities concerning technological developments with respect to their assigned activities.
b. The interagency coordinating committee will also provide guidance and promote cooperation and coordination among Federal, State, and local government agencies and in the private sector in the collection, production, and sharing of surveying, mapping, and related spatial data.
c. The interagency coordinating committee will include representatives of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, and Transportation; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Archives and Records Administration. Other Federal departments and independent agencies with activities or interest in surveying, mapping, or related spatial data can request membership by writing to the Secretary of the Interior.
b. Supplying necessary information to the interagency coordinating committee concerning its surveying, mapping, and related spatial data requirements, programs, activities, and products; and
c. Conducting its surveying, mapping, related spatial data gathering and product distribution activities in a manner that provides effective governmentwide coordination and efficient, economical service to the general public.
Richard G. Darman