Toward Improved Geographic Information Services within a Digital Government   [open pdf - 507KB]

The worlds of computer and information sciences, statistics, geography, ecology, and cognitive science all converge in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to provide glimpses into the world we live in. The ultimate application of any particular GIS view of the world can be as diverse as building a dam, planning a city, combating terrorism, or charting the destruction of a rain forest. While specific applications of GIS are diverse, the essential need is to share data across sources. In effect, any data from any source could be required for any GIS application regardless of whether the analysis is sponsored by government agency or private interest. To address the need for cooperation across government, academia, and industry as well as among research disciplines, an invitational workshop was held to begin defining a research agenda for geographic information systems and technologies. This workshop was held in response to the Digital Government Initiative (DGI) of the Federal Information Services and Applications Council. The recommendations from the workshop that are summarized in this report strongly support the need for cooperation in setting the national GIS research agenda and in linking innovative research with practice. The final recommendation specifically addresses the need for a national prototyping center that would not only bring together research results and experts but also provide a natural link among the communities focused on research, practice, and policy. All three of these communities are necessary to successfully define, develop, and fund a national GIS agenda.

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