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Update on the Geospatial Data Act of 2017

Whatever happened to the bipartisan Geospatial Data Act (GDA) of 2017, you may be wondering? This important bill is designed to facilitate and support geospatial data development, sharing, and coordination across federal agencies and partnerships with state and local governments, towards a more robust National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Unfortunately, the bill has yet to reach congressional floors for a vote. Back in mid-November 2017, parallel versions of a revised Geospatial Data Act of 2017 made their way to their respective committees in the Senate (S. 2128) and the House (H.R. 4395). You can find the committee assignments at the links to the bills above. Those identical bills had been modified to remove language in two places, Sections 11 and 12, that UCGIS and many other organizations and individuals had previously regarded as problematic to the pursuit of open GIS and mapping activities in academic and public sectors.

Since that time, actions have been largely behind the scenes and the bills remain on their respective congressional dockets. Further discussions and debate around data and mapping language have taken place but have yielded no changes to the text.

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Update 2: Geospatial Data Act of 2017

Update #2: 2017 Geospatial Data Act

On Wednesday November 15, 2017, revised versions of the Geospatial Data Act were introduced in Congress (S.2128 and H.R.4395). The problematic Sections 11 and 12 have been removed, in part due to the persuasive and succinct arguments that UCGIS and other geospatial organizations were able to make. A great way to celebrate GIS Day! You can read UCGIS's interpretation of the original bill here.

UCGIS strongly supports this revised version of the bills. As always, we encourage you to keep apprised of these developments and share your opinions with your own state’s congressional offices.