Coming Soon: A Map for Every Idea
Booz Allen is supporting the Federal government in developing a national infrastructure for mapping data of all kinds.
Anne Hale MiglareseImagine an immense database that would allow government, business—and the public—to create maps for almost any subject imaginable, from health trends to loan foreclosures to the impact of climate change on the nation’s coastlines.
The federal government envisions such a database, to be known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and Booz Allen Hamilton’s Anne Hale Miglarese is leading a committee that will recommend how the ambitious goal might be accomplished.
Miglarese, a principal at Booz Allen, chairs the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, which will report its recommendations to the secretary of the Department of the Interior. Members include representatives of both government, academia, tribal governments and industry, and Booz Allen provides Miglarese’s expertise to the committee pro bono.
An estimated 80 percent of all data has a geographic component —which means it can be mapped, says Miglarese, who is focused on growing Booz Allen’s geospatial services across the defense, intelligence and civil sectors. Data can be converted into maps that show an almost unlimited range of features, such as the best locations to generate wind and solar energy, the locations and importance of critical infrastructure across the US, and the spread of illnesses such as H1N1 flu.
“You can just let your imagination run wild of what you can map if you spatially enable the data,” says Miglarese. In her role at Booz Allen, for example, she will soon be working on a project that will map the gross domestic product by county, census tract and even Congressional district.
The proposed national database will take advantage of a wealth of data collected at the state and local level, and will enable federal agencies to share and integrate information across a broad range of missions. In addition, commercial business benefits tremendously from the value of this public domain geospatial data. And, Google and Microsoft mapping portals rely on public data to a large extent to drive their local search products.
“The vision is to have as much data in the public domain as is possible and reasonable,” says Miglarese. However, there are security concerns that need to be addressed, she says. For example, a 3-D model of Washington with the schematic plans of buildings that show air intake vents, internal power plants and communication lines can be exceptionally valuable to police and fire professionals but could be misused by others. “There is a active debate about this,” says Miglarese. “We live in a democracy and open records law is a fundamental premise of our society. But geospatial technology allows us to understand, analyze and visualize the built and natural world in a way that was never possible before and the implications driven by the full release of this information must be carefully addressed and debated. It’s a fine line as a society that we need to walk.”
Despite such concerns, she says, the mapping that will be made possible by the database will fuel innovation and efficiency in the public, private and academic sectors, and will be of immense value to our Federal customers.
National Geospatial Advisory Committee
The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) is a Federal Advisory Committee sponsored by the Department of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The NGAC reports to the Chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (Secretary of the Interior or designee). The scope and objectives of the NGAC are described in the NGAC Charter: “The Committee will provide advice and recommendations related to management of Federal and national geospatial programs, the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the implementation of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906. The Committee will review and comment upon geospatial policy and management issues and will provide a forum to convey views representative of non-federal stakeholders in the geospatial community.”
Their homepage here:
Geospatial Revolution Press Release
Read Executive Order 12906 here:
Geospatial "War-game"/"simulation" used by EPA:http://www.epa.gov/OEI/symposium/2010/miglarese%20.pdf
The U.S. Federal Geographic Data
Committee (FGDC) Story:
Changing Geospatial Landscape White Paper