Everyone has a standard and a method but some are better than others. Far too often companies capitalize simply on the lack of communication and leadership between the different levels of government. It has been proven over and over again that the only people who can ensure that the base data is accurate are the people that are directly responsible for the maintenance of the geospatial assets. Engineers for transportation
Everyone has a standard and a method but some are better than others. Far too often companies capitalize simply on the lack of communication and leadership between the different levels of government. It has been proven over and over again that the only people who can ensure that the base data is accurate are the people that are directly responsible for the maintenance of the geospatial assets. Engineers for transportation infrastructure and Auditors for the parcel data are excellent examples of datasets that are tracked and utilized in local government but lack of coordination needed to stitch them together in a cohesive framework except for the geographic location bounded by the administrating authority. For this effort to be successful the individuals, department and agencies need to follow the framework set forth by this new Geospatial Platform. It is not the private sectors who are the experts in the data being maintained by our government. It is the person that is directly involved with the maintenance of the object in question that knows the intimate details of what everyone else wants to know.
There are several great examples where state government has been able to put forth a framework to transcend the different levels of government in order to provide everyone with the most correct data and valuable services. These datasets are available for everyone and are used by several private and open source data and software offerings. (Sorry these are all from Ohio. I know there are several other shining examples from other states as well.)
Ohio Statewide Imagery Program (OSIP)
The Ohio Statewide Imagery Program (OSIP) is a partnership between State, Local and Federal government agencies to develop high-resolution imagery and elevation data for the State of Ohio to benefit Geographic Information System users at all levels of government. Accurate imagery and elevation data serve as the backbone for the development of additional data sets that are currently maintained and accessed by government decision makers and the public.
Along with OGRIP's other statewide programs, OSIP provides a common framework to support disaster preparedness, emergency response and critical infrastructure management. OGRIP’s coordination role in these efforts has resulted in significant cost savings and cost avoidance between federal, state and local government efforts.
Ohio Location Based Referencing System (LBRS)
The Location Based Response System (LBRS) is an initiative of the Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP). The LBRS establishes partnerships between State and County government for the creation of spatially accurate street centerlines with address ranges and field verified site-specific address locations.
Funding to support the development of LBRS compliant systems is available to counties through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that establishes roles and responsibilities for program participation. Participating counties provide project management and QA/QC on road names, addresses, etc. to develop data that is compatible with the state's legacy roadway inventory.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is the LBRS Program Sponsor, providing technical guidance, support, and QA/QC services. The program is being administered by OGRIP, the state's coordinating body for Geographic Information System (GIS) activities.
Through the collaborative efforts of State and Local government the LBRS program is producing highly accurate field verified data that is current, complete, consistent, and accessible. LBRS data is maintained as an Ohio asset by local resources and is provided to the state as part of a coordinated long-term effort by OGRIP to reduce redundant data collection by developing data that meets the needs of several levels of government.
The LBRS supports a multi-jurisdictional approach to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the state’s constituents.
Ohio Department Of Transportation (ODOT) Virtual Reference Station (VRS)
VRS (Virtual Reference Station) is a system composed of hardware and software designed to facilitate real-time GPS/GNSS positioning based on a set of reference stations. ODOT utilizes its CORS (Continuously Operating Reference Station) network to perform the role of the reference stations. The VRS system relies on Trimble’s RTKNet software which is the operational component that generates a modeled solution. One primary benefit of VRS is that you don’t need a separate GPS base station and someone to guard it in order to perform RTK positioning across the state. Using VRS, the CORS network acts essentially as a continuous reference station within the entire network. This allows RTK (Real Time Kinematic) positioning using a single (properly configured) rover in the field.
These initiatives provide accurate data and services to all levels of government, public and private in a framework that insures data availability and interoperability. This allows the private sector to capitalize with value added products and services.
It is my suggestion to follow examples like these on a national level, eliminating the need for who, what, when, where and how accurate questions which have to be asked for every village, city, county, regional, state, public and private data owners and service providers. Also, concentrate on the data that is currently being maintained by the local administrators and eliminate duplication of efforts by requiring the integration of the framework requirements into their business processes. And last but not least, make the data and services available in an open source standard that does not give preference to any particular geospatial vendor to insure interoperability.
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