try Association (STIA) identified the need for increased funding and a government-wide legislative base for establishing and maintaining geospatial preparedness for homeland security, national defense, electronic government, and other purposes. The proposal was presented in testimony to the House Committee on Government Reform by STIA President Fred Corle.26 One of the key elements identified was a major grant program to assist non-federal levels of government to build and maintain the NSDI and to achieve geospatial preparedness. Key elements of the grant program were that it was to provide matching funds as an incentive for geospatial preparedness and would require participants to adhere to standards for interoperable access, sharing, and use as part of the development and implementation of the NSDI.
To make it easier for organizations to find grant programs that they can utilize to obtain funding for various activities, the federal government has taken steps recently to identify grant opportunities through its electronic government initiatives. The FGDC has a grant program called the NSDI Cooperative Agreements Program to assist the geospatial data community through funding and other resources in implementing the components of the NSDI.27 This program is open to federal, state, local, and tribal governments, and to academic, commercial, and nonprofit organizations and provides small seed grants to initiate sustainable ongoing NSDI implementations. This program could be used for geospatial preparedness activities. The Department of Homeland Security has a number of grant programs for emergency management in which geospatial activities could be included as part of the applicant’s proposal. However, there is no comprehensive grant program that would provide funds for coordinated actions across the nation to better organize, manage, share, and use the geospatial data and technology that exist now and are being acquired for emergency management and other important public purpose and business reasons.
The committee concludes that the funding available to achieve geospatial preparedness for disasters is not sufficient to meet the need. Adequate resources must be made available to support existing mandates and new initiatives that integrate geospatial resources into all phases of emergency management and facilitate the acquisition and sharing of geospatial data for emergency management. In particular, resources such