of these layers. Although various federal agencies need parcel data in various parts of the country for various reasons, no single agency has the programmatic mission to create nationally integrated land parcel data. Second, layers such as hydrography and elevation could be created first at a small scale by a federal mapping agency. Parcel data, on the other hand, are meaningful only at a fairly large scale and are created by many thousands of entities across the nation. Therefore, development of the parcel data layer is one of data collection and integration, requiring the participation of many types of organizations.

There are doubtless many other reasons why the vision of the 1980 report has not been achieved. Perhaps the report did not argue convincingly enough for the needs and benefits of land parcel data. The 1980 committee recognized that the most difficult issues to overcome would be the institutional and organizational ones. The next three chapters attempt to analyze this question in more detail, by assessing the current needs for and benefits of national land parcel data (Chapter 3), the current status of land parcel data systems at all levels (Chapter 4), and the challenges that still remain to reaching this goal.

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