By liaising with other agencies with GIScience research activities and coordinating on topics of common interest, CEGIS could piece together a national geospatial research agenda. In addition, significant work is being performed in private-sector firms and professional societies. Relationships with these activities are critical to CEGIS. Collaboration with other agencies and organizations doing GIScience research is crucial to realizing a national need to integrate these activities and is also crucial to establishing the leadership of CEGIS and the USGS in GIScience for the nation. For example, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is a leader in generating interoperability standards for web mapping applications. There are many OGC standards closely related to the development of The National Map and other USGS products, such as Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS), Web Coverage Services (WCS), and Catalog Service for Web (CSW). Reenhancing strong connections between USGS and OGC will ensure interoperable web mapping services in USGS products and support their broader usage and accessibility.
RECOMMENDATION 9: To reestablish USGS’s leadership role in GIScience, maximize efficiency, and share in the cost of addressing common challenges, CEGIS should forge connections with other federal agencies, professional societies, and private-sector firms that conduct, support, and/or promote GIScience research.
A major tenet of The National Map is its aggregation of highly relevant and timely local data from states and counties. Some of these entities have made significant progress in the application of GIScience, and mutual benefits would accrue to each with explicit collaboration.
RECOMMENDATION 10: Because of USGS’s core role in integrating data from local sources for The National Map, CEGIS should establish collaborative activities with state and local agencies that have progressive activities in GIScience.
Visibility in the geospatial community will be vital to USGS’s reemergence as the nation’s GIScience leader. CEGIS could participate in and lead key events and sessions to establish its role in the nation’s GIScience activities.
RECOMMENDATION 11: CEGIS should use specialist meetings, perhaps in conjunction with the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science winter meeting or summer assembly, to advance its state of knowledge and plans for addressing emerging research challenges.