conceptual design of tools, but tool development is considered part of development engineering.

  1. Potential for early, visible success. As with any organization, CEGIS has strongest prospects for longevity and value to USGS if it achieves and builds on early successes. CEGIS will need to target programs with this in mind.

It is important to note that these criteria are intended only as a starting point for CEGIS. From here it is essential that CEGIS continue to review this prioritization as well as take it to the next level of detail to resolve further trade-offs on what to do first within the available resource pool. These criteria for prioritizing CEGIS research point toward a program of research areas with underlying focused topics that supports users of The National Map data content and produces visible results in a short period of time.

Research Areas

Three broad research areas emerged from the committee’s deliberations on the eight prioritization criteria:

  1. Investigating New Methods for Information Access and Dissemination. Access to information content is a key success factor at many levels for The National Map. The USGS disciplines need effective data access to carry out their missions. Other federal and state agencies need effective interfaces to The National Map content so that their organizations can maximize productivity when working with national and local data. This priority also supports society in general because citizens need a trusted, up-to-date source of geospatial data for the nation that is flexible and easy to use. In addition, this is an area with potential for visible early success enabling interim milestones in CEGIS’s longer-term research agenda.

  2. Supporting Integration of Data from Multiple Sources. Given the diversity of source data from state and local agencies as well as many add-on themes and the desire for multidisciplinary research across USGS, achieving efficient and accurate data integration is fundamental to the effectiveness of The National Map. Within USGS, researchers in the various disciplines will need to find common reference data in The National Map and be able to load and share their data. Furthermore, the types of models and forms of spatial analysis that are increasingly needed to solve social and environmental problems will require that spatial data sets can be integrated on the fly. CEGIS will need to find solutions to integrating data with different semantics and widely varying quality, scale, and spatial and temporal granularities and resolution.

  3. Developing Data Models and Knowledge Organization Systems. To support society in general, The National Map will need both the semantic flexibility of a

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