private sector through existing networks, thereby providing on-line access by the public in the form of directories and catalogs.
A spatial data sharing program should be established to enrich national spatial data coverage, minimize redundant data collection at all levels, and create new opportunities for the use of spatial data throughout the nation. Specific funding and budgetary cross-cutting responsibilities of federal agencies should be identified by the OMB and the FGDC should coordinate the cross-cutting aspects of the program.
This country has a tradition of localized control in the public sector and a belief in the power of free market forces operating in the private sector to best serve the national interest. In an era of instantaneous nationwide and worldwide transmission of information, compartmentalization of spatial data collection and management may no longer make sense as it has in the past. Survival in an increasingly global economy, dominated by ever larger private-public sector coalitions in countries outside the United States, may be possible only if commitments are made in this country to a national policy for increased information development and sharing.