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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships
A study issued by the National Academy of Public Administration4 further reflects the belief that "information is pivotal to the vitality and productivity of government services and the nation's competitiveness."
In Vice President Gore's report5 on the National Performance Review, the establishment of an NSDI as a responsibility of the Department of the Interior was specifically noted:
By supporting a cross-agency coordinating effort, the federal government can develop a coherent vision for the national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI). (Spatial, or geographic data refers to information that can be placed on a map.) This will allow greatly improved information analysis in a wide range of areas, including the analysis of environmental information and the monitoring of endangered animals and sensitive land areas.
In a similar vein, the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government issued a report6 that examined the achievements of the states in managing science and technology. The report also recommended ways in which the states can join with industry and the federal government in addressing the domestic issues of the 1990s and beyond: "The establishment of an interstate compact to help the states themselves decide what policies work best in a decentralized and variegated nation."
The Library of Congress, also exercising a leadership role in this crucial focal area, held a conference on July 14, 1993 on "Delivering Electronic Information in a Knowledge-Based Democracy." The emphasis was on helping shape the policy framework essential to creating an advanced information infrastructure through an examination of the "critical policy issues central to the development of electronic information resources that will be distributed over the emerging digital 'highways.'"
In September 1993, a State-Federal Technology Partnership Colloquium was "designed to establish broad-scale cooperation between the federal government and the states in matters related to science and technology." Topics such as "telecommunications and information infrastructure," "national and state science and technology policy,'' and "redefining federal laboratories'' were explored.7
In October 1993, a National Research Council report8 on the National Biological Survey that called for "a new national, multisector, cooperative program of federal, state, and local agencies; museums; academic institutions; and private organizations." A large portion of the proposed programs of the new National Biological Survey involve the generation,