1. Authorize geographic information coordination groups or studies (17, including two groups that are no longer in existence.);

  2. Authorize statewide or broad environmental geographic information offices, data bases, or funding (14);

  3. Direct geographic information use or data development for specific missions or needs, mainly natural resources management, environmental protection or growth management (11);

  4. Provide for access and cost recovery for geographic (spatial) data, often modifying open records laws and directly impacting localities (10); and

  5. Other matters, including providing some help to local and regional entities, reapportionment use, requiring compatibility of state-funded data (Minnesota), and directing the private sector to develop compatible data (New Jersey).

While there is an increase in statutory references in all of the above categories, few omnibus statutes exist specifically for geographic information, few authorize offices or funding accordingly, and few have "teeth" to require commonality or oversight. The most omnibus state statutes are in Maine and Utah, both adopted in 1991 and establishing offices along with other geographic information direction, with Minnesota adopting legislation to officially authorize its 15-year-old Land Management Information Center in 1992.


All of the 15 reported executive orders were signed to establish councils, set direction for member state geographic information coordination groups, and possibly to establish statewide geographic information centers, as in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon. Two of the orders are no longer in effect. Four states have pending executive orders to establish or sanction existing geographic information groups.


Five MOUs are reported. Four MOUs are to promote general geographic information coordination, with two the primary authorizing

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