The USGS/NMD should consider appointing a committee composed of USGS, other federal agencies, private industry, and university personnel to assist in the development of an outline for a program balanced between fundamental and applied research. This program should expand upon current NMD fundamental and applied research and should specifically address needs in areas such as (1) digital cartography; (2) geographic information systems; (3) image processing and analysis; and, (4) remote sensing.

Examples of more specific research themes in these areas include digital spatial data modeling, hardware and software development, land-use/land-cover analysis, and the monitoring of global change. While there is some overlap among these themes, they do present some general categories around which an applied and fundamental research program could be structured.

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