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Spatial Data Needs: The Future of the National Mapping Program
available, in work, or planned for production. Also, those requests that cannot be addressed within NMD’s budget are identified. These reports provide the participating agencies with information so that they can seek other approaches to acquiring the data.
Federal and State agencies can approach NMD in a number of additional ways to obtain data for their programs. Whereas the A-16 process is funded by congressional appropriations, production through cost-share, work-share, and data exchange arrangements extends NMD’s funding base and increases its ability to respond favorably to agency requests.
Some agencies offer funding for mapping or proposals for data collection to accelerate the initial production of maps, or to update existing maps or data. Where the requirement results in the production of standard maps and/or digital data, cost-share or work-share agreements often are negotiated. Usually these agreements commit the NMD to production of maps or data in a shorter timeframe than is normal for an A-16 request. Such agreements also extend NMD’s production capabilities either through use of existing resources or through contracting. In instances where the requirement is for a single purpose product for use strictly by the requestor, provided NMD resources are available, fully reimbursable projects may be negotiated.
Another avenue for meeting agency requirements is through data exchange agreements. The National Mapping Division provides guidelines for establishing exchange agreements with Federal, State, or private organizations. Digital data provided by organizations other than NMD are evaluated against a minimum level of acceptability based on accuracy, content, format, and lineage. Valuation of data and options for sharing production resources and providing training are designed to encourage exchange agreements. Both parties benefit; NMD obtains data for the National Digital Cartographic Data Base; and the cooperating agency essentially doubles its data collection capabilities.
The NMD requirements process is a continuous process and those requests received outside the formal OMB A-16 solicitation are added to the requirements data base and priorities are adjusted as appropriate. Whenever adjustments are made, a revised priority list is sent to the production planners. In this way, project designs can reflect the most up-to-date, highest priority requests.