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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2013 01:55 PM
From: Representative Bryan Cutler and Rep. Brandon P. Neuman
To: All House members
Subject: Geospatial Coordination Council-Previous HB 1701
A goespatial coordination council for Pennsylvania was supported in a 2009 study "Geospatial Coordination Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania" prepared for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) through a Cooperative Assistance Program (CAP) grant provided by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

This study identified Pennsylvania as one of only three states that does not currently have a formal Statewide Geospatial Coordination Council (SGCC). Of the states that do have a council, they were formed through either legislation or gubernatorial executive order. Geospatial coordination has been recognized as a valuable component in reducing duplication effort, capturing economies of scale in pursuing joing projects and enhancing data access and sharing.

This study and the creation of a geospatial coordination council have been endorsed by ten organizations since the release of the study in May 2009. The organizations include:

- County GIS Pros
- NWPA GIS User's Group
- APA-PA Chapter

The study recommends "that the new statewide geospatial coordinating council be created and authorized through a formal mechanism such as Act of the Legislature or Gubernatorial Executive Order....It is recommended that Pennsylvania pursue a formal mechanism for creating the SGCC, for the following reasons:

1. In spite of the existence of several informally formed geospatial organizations that promote coordination, stakeholders have continued to express a need for a strong coordination council.

2. It is feasible since both gubernatorial administrations and the legislature have already considered council formation, albeit unsuccessful so far.

3. Most other states have concluded that a formal mechanism is the best and strongest way to form a council."

The "State Geospatial Coordinating Council" included all areas and interest groups identified in the study. Formation of council through this legislation will create a forum for information sharing and communication to decrease duplication and allow for the Commonwealth to continue being a leader in the use of geospatial information for the benefit of its citizens.

This initiative was previously introduced through House Bill 1701 of 2011-12 and passed out of the House at a vote of 194-0 and was being considered in the Senate Veteran Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Should you wish to view the complete study it can be downloaded in PDF format using the following link www.mapps.org/chapters/PA_StrategicPlan_V5.pdf



Introduced as HB1285