"The Next Mile" >> Data Standards Research

A key component to the success of this project is the ability to develop and implement a single standard for the storing and sharing of the data sets. An extensive search of the Internet has revealed a significant group of International and National Standards from groups such as; The United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), United States Geological Society (USGS), Federal Geography Data Committee (FGDC), the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with proposed standards for a vast array of subjects including but not limited to; homeland security, spatial data standards, healthcare standards, etc… The multiple standards and definitions for recording, sharing and storing data sets is dependent on the agency that controls the information and their obvious partners, examples include; Bureau of Land Management with the United States Forestry Service, The CIA and The FBI working with other law enforcement agencies. The primary concern among many of these groups is the need for a data standard agreed to and used by everyone in order to create interchangeable data sets. Without this standard, multiple agencies lose efficiencies and are forced to make compelling decisions with incomplete or inaccurate data.

On August 19, 2002 OMB issued Circular No. A-16 revised to provide for improvements and coordination in the use of spatial data. The circular provides a common definition for spatial data; data that refers to information about places or geography and has traditionally been shown on maps. It further identifies key agencies and the roles and responsibilities they will play in developing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), to include the technology, policies, standards, human resources, and related activities necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve spatial data. Recognized as a national asset, accurate spatial data is an invaluable component of many applications. Common examples include the analysis and management of utility infrastructures, transportation, energy, emergency management and response, natural resource management, weather and climate analysis, disaster recovery, homeland defense, law enforcement, protection planning, public health and other civilian or military strategic issues. The seamless spatial information needed for these applications can range from highly detailed local data, such as the nature of specific hazardous material stored in a particular room of a single building, to the various data needed for real-time projection of the probable effects of natural disasters.¹
To date, using the Colorado State website, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs website and the World Wide Web, we have discovered no information on existing Colorado State Data Standards.

¹ Office of Management & Budget, Circular No. A-16 Revised, pg. 2,5

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