The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. This nationwide data publishing effort is known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of this nation's digital geographic information resources. FGDC activities are administered through the FGDC Secretariat, hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) established the FGDC in 1990 and rechartered the committee in its August 2002 revision of OMB Circular No. A-16, "Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities."
"The FGDC'S responsibilities include (1) promoting the development, maintenance, and management of the National Geographic Data System, a group of distributed data base systems that are national in scope for surveying, mapping, and related spatial data; (2) encouraging the development and implementation of standards; (3) promoting technology development, transfer, and exchange; and (4) publishing technical and management articles and reports, including biannual federal GIS surveys. FGDC is also responsible for strengthening coordination between federal agencies, state and local governments, academia, and the private sector.
The FGDC is an interagency committee composed of representatives from the Executive Office of the President, and Cabinet level and independent Federal agencies. The Secretary of the Department of the Interior chairs the FGDC, with the Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as Vice-Chair. Numerous stakeholder organizations participate in FGDC activities representing the interests of state and local government, industry, and professional organizations.
All departments or agencies responsible for geospatial data themes or that have activities in geographic information or geospatial data collection or use are required to be members of the FGDC. Thirty-two agencies are currently members of the Steering Committee and are to be represented by their senior agency officials for geospatial information. These senior agency officials are responsible for overseeing, coordinating, and facilitating their respective agency's implementation of geospatial requirements, policies, and activities.
The FGDC is supported by an Office of the Secretariat that consists of about 10 people located in USGS who do the day-to-day work of supporting, managing, and coordinating the activities of the FGDC.