The concept of a framework for data and information linkages among producers and users, known as a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), is built upon four corners: data, technology, institutions, and standards. Standards are paramount to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the NSDI. Historically, data standards and specifications have been developed with a very limited scope - they were parochial, and even competitive in nature, and promoted the sharing of data and information within only a small community at the expense of more open sharing across many communities. Today, an approach is needed to grow and evolve standards to support open systems and provide consistency and uniformity among data producers. There are several significant ongoing activities in geospatial data standards: transfer or exchange, metadata, and data content. In addition, standards in other areas are under discussion, including data quality, data models, and data collection.
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Developing standards for a national spatial data infrastructure