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ARL Celebrates National GIS Day, Passage of Geospatial Data Act

image CC-BY by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In a bipartisan resolution led by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who oversaw the recent passage of the Geospatial Data Act of 2018, the United States Senate has recognized today, November 15, 2018, as National GIS Day.

Research libraries celebrate National GIS Day as geospatial data is an essential component of research, teaching, and learning in the research and education enterprise. Many research libraries participated in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) GIS Literacy Project, a collaboration between ARL and the public and private sectors. These libraries are now actively engaged in the provision of GIS services.

The Geospatial Data Act of 2018 is a good government bill that seeks to inject more efficiencies into the procurement, creation of, and access to geospatial data. The goal of the act is to provide much greater coordination among agencies, reduce redundant procurement and thus costs to the government and taxpayers, and greatly expand discovery and use of geospatial data by all sectors. The act was signed into law on October 5 as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.

“The Association of Research Libraries thanks Senators Hatch, Warner, and all of those involved in the passage of this landmark legislation,” said Susan Gibbons, president of ARL and the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian and deputy provost for collections and scholarly communication at Yale University. “Once implemented, the Geospatial Data Act will greatly enhance access by researchers, students, and members of the public to a vast array of geospatial data, advancing learning and knowledge creation and promoting open and transparent government.”

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.