Strategic Plan

2013 – 2014
Meaningful Activities in a Lean Economy

September 12, 2012

(Click here for PDF version)


The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is an organization committed to effective and efficient government through the prudent adoption and use of geospatial information and technologies. NSGIC’s voting members are typically senior state Geographic Information Officers (GIO’s) and leaders of the statewide coordination councils. Other members include representatives from federal agencies, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations. The NSGIC membership is a diverse group that includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in geospatial technologies, geospatial data creation and management, and information technology policy.

NSGIC’s Vision is that all levels of government become highly effective and efficient through coordinated development and use of geospatial data and technologies.

Since its inception in 1991, NSGIC has periodically held leadership retreats to evaluate the health and value of the organization and to ensure that its activities are properly targeted to reflect the needs of its membership. This plan is the product of four virtual meetings that included thirty-two members of NSGIC’s leadership team that met with twelve members representing its Corporate Sponsors during July and August of 2012. By meeting virtually, NSGIC was able to avoid the significant costs associated with in-person meetings while including a larger group of participants.

This strategic plan will guide the activities of NSGIC from January 2013 to December 2014. It will be resourced to achieve the goals and objectives, and progress reports will be made and publicly posted to ensure accountability to the membership and others.

NSGIC’s Mission is to promote statewide geospatial coordination activities in all states and to be an effective advocate for states in national geospatial policy initiatives that support a national spatial data infrastructure.

NSGIC advocates for the interests of the states with respect to national geospatial data policy, serves as a forum for the development of consensus based opinion, and encourages the exchange of information through the development of both national and statewide spatial data infrastructures. This strategic plan acknowledges the increasing importance that individual states play in geospatial coordination, and defines NSGIC's path forward as a leader in fostering the development of statewide spatial data infrastructures and related policy.

What will a successful NSGIC look like?

NSGIC will take positive steps over the next two years to accomplish the goals and objectives in this strategic plan. If successful, the following statements will describe the organization. NSGIC will:
    • be the leading voice of state governments in national geospatial policy issues;
    • be a trusted and relied-on facilitator for federal agencies in their efforts to partner with the states to build and use statewide     spatial data infrastructures;
    • support the states, Washington D.C. and the insular areas as they develop coordinated statewide spatial data     infrastructures;
    • serve as an information source regarding the geospatial health of states; and
    • monitor and respond to future geospatial technology trends to ensure that impacts will positively affect government     effectiveness and efficiency.


During the 2012 virtual meetings, the four goals from the previous Strategic Plan were modified to better implement NSGIC’s vision and to achieve its mission in the current environment. They now reflect the maturity level of the organization and help to ensure proper guidance for the activities of the organization.

    1. NSGIC will support effective statewide coordination activities that promote development of well-defined and standardized     statewide spatial data infrastructures.
    2. NSGIC will advocate for effective national policies, programs and funding to advance a national spatial data infrastructure     that is built on statewide spatial data infrastructures.
    3. NSGIC will facilitate the professional development of its membership.
    4. NSGIC will attain adequate resources to achieve its mission.


To accomplish its goals, NSGIC has established the following objectives that:
    • Are clear, concise and attainable
    • Are measurable
    • Have a target date for completion
    • Assign the responsibility for taking action

The following objectives support the refined goals and position the organization to be effective over the next two year period which is expected to be a period of financial instability for NSGIC. They build upon the previous strategic plans that have guided NSGIC through the present.

Goal 1 - NSGIC will support effective statewide coordination activities that promote development of well-defined and standardized statewide spatial data infrastructures.

1.1 Track and report on the health of statewide coordination efforts.
    Assignment: Technical Committee and Communications Committee
    Target Completion Date: Updates will be expected in August and January to support each Annual and Midyear Conference

1.2 Maintain and annually improve NSGIC’s GIS Inventory to meet the business needs of the states and Federal agencies to ensure increased adoption and use of the system each year.

    Assignment: Washington Liaison
    Target Completion Date: Report on Improvements at each Annual Conference

1.3 Facilitate awareness of high value technologies and programs that may impact the development of statewide geospatial programs and provide guidance to the states on the implications of these new technologies and programs.
    Assignment: Technical Issues Committee and the Corporate Leadership Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing and as specifically needed, based on member input

1.4 Advocate for studies and ongoing documentation that provide a credible and thorough understanding of the value of the geospatial investments made by governments.
    Assignment: Data Sharing Work Group
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

1.5 Facilitate and encourage states to quickly inform each other about new opportunities or to seek help in problem solving, and develop appropriate methodologies to archive their information exchanges based on the level of sensitivity.
    Assignment: Communications Committee
    Target Completion Date: September 2013

1.6 Authorize and encourage participation (internal and external) in Work Groups to address high priority issues.
    Assignment: NSGIC Board and Committee Chairs
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

Goal 2 - NSGIC will advocate for effective national policies, programs and funding to advance a national spatial data infrastructure that is built on statewide spatial data infrastructures.

2.1 Advocate for the development, authorization and funding of all nationwide (For the Nation) efforts, such as Imagery, Transportation, Elevation, Addresses and Parcels, including monitoring, participation and reporting on each effort.
    Assignment: Outreach Committee (Lead) and the Corporate Leadership Committee
    Target Completion Date: Report at the Annual Conference

2.2 Annually validate or modify the Advocacy Agenda for vetting and approval by the membership, and publish position papers as required to address the issues that are of the greatest benefit to state business needs.

    Assignment: Outreach Committee
    Target Completion Date: Approval at the Annual Business Meeting each year

2.3 Improve opportunities for the states to interact with their own Congressional Delegations and Governor’s Offices.
    Assignment: Outreach Committee (Lead), Conference Committee, Washington Liaison and Stringfellow Management Group
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

2.4 Communicate with and actively monitor the activities of other organizations to stay aware of synergies between their activities and NSGIC’s interests, to better understand their issues and to establish issue-based agreements as appropriate.
    Assignment: Outreach Committee, NSGIC’s Delegate to the Consortium of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) and the     Washington Liaison
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

2.5 Leverage the advocacy efforts of our Corporate Leadership Council to effect positive changes in national geospatial policies and to advocate for authorization and funding for national geospatial programs that will benefit the states such as Imagery, Transportation, Elevation, Addresses, Parcels, Geodetic Control, Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Mapping.
    Assignment: Outreach Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

2.6 Identify strategic opportunities to engage the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), National Governor’s Association (NGA), Western Governors Association (WGA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and other national organizations.
    Assignment: Outreach Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

Goal 3 - NSGIC will facilitate the professional development of its membership.

3.1 Facilitate the development of knowledgeable leaders that engage in the activities of the organization and their states.
    Assignment: Board of Directors (Lead) and Membership Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

3.2 Encourage presentations at Annual and Midyear Conferences related to the organization’s strategic plan, advocacy agenda and committee work.
    Assignment: Conference Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

3.3 Provide effective communication tools to increase in-reach to NSGIC members and outreach to NSGIC partners and the public.
    Assignment: Communications Committee
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing

3.4 Identify requirements and options to either develop or acquire a knowledge management system(s) to provide continuity on issues and contacts for NSGIC, and to improve access to retained information.
    Assignment: Communications Committee
    Target Completion Date: July 2014

3.5 Identify and implement incentives that encourage multiple people from each state to become NSGIC members and participate in the activities of the organization.
    Assignment: Membership Committee (Lead), Conference Committee, Conference Grants Workgroup and Stringfellow     Management Group
    Target Completion Date: Ongoing with incentives identified in December & July of each year

Goal 4 - NSGIC will attain adequate resources to achieve its mission.

4.1 Propose a sustainable funding model that is adequate to implement NSGIC’s goals. (e.g. Inclusion of options for funding sources whose interests are served by specific NSGIC activities such as Open Data Access, Regional Coordination or Public Land Preservation).

    Assignment: Finance Committee (Lead), NSGIC Board and the Corporate Leadership Committee
    Target Completion Date: Annually in June

4.2 Develop a contingency plan for reducing expenditures that also identifies the environmental conditions that will trigger contingency actions.

    Assignment: Finance Committee (Lead), NSGIC Board and the Corporate Leadership Committee
    Target Completion Date: April 2013 for the initial draft and annual updates as needed