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United States

Open Mapping (US0079)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: State Department

Support Institution(s): Peace Corps; The U.S. Agency for International Development; The Department of the Interior; The U.S. Geological Survey

Policy Areas

E-Government, Open Data, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Engaging communities to use open mapping platforms ensures the widest possible benefit of geographic data and improved public services for individuals and communities using that data. The Administration will expand interagency collaboration and coordination with the open mapping community to promote the use of open mapping data in both domestic and international applications. Specifically, the State Department will continue and expand its public diplomacy program for open mapping, MapGive. Additionally, the Peace Corps will train volunteers to collaborate with their host communities on using and contributing to open mapping platforms. The U.S. Agency for International Development will promote the use of open mapping platforms in its programs and through data creation and youth engagement initiatives like Mapping for Resilience. The Department of the Interior will continue to promote the use of open mapping technologies to manage and share data in interactive map capabilities, including in production of the National Park Service’s digital map program’s web and mobile products. The U.S. Geological Survey will also continue crowdsourcing mapping efforts.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 27. Open Mapping

Commitment Text:

Collaborate with Citizen and Global Cartographers in Open Mapping

Engaging communities to use open mapping platforms ensures the widest possible benefit of geographic data and improved public services for individuals and communities using that data. The Administration will expand interagency collaboration and coordination with the open mapping community to promote the use of open mapping data in both domestic and international applications. Specifically, the State Department will continue and expand its public diplomacy program for open mapping, MapGive. Additionally, the Peace Corps will train volunteers to collaborate with their host communities on using and contributing to open mapping platforms. The U.S. Agency for International Development will promote the use of open mapping platforms in its programs and through data creation and youth engagement initiatives like Mapping for Resilience. The Department of the Interior will continue to promote the use of open mapping technologies to manage and share data in interactive map capabilities, including in production of the National Park Service’s digital map program’s web and mobile products. The U.S. Geological Survey will also continue crowdsourcing mapping efforts.

Responsible Institutions: Peace Corps, Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, United States Geological Survey (USGS)

Supporting Institutions: Academia, civil society organizations, humanitarian aid organizations, and students

Start Date: Not Specified End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

This commitment aimed to have the government undertake a variety of activities to promote the development and use of open mapping data, with the goal of facilitating improvements in public service delivery.

Status

Midterm: Complete

At the midterm, progress on this commitment was complete, with various government agencies carrying out activities related to open mapping:

  • The US State Department expanded activities falling under its MapGive program,[1] such as hiring 30 virtual interns to work with OpenStreetMap data and holding a three-day mapathon.[2]
  • The US Agency for International Development continued to provide high-resolution commercial satellite imagery to respond to humanitarian disasters,[3] and trained staff to use geospatial data to promote international development.[4]
  • The Peace Corps held a series of mapathons using OpenStreetMap,[5] and, per the government’s midterm self-assessment report,[6] continued to train its volunteers to better utilize open mapping data, with an eye toward furthering their work in host communities.
  • The US Department of the Interior, through NPMap,[7] continues to work with the public to update map data for National Parks, and released a beta version of Park Tiles 3, a new platform for visualizing park maps.[8]
  • The US Geological Survey has continued its efforts to crowdsource structural data for maps through its National Map Corps.[9]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

Civic Participation: Marginal

This commitment marginally opened government with respect to access to information and civic participation by contributing to the creation of additional open mapping data and facilitating volunteers’ ability to contribute to and utilize such data. The early results produced by the activities carried out under this commitment—which include adding 50,000 data points to MapGive, mapping existing infrastructure in several countries, and engaging a combined total of roughly 50 interns and volunteers in open mapping efforts, among others—are described further in the progress report, and illustrate the potential benefits of open mapping data with respect to improving public service delivery.[10]

In response to a request for comment by the IRM researcher, Mikel Maron, Board Member of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, affirmed the progress made on this commitment, noting that he has “seen very good progress over the past two years since this commitment was made, particularly at [the Department of] State and USAID,” and noting further that “other governments have been influenced by this commitment—most recently Canada, [which] has begun an interagency and community initiative to map all buildings in Canada openly by 2020.”[11] However, as described in the progress report, the majority of these activities built upon existing work, as opposed to representing entirely new initiatives, and therefore constitute only a marginal opening of government relative to the status quo. To facilitate greater government openness, new open mapping initiatives or significant expansions of existing ones would be required.

Carried Forward?

At the time of writing, the US government had not published its fourth national action plan, so it is unclear if this commitment will be carried forward. The government should nevertheless continue to support open mapping initiatives that are geared towards developing and using open mapping data, with a particular emphasis on the creation of new initiatives and the expansion of successful existing ones. In this regard, Mikel Maron of OpenStreetMap Foundation similarly highlights the potential for a greater “advocacy role of the value of open mapping within other countries” as part of US open mapping initiatives.[12]


[1] Gertin, Thomas and Rory Nealon. “The Reality is Virtual: US College Students Assist MapGive and USAID.” State of the Map US https://2016.stateofthemap.us/the-reality-is-virtual/. Consulted 24 June 2017. See also MapGive. “Events” page. Available at: https://mapgive.state.gov/events/. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[2] For details on the Mapathon, see “AAG Mapathon.” 30 March – 1 April 2016. http://2016.aagmapathon.org/. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[3] “Imagery to the Crowd.” MapGive. https://mapgive.state.gov/ittc/. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[4] Sinton, Diana S. “The USAID GeoCenter: Innovation Through Professional Development and Community Partnerships.” 9 March 2016. Directions Magazine. http://www.directionsmag.com/entry/usaid-geocenter/464615. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[6] Open Government Partnership. “United States of America Midterm Self-Assessment Report for the Open Government Partnership: Third Open Government National Action Plan, 2015–2017.” pp.29-30. September 2016. https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/USA_NAP3_self-assessment-report_20160916.pdf. Consulted 5 October 2017.

[7] “NPMap.” National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/npmap/. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[8] “New Styles for Park Tiles 3.” NPMap Blog. 21 March 2016. https://www.nps.gov/npmap/blog/. Consulted 5 October 2017.

[9] US Geological Survey National Map Corps. https://nationalmap.gov/TheNationalMapCorps/. Consulted 24 June 2017. For additional discussion, see US Geological Survey. “The National Map Corps: Newsletters.” https://nationalmap.gov/TheNationalMapCorps/newsletters.html. Consulted 24 June 2017; and US Geological Survey. “The National Map Corps: Past Mapping Challenges,” https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/nationalmapcorps/Past+Mapping+Challenges. Consulted 24 June 2017.

[10] Independent Reporting Mechanism. “IRM United States Progress Report 2015–2016.” http://bit.ly/2FhSe18.

[11] Written comments provided to the IRM researcher by Mikel Maron. 17 October 2017.

[12] Ibid.


United States's Commitments

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  2. Grants Accountability

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  3. Public Access to Federally Funded Research

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  4. Workforce Data Standards

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  5. Chief Data Officers

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  6. Open Data for Public Health

    US0110, 2019, E-Government

  7. Enterprise Objective

    US0111, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Developing Future Action Plans

    US0112, 2019, OGP

  9. Reconstitution of the USA.gov

    US0053, 2015, E-Government

  10. Accessibility of Government Information Online

    US0054, 2015, Marginalized Communities

  11. Access to Educational Resources

    US0055, 2015, Open Data

  12. Public Listing of Every Address in the US

    US0056, 2015, Open Data

  13. Informed Decisions About Higher Education.

    US0057, 2015, Open Data

  14. New Authentication Tools to Protect Individual Privacy and Ensure That Personal Records Go Only to the Intended Recipients.

    US0058, 2015, Public Service Delivery

  15. Transparency of Open311

    US0059, 2015, E-Government

  16. Support Medicine Research Throught Opening up Relevant Data of the Field

    US0060, 2015, Health

  17. Access to Workforce Data

    US0061, 2015, Open Data

  18. Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery

    US0062, 2015, Capacity Building

  19. Expand Use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard

    US0063, 2015,

  20. Consolidation of Import and Export Systems

    US0064, 2015, E-Government

  21. Improving Government Records

    US0065, 2015, Open Data

  22. Starred commitment Ammendments to FOIA

    US0066, 2015, Open Data

  23. Streamline the Declassification Process

    US0067, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0068, 2015, Open Data

  25. Transparency of Privacy Programs and Practices

    US0069, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Transparency of Federal Use of Investigative Technologies

    US0070, 2015, E-Government

  27. Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community

    US0071, 2015, Capacity Building

  28. Open Science Through Open Data

    US0072, 2015, Open Data

  29. Open Data Portal

    US0073, 2015, E-Government

  30. Increase Transparency of Trade Policy and Negotiations

    US0074, 2015, E-Government

  31. Develop a Machine Readable Government Organizational Chart

    US0075, 2015, E-Government

  32. Improving Public Participation

    US0076, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0077, 2015, Public Participation

  34. Civic Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

    US0078, 2015, Public Participation

  35. Open Mapping

    US0079, 2015, E-Government

  36. Tracking OGP Implementation

    US0080, 2015, OGP

  37. Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

    US0081, 2015, Capacity Building

  38. Transparency of Legal Entities

    US0082, 2015, Beneficial Ownership

  39. Extractive Industries Transparency

    US0083, 2015, Extractive Industries

  40. Spending Transparency

    US0084, 2015, E-Government

  41. Enhance the Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance Information

    US0085, 2015, Aid

  42. Participatory Budgets and Responsive Spending

    US0086, 2015, Participation in Budget Processes

  43. Expand Access to Justice to Promote Federal Programs

    US0087, 2015, E-Government

  44. Build Safer Communities with Police Open Data

    US0088, 2015, E-Government

  45. Open Federal Data to Benefit Local Communities

    US0089, 2015, E-Government

  46. Support the Municipal Data Network

    US0090, 2015, E-Government

  47. Foster Data Ecosystems

    US0091, 2015, Capacity Building

  48. Extend Digital, Data-Driven Government to Federal Government’S Support for Communities

    US0092, 2015, Capacity Building

  49. Promote Implementation of SDGs

    US0093, 2015, Open Data

  50. Starred commitment Promote Open Climate Data

    US0094, 2015, E-Government

  51. Air Quality Data Available

    US0095, 2015, E-Government

  52. Promote Food Security and Data Sharing for Agriculture and Nutrition

    US0096, 2015, Capacity Building

  53. Promote Data Sharing About Global Preparedness for Epidemic Threats

    US0097, 2015, Capacity Building

  54. Promote Global Interconnectivity

    US0098, 2015, Aid

  55. Open Contracting

    US0099, 2015, Capacity Building

  56. Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    US0100, 2015, OGP

  57. Open Government to Support Global Sustainable Development

    US0101, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  58. Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic

    US0102, 2015, Environment and Climate

  59. Support Capacity Building for Extractives Transparency

    US0103, 2015, Capacity Building

  60. Support Responsible Investment and Business Practices for Companies

    US0104, 2015, Private Sector

  61. Improve Public Participation in Government

    US0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  62. Modernize Management of Government Records

    US0028, 2013, Records Management

  63. Modernize the Freedom of Information Act

    US0029, 2013, Capacity Building

  64. Transform the Security Classification System

    US0030, 2013, Records Management

  65. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0031, 2013, Security

  66. Increase Transparency of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Activities

    US0032, 2013, E-Government

  67. Make Privacy Compliance Information More Accessible

    US0033, 2013, E-Government

  68. Support and Improve Agency Implementation of Open Government Plans

    US0034, 2013, OGP

  69. Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protections for Government Personnel

    US0035, 2013, Capacity Building

  70. Increase Transparency of Legal Entities Formed in the United States

    US0036, 2013, Legislation & Regulation

  71. Starred commitment Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    US0037, 2013, Environment and Climate

  72. Make Fossil Fuel Subsidies More Transparent

    US0038, 2013, Extractive Industries

  73. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0039, 2013, Fiscal Transparency

  74. Increase Transparency of Foreign Assistance

    US0040, 2013, Aid

  75. Continue to Improve Performance.Gov

    US0041, 2013, E-Government

  76. Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Curb Corruption

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  77. Promote Public Participation in Community Spending Decisions

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  78. Expand Visa Sanctions to Combat Corruption

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  79. Further Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

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  80. Open Data to the Public

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  81. Continue to Pilot Expert Networking Platforms

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  82. Reform Government Websites

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  83. Promote Innovation Through Collaboration and Harness the Ingenuity of the American Public

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  84. Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

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  85. Deliver Government Services More Effectively Through Information Technology

    US0051, 2013, E-Government

  86. Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0052, 2013, E-Government

  87. Reform Records Management

    US0001, 2011, Records Management

  88. Lead a Multi-Agency Effort

    US0002, 2011, Capacity Building

  89. Monitor Agency Implementation of Plans

    US0003, 2011, OGP

  90. Provide Enforcement and Compliance Data Online

    US0004, 2011, Environment and Climate

  91. Advocate for Legislation Requiring Meaningful Disclosure

    US0005, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  92. Apply Lessons from Recovery Act to Increate Spending Transparency

    US0006, 2011, Fiscal Transparency

  93. Government-Wide Reporting Requirements for Foreign Aid

    US0007, 2011, Aid

  94. Use Performanc.Gov to Improve Government Performance and Accountability

    US0008, 2011, Public Service Delivery

  95. Overhaul the Public Participation Interface on Regulations.Gov

    US0009, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  96. Launch Expertnet

    US0010, 2011, E-Government

  97. Launch International Space Apps Competition

    US0011, 2011, E-Government

  98. Launch “We the People”

    US0012, 2011,

  99. Open Source “We the People”

    US0013, 2011,

  100. Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation

    US0014, 2011, Capacity Building

  101. Professionalize the FOIA Administration

    US0015, 2011, Right to Information

  102. Harness the Power of Technology

    US0016, 2011, Right to Information

  103. Advocate for Legislation on Whistleblower Protection

    US0017, 2011, E-Government

  104. Explore Executive Authority to Protect Whistleblowers

    US0018, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  105. Implement the EITI

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  106. Partnership to Build on Recent Progress

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  107. Promote Data.Gov to Spur Innovation Through Open Sourcing

    US0021, 2011, Open Data

  108. Data.Gov: Foster Communities on Data.Gov

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  109. Begin Online National Dialogue with the American Public

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  110. Update Government-Wide Policies for Websites

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  111. Promote Smart Disclosure to Ensure Timely Release of Information

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  112. Publish Guidelines on Scientific Data

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