Geospatial data describe locations of objects, events, or phenomena as well as other characteristics. For example, they can identify the location of a specific address or an earthquake. They are generally represented in vector datasets by points, lines, polygons, or other complex geographic features. In October 2018, Congress passed the Geospatial Data Act to codify the committees, processes, and tools used to develop and manage the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The act reflects the recognition of the importance of geospatial data and technology. The act also requires inspectors general of covered agencies such as the Department of Transportation to report to Congress at least once every 2 years on their agencies’ collection, production, acquisition, maintenance, distribution, use, and preservation of geospatial data. This year’s report is due by October 4, 2020.
Our audit objective will be to evaluate DOT’s implementation of the requirements outlined in the act. Specifically, we will evaluate DOT’s compliance with (1) the standards for geospatial data, including metadata for geospatial data established by the act’s section 757; (2) the requirements of the act’s section 759(a); and (3) the limitations of the use of Federal funds under the act’s section 759A.