The overarching mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to discover solutions to power and secure America's future. DOE’s Geospatial Science Program Management Office (GS-PMO) was established to optimize geospatial investments across our complex and to enable prudent stewardship of the resources provided by the American taxpayer. The term ‘geospatial science’ encompasses the concepts of geographic information science, geographic information systems, and geospatial data. Geographic information science is the study of spatially referenced data, including geographic theory, technological design, and analytical algorithms. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are specialized software and hardware used to manage, manipulate, query, and visualize spatially referenced data. Geospatial data refers to data and information tied to a location, and may be derived from analytics, remote sensing, mapping, surveying technologies, and other activities.
The GS-PMO ensures agency-wide compliance with the 2018 Geospatial Data Act and other federal regulations and guidance, including OMB’s Circular A-16, and DOI’s cross-agency Federal Geographic Data Committee. Ultimately setting up DOE for success in bringing these efforts and teams together as one and ensuring geospatial insights are foundational to protect, connect, and lead the agency mission.
The GS-PMO is co-chaired with voting representation from the Office of Legacy Management, with the Office of the Chief Information Officer providing technical, operational, administrative, and financial support as well as supporting external coordination efforts.
Also supporting the DOE Geospatial Science Program Management Office, we have the Geospatial Science Steering Committee (GSSC) which consists of geospatial subject matter experts from national laboratories, facilities, and Program Offices. The GSSC members provide technical advice and recommendations in the assessment, implementation, and operation of Geospatial directives.
Covered Agency Responsibilities
The Geospatial Data Act (GDA) was signed into law by the President on October 5, 2018. The GDA was included as a component of the FAA Reauthorization Act (H.R. 302, P.L. 115-254). It formalizes governance processes related to geospatial data, provides policy and guidance to empower the use of geospatial data and technology, and facilitates broad cooperation between the public and private sectors. The GDA defines the roles and responsibilities of each covered agency, including 13 Covered Agency Responsibilities (CARs).
- Prepare and implement a strategic plan for advancing geospatial data activities appropriate to the agency’s mission
- Collect, maintain, disseminate, and preserve geospatial data such that resulting data, information, or products can be shared
- Promote geospatial data integration
- Ensure geospatial information is included on agency record schedules
- Allocate resources to fulfill geospatial data responsibilities
- Use geospatial data standards
- Coordinate with other federal agencies, state, local, and tribal governments, and the private sector
- Make federal geospatial information more useful to the public, support decision making, enhance reporting to Congress
- Protect personal privacy and maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal policy and law
- Participate in determining whether declassified data can become part of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure
- Search all sources to determine if existing data meet the needs of the covered agency before expending funds
- Ensure that those receiving federal funds for geospatial data collection provide high quality data
- Appoint a contact to coordinate with other covered agencies
Guidance for accessing electrical substation geospatial data from HIFLD – Secure
In Spring 2023, with guidance from the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security removed the geospatial data related to the electrical substations from the public domain. Functionally, this moved the data from the HIFLD – Open platform to the HIFLD – Secure platform. HIFLD – Secure is a proven means of securing access, a vital means of accessing data of similar risk and ideal for sustaining access to the electrical substation data. Sustained access is essential to the numerous Americans actively leveraging the substation data for the benefit of the country.
HIFLD – Secure hosts For Official Use Only (FOUO) and Licensed data. Access to the HIFLD – Secure portal is available only to users with Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) credentials. Users may access the HIFLD – Secure Portal at: https://gii.dhs.gov/hifld/data/secure/. Users may request HSIN credentials at https://gii.dhs.gov/hifld/form/hisn-request. The HSIN credentials verify a user’s current work assignment to ensure that it supports DHS’s mission. Users that directly support federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial functions related to the Homeland Security mission and emergency preparedness can request access to additional licensed data by signing a Data Use Agreement (DUA) in addition to having an active HSIN Credential at: Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data - HIFLD (arcgis.com).
Key to obtaining HSIN credentials, for non-federal employees, is the identification of a Federal sponsor. If you do not know or have a federal sponsor, please list Joshua Linard (DOE Geospatial Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org). DOE’s geospatial science program will then receive a request for sponsorship and initiate a vetting process. If and when sponsorship is approved, sponsored users will be expected to abide by the terms and conditions defining a HSIN user’s basic rights, duties and privileges as a registered user of HSIN and the Data Use Agreement that defines the terms and conditions for accessing and using HIFLD – Secure data.