Our nation relies on sound data to make sound decisions (e.g., In an emergency, where are all the roads, homes, businesses, shelters, gas stations, food sources, etc.? What are the evacuation routes?) . Data validity is significant, but the usefulness of data comes through its spatial component, to answers such questions about data as: “where?,” “what?,” “how many?,” “what patterns?,” etc.

The best data reside at a local level (e.g., the county Fire Departments know more about station locations, fleet availability, equipment, etc. than the US Government). Therefore, our national repository of spatial data, the NSDI, is built on a “feed” from the local level to the state level to the national level.

Most states have a State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) to supply the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) with local, regional and state datasets. Logically, Georgia’s SSDI is called the Georgia Spatial Data Infrastructure (GaSDI) and is represented via this online presence:

There are several components to The GaSDI (i.e., the GaSDI is an “umbrella” for): the coordination component, the data component and the information component. The coordination component takes the form of the Georgia GIS Coordinating Committee or GISCC. In addition to the GISCC there is policy arm which is the Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council or GGAC. The data component is an online repository of over 30,000 geographic datasets via the Georgia GIS Clearinghouse ( The information explaining the GaSDI history, activities, geospatial technologies and resources, etc. is this website:

Latest Video

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This 13 minute video was produced by David Holcomb and Geoff Garland for educational use during the Coastal LIDAR project.

January 27, 2012

News for GASDI


The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has received a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund to supplement Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery allocation following two presidentially declared disasters in 2008*. These funds will be used for activities and products to assist local governments in preparing for future disaster mitigation and resilience.

Ernie Smith



Flooding is a leading cause of natural disaster in the United States. High-quality, digital mapping is essential to communicating flood hazard areas to those at risk. Urban expansion and land development have significantly altered the earth surface. New roads and flood drainage structures have an effect on projected floodwater depths, and land subsidence can be significant in coastal areas. As a result, flood disasters over the past years have created an increasing demand for precise, accurate and tangible data of the earth’s surface