Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

September 27, 2017

Hello Coast Survey,

I am honored to take up the pen for this edition of the bi-weekly newsletter. A special thanks to Rear Adm. Smith for the opportunity to discuss my new role as the Office of Coast Survey Geospatial Data Program Manager.

Coast Survey generates a wide variety of geospatial data for use inside and outside of our office. The overarching goal of the Coast Survey Geospatial Data Program is to ensure that our geospatial holdings are used by the widest audience possible. In the short term, a top priority of mine will be to increase communication between divisions, programs, line offices, and agencies. NOAA is a data centric organization and it is essential that Coast Survey increase collaboration—internally and externally—to acquire the best solutions to simple and complex geospatial problems. Another top priority will be to increase data discoverability. The number one question I have received since I accepted this position is, "Where can I find certain datasets?" Coast Survey has made great strides in leveraging the power of ArcGIS Online through both Coast Survey GIS Portal and the NOAA Geoplatform, but with that comes the challenge of metadata management. Small changes in metadata management will lead to large improvements to data discoverability.

Integration across divisions is something I believe we all strive for and that is why I am taking that on as a long-term goal. Coast Survey’s core mission, to provide nautical charts, relies solely on collaboration between divisions. Because of this, I believe it is crucial that we look at our processes, especially those with geospatial aspects, from a holistic, enterprise approach. Coast Survey employees should be able to use and share data seamlessly across the organization without duplication. This can be achieved by implementing data governance, utilizing current infrastructure, and eliminating gaps in cross-divisional processes.

In closing, I want to let everyone know that I am here to assist with any geospatial questions, concerns, or issues you may have. I am excited to take on this role and look forward to working with each of you in a combined effort to make GIS an integral part of Coast Survey.


Patrick Keown
Geospatial Data Program Manager, Office of Coast Survey