"Think big, propose big ideas," Young said. "Let's hear where you failed so we don't replicate that going forward."
I'll leave it to other visionary lobbyists to propose sole-sourcing the federal geospatial enterprise, or converting our surging prison population (we're #1) into map digitization chain-gangs. If you want to pitch one of these ideas, you're welcome, but please do throw me a small bone. We'll go for lunch and a brace of martinis at whatever Washington restaurant is filling the void left by the closure of Signatures.
I have bolder ideas yet. The GSA wants big? I can go big:
Open Source: mandate the use of open source software in the geospatial LoB.
Open Standards: this is what allows a diversity of applications to work together, and prevents vendor lock-in.
Open Systems: the internet, from which we can not separate geospatial interests, is supposed to be distributed, decentralized, and even a bit anarchic. Consolidation is counter-productive. If anything, we need more participants in the geospatial community, and federal funding should go towards increasing the diversity of connections between agencies (government or civic) and citizens. More mash-ups, more peer-to-peer; fewer repositories, fewer one-stops.