By most measures, the NYS GIS Data Coordination Program is a success. Its focus, philosophy, and practical results reflect widespread participation by local governments, state agencies, and the private sector in policy discussions, educational programs, and advocacy for a state-level GIS program.
The publicly available GIS Clearinghouse contains 1600 Web pages and 31,000 links. The New York State GIS Clearinghouse has received awards and recognition from the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).
The Data Sharing Cooperative currently comprises more than 350 members who in 2000 exchanged more than 300,000 data sets representing a fair market value of over $12 million.
New York State's program in GIS Data Sharing Program has been widely recognized as successful and innovative. Some of its methods, such as the formal Data Sharing Agreement, are copied by other states. The Program also received a grant from FGDC to assist in the development of metadata for the Clearinghouse.
However, challenges still lie ahead. The GIS Clearinghouse does not yet represent all the data available in the State of New York. State agencies need to update their data inventories and more local participation has to be reached. However, without the FOIL amendments they desire, local participation in broad data sharing or in the formal Data Sharing Cooperative is unlikely to grow substantially. Perhaps most important, the program must complete its transition from a mostly voluntary community of practice, to a formal program in which a professional state-level center takes on a larger operational and leadership role.