The U.S. Economic Stimulus Package - What’s in it for Geospatial

The economic stimulus package signed today into law by President Barack Obama totals $787 Billion. Is there anything in this bill that can be remotely "tagged" as stimulating the geospatial industry? There’s been lots of talk about the "trickle down" effect of how infrastructure projects will spur the business of road and building design, site selection, and analysis. But is there anything more specific than that? The Wall Street Journal published a fairly comprehensive list of where spending will be appropriated. So, let’s analyze, albeit as an "educated guess," where the spending "might" impact the geospatial technology sector:

I’ve broken down the list into two categories: Will Impact & Might Impact

Will Impact:

  1. Grants for capital investments in designated high-speed rail corridors - $8B
  2. Grants for highway improvements - $29B
  3. Renovation of forest roads, bridges and trails, remediation of abandoned mines, removal of barriers to fish and other critical habitat - $650M
  4. Repairing facilities and equipment for U.S. Geological Survey seismic, volcano, monitoring and stream gages - $140M
  5. Modernization of the electric grid - $4.4B

Might Impact:

  1. Funding for watershed and flood prevention projects - $290M
  2. Urban industrial core and rural economic recovery programs - $150M
  3. Public transit improvements and infrastructure investments - $8.4B
  4. Grants for airport improvements - $1.1B
  5. Grants for security upgrades to ports - $150M
  6. Repairing and removing bridges hazardous to marine navigation - $142M
  7. Border security fencing and technology - $100M
  8. Funding for Homeland Security departmental site security, IT infrastructure, furniture, fixtures and other costs for headquarters - $200M
  9. Clean-up of ‘brownfield’ former industrial sites - $100
  10. NASA climate research - $400M
  11. Extra money for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facilities and research - $230M
  12. Salaries and expenses for program to create broadband inventory map of the country - $350M
  13. Extra money for Census Bureau - $1B

So, there you have it. I’d liked to hear from readers about their interpretation.

Published Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Written by Joe Francica

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