I do not have a specific article today. Instead I want to touch on a few of the major emails that I have received. It is interesting how we all, and I mean basically all citizens of any country, forget/ignore where our tax dollars go. We never think about how certain free and public programs even exist. This government shutdown has really impacted the services that many citizens use. Some of these services include medical help for veterans and job funding for university students. Other services are used by private industry to complete their jobs. This is where I am affected by the government shutdown.
The company that I work for provides consulting services to a variety of industries. There are many times I have to download data that is collected and distributed by the federal government. We simply do not have the budget to pay for the data and so the free versions keep our company up and running. This is true with many GIS professionals including those in county or municipal governments. How can these municipal workers provide information for their community without the greatest sources of data?
Just to give an idea of how this government shutdown is affecting private sector jobs here is a list of agencies that I use:
OPUS (provides Landsat data)
BLM (technically state driven, but receives federal funds or other assistance)
US Parks and Monuments
State Cartography Offices (again technically state driven, but receives federal funds or other assistance)
And keep in mind that I touch a very small part of the federal government. There are so many agencies that provide data for free to local private sector organizations. This shutdown is stifling the already delicate economic recovery.