The geospatial community recently lost a distinguished colleague. Doug Nebert was an incredible force behind many of the things we take for granted in modern day geospatial information systems. Whether you knew Doug or not, his work affected you. We here at NOAA owe so much to his work with standards and distributed metadata catalogs. He played an important role in the development of the National Geospatial Platform and other internet-based systems that allow us to share and discover trusted geospatial data. This ability to communicate information through maps impacts our work broadly especially in areas such as natural disasters, planning, and economic impacts to communities. He truly was a pioneer in spatial data interoperability and a force behind what makes much of our national, regional, and state data useable, shareable, and discoverable.
Doug was passionate about metadata and standards long before it was in vogue. He encouraged, cajoled, prodded, and supported all of us in doing the right thing with national and international geospatial standards. He was unassuming, responsive, and always interested in getting the job done.
I remember being in awe of his ability to understand and explain the complex systems architecture of our first metadata catalog. I am indebted to his early enthusiastic support to our Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) subcommittees and efforts to improve coastal and ocean geospatial data. I know Doug made a significant contribution to our work and he will be sorely missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and invite our colleagues to take a moment to appreciate all that Doug has contributed and to share any thoughts they have with everyone in the comments below. Note that these are moderated and there may be a delay in seeing your comment.