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Accomplishments 1997- Subcommittee for Cadastral Data

Please note that many of these accomplishments could be listed under multiple Goals, however, in order of avoid repetition we have listed them under a single goal.

Goal 1: Increase the awareness and understanding of the vision, concepts, and benefits of the NSDI through outreach and education.

    Released draft training materials for the Cadastral Data Content Standard. These are distance based learning materials and should allow customers for the standard to become familiar with the standard and its applicability. These materials will serve as good outreach and inreach materials for the Cadastral Data Content Standard.

    Conducted briefings with 2 BLM State Directors and Cadastral Survey staffs on continued GCDB data collection, NSDI, and NAPA.

    Responded to NAPA accusation that agencies other than USGS NMD have done little to support NSDI. This is not the case. The NAPA study group did not interview any members of the Cadastral Subcommittee about accomplishments or plans. In light of the accusation, this would seem to be a serious oversight.


    Even with visions and objectives having been revised, it remains unclear across federal, state, local, and tribal levels of government, what the requirements are for the NSDI. Compliance should be defined consistently across the entire spectrum of data and it should be measurable. The definition should be facilitated by the FGDC Secretariat and developed by a group of representatives from the various levels of government and private industry.

    The absence of universally acceptable guidelines that encompass NSDI, Framework, Clearinghouse, metadata and the content standards is readily apparent. Without explicitly and consistently defining compliance in terms that are measurable, our data collection/maintenance efforts and implementation will be inconsistent and disconnected, not only between organizations but within the same organization for different themes. Without this overall structure, each agency will develop their own concept of NSDI resulting in duplication of efforts as well as contradiction and confusion among those attempting to implement NSDI. For example, the Subcommittee for Cadastral Data has defined compliance for the Cadastral Data Content Standard but it is only applicable to cadastral information. Other subcommittees will also be required to define compliance, however, they will probably define it differently resulting in different requirements for implementation.

    Misinformation and poor recommendations made in the NAPA study further exemplify the absence of uniform guidance that can help us all implement the NSDI. For example, the recommendation to remove data collection resources from meeting the decision making requirements of agencies, to collecting data for NSDI could have some serious impacts and defeat the purpose of NSDI by promoting a duplication of effort - one set of data for NSDI and the other for decision making. Agencies were actually criticized in this report for collecting the data they need to support their missions (decision making) as opposed to collecting data for NSDI (as if they are supposed to be different). It should be understood that NSDI is supposed to reflect the very data that is needed to support decision making and missions (per Goal 3). NSDI data should not be viewed as if it were different. These distorted and misinformed views of NSDI (e.g, why agencies collect data in the first place, and how agencies should or can contribute to NSDI) as if it were data in a "base map" from a single source or agency does not help the situation. They certainly are confusing for the subcommittees and convey a message that is in conflict with how NSDI is portrayed and promoted. The FGDC Secretariat should ensure that all groups including organizations such as NAPA are adequately informed about NSDI and efforts of the Subcommittees by facilitating the development of appropriate guidance materials.

    An overall umbrella set of training materials with modular topics is needed to ensure that consistent implementation initiatives are developed and deployed. Currently individual agencies seem to be expected to come up with these materials which appears to be contradictory to reducing the duplication of effort set forth in the Executive Order. Subcommittees should be able to contribute to the training and education materials and should not be required to develop them for NSDI in their totality.

    Finally, the only funding identified for NSDI goes to USGS/ FGDC. FGDC should initiate a budget strategy to provide additional funding for participating in the implementation of NSDI. Having one agency funded but expecting other agencies to do much of the work is somewhat unrealistic. It is also the reason why unsound, unstaffed, and expensive recommendations have been made in the NAPA study for a reorganization. If other agencies are funded, as is USGS, FGDC efforts will get additional support. Agencies will continue to focus primarily on what Congress funds them to do. If no funding is provided to support NSDI, we will continue proceed at our current pace and compliment the NSDI strategy as internal budgets permit. If every agency were provided $200,000 on an annual basis, we could make significant progress. We could have full time personnel in every agency working to resolve the issues. The FGDC secretariat should attempt to address this issue in their next budget initiative.

Goal 2: Develop common solutions for discovery, access, and use of geospatial data in response to the needs of diverse communities.


    Initiated the development of a cadastral data transfer profile which addresses spatial metadata and is the first time that combinations of FGDC standards for a theme are being used to support the NSDI.


    The FGDC Spatial Metadata Standard and the Spatial Data Transfer Standard conflict with each other on how metadata is handled. This should be resolved to provide consistency between these two standards as their highest maintenance priority. Currently it is difficult to comply with both of these standards at the same time.


    Initiated discussions and development of a common reference system for coordinating cadastral related activities. With a common reference and data elements used by all participants to communicate the availability of data and work, current and planned we will take a major step to prevent duplication of effort across agencies and organizations.

    Completed the reference data for Colorado and completed draft data sets for New Mexico and Arizona.

    The barriers to making data available to clearinghouse are complex, if data is to be current and readily available. This is especially true of dynamic data such as cadastral information. The tradeoffs between a number of security, performance, and cost factors will have to be analyzed.

Goal 3: Use Community-based approaches to develop and maintain common collections of geospatial data for sound decision-making.


    Initiated discussions and development of a common reference system for coordinating cadastral related activities. With a common reference and data elements used by all participants to communicate the availability of data and work, current and planned we will take a major step to prevent duplication of effort across agencies and organizations.

    Completed the reference data for Colorado and completed draft data sets for New Mexico and Arizona.

    Held 2 Cadastral Data Subcommittee meetings in FY 97. Maintenance and implementation were agenda topics as the meetings and maintenance procedures have been developed and are available. An implementation strategy based upon the Cadastral Data Transfer Profile has been adopted by all agencies represented at these meeting by personnel of appropriate authority.

    Developed change management or maintenance procedures for the Cadastral Data Content Standard. These procedures and related forms are available on the Internet and are being implemented by the Subcommittee for Cadastral Data.

    Participated in Subcommittee meetings of Basecarto and Shoreline. Have invited Geopositioning to our next meeting to be held in FY98.


    Participated in Framework meetings throughout 1997.

    Participated in Framework Pilot efforts and briefed project representatives on the standard and what information is needed from these efforts. In addition, information was gathered about the type of support or participation from the Subcommittee on Cadastral Data is needed by these Pilots. Most of the FGDC Pilot Projects are related to cadastral information.

    A Business Plan has been completed for the FGDC Cadastral Framework.

Thematic Data Collections

    Thematic data are continuing to be collected and maintained by all agencies according to decision making requirements.


    The absence of guidance from FGDC on compliance, implementation, and use of standards to assist with NSDI is a barrier. See comments under Goal 1.

Goal 4: Build relationships among organizations to support continuing development of the NSDI.

    An interagency agreement to support NSDI was developed and signed by BLM, USFS, and MMS.

    Requested participation on the Cadastral Subcommittee from NaCo and NSGIC and added a representative from NaCo. Representatives from NaCo and NSGIC participated in the Subcommittee meeting held in Portland Oregon. This meeting was specifically scheduled in this location to coincide with a NSGIC meeting to facilitate participation and better communication.

    Participated in the Shoreline meeting in Charleston South Carolina.

    Briefed the Basecarto Subcommittee on cadastral standard and lessons learned as well as BLM's data contributions to NSDI.

    Participated actively in the Framework group and briefed all of the Framework projects on the cadastral standard as well as ongoing efforts of testing the Cadastral Data Standard Profile.

    Technical assistance and communications have been initiated with all of the pilot efforts.


    Meeting this goal is dependent upon our ability to implement the NSDI in a manner that is not only beneficial to but easily understood by all levels of government. Effectively communicating these benefits as well as the "how to" requirements for participating relies upon guidance that currently does not exist. What is expected or needed from all participants to implement the NSDI should be clearly documented and explained in as much detail as possible. This guidance must also be consistent across data sets and organizations and must meet our stated goals. It must be consistent with our goals and objectives such as "provide data to support decision making." These objectives should in turn be used to measure how successful we are and serve as criteria upon which we base our decisions (e.g., data collected to support mission functions and decision making should be viewed as complementary as opposed to contradictory to implementing the NSDI).

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:09 PM
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