Department of Commerce Accomplishment Report 1997
Executive Order 12906, April 13, 1994, requires that Federal agencies participate in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is the focal point for these activities. The Department of Commerce, through activities in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Bureau of the Census, and the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST), has a strong commitment to the FGDC:
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 1997 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Goal 1: Increase the awareness and understanding of the vision, concepts, and benefits of the NSDI through outreach and education.
Intent: This goal seeks to propagate the stated NSDI vision. The concepts of NSDI, defined by Executive Order 12902, include community-based standards, public access to data through distributed clearinghouses, development of a framework of basic data, and sharing data with others among all sectors of government, academia and private industry. Organizations committed to the NSDI should communicate widely with current and potential users of geospatial data. This goal also seeks to incorporate ideas and practices that foster NSDI into the educational system at all levels, from kindergarten through university and professional training.
1.1 Demonstrate the benefits of participation in the NSDI to existing and prospective participants.
M. Lockwood, NOS, wrote two papers:
G. Barton, NESDIS, wrote two FGDC articles in the NOAA Earth System Monitor:
1.2. Promote principles and practices of the NSDI through formal and informal education and training.
M. Lockwood, NOS, conducted four "Open Forum" meetings during the year where he presented overviews of the FGDC and specific activities relevant to the Bathymetric Subcommittee: in December 1997 in conjunction with the San Francisco Bay Demonstration project; at the 1997 Federal Waterways R&D conference; at the Coastal Zone '97 meeting; and at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/NOAA surveying symposium in St. Louis, August 1997.
Carol Gerlitz and David Hastings of NGDC participated in the Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) Implementors' Workshop, held in Rolla, Missouri on September 15-18, 1997. Gerlitz presented a paper on "Adventures With Point Data in SDTS." Hastings led a session on a proposed public SDTS translation demonstration. Approximately 150 people participated in the conference, from federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as software developers.
The National Academy of Science U.S. National CODATA Committee organized a Conference on Scientific and Technical Data Exchange and Integration, held in December at the National Institutes of Heath Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda MD. NOAA was a cosponsor of the Conference where the FGDC was represented with an on-line demonstration and a panel presentation.
NOAA was Cosponsor of the Second IEEE Metadata Conference held in September in the NOAA Silver Spring, MD, auditorium. There were several FGDC presentations and a poster presentation.
Bureau of the Census Geography Division staff continued to coordinate with appropriate Census Bureau divisions, staffs, and offices on activities associated with the implementation of Executive Order 12906 by beginning production of metadata for all Census Bureau geospatially referenced datasets in accordance with the FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata.
Coastal Services Center: Presentations and demonstrations of FGDC were given at the following sites:
Goal 2: Develop common solutions for discovery, access, and use of geospatial data in response to the needs of diverse communities. Intent: The NSDI will move toward common languages and architectures for describing describe geospatial data from many applications, and common technical solutions for accessing and using these data. Individuals from many different organizations and disciplines will contribute to the definition and development of these solutions.
2.1. Continue to develop a seamless National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse.
Coastal Services Center created a NSDI Clearinghouse node and provides all CSC metadata through this node.
CSC continued to document all CSC datasets in FGDC metadata format.
Access to the NOAA Data Directory was implemented using the NOAAServer software that allows search of data descriptions and access to selected NOAA data systems. Over 10,000 NOAA data descriptions are available in the FGDC Metadata Standard Format.
The NOAA Data Directory descriptions were implemented as 13 data base nodes on the FGDC Clearinghouse. All descriptions are in the FGDC Metadata Standard Format. Over 10,000 descriptions are available in 11 separate NOAA data base nodes on the Clearinghouse. Two other nodes have data related to NOAA: the GOIN node has 300 Japanese data descriptions; and the NEDRES node has over 20,000 legacy of federal, state and local data sets described in the period 1972-1989. The 13 nodes are:
NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)
NOAA National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
NOAA Other NOAA Offices (NWS, OAR, NOS)
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (COP)
NOAA Historical Data Sets at NOAA Central Library (LISD)
NOAA Historical Data Sets at NCDC Library (FDL)
NOAA Coastal Ocean Center (CSC)
National Environmental Data Referral Service Legacy Data Base (NEDRES).
NOAA U.S.-Japan GOIN Pilot Node (GOIN)
The Data Discovery Subsystem of DoD's Master Environmental Library requires all metadata to be FGDC compliant. The NGDC SPIDR data base is an important MEL component,. Metadata descriptions of all Solar-Terrestrial Physics and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program data sets in SPIDR are now FGDC compliant. Those data sets are ionospheric parameters, geomagnetic 1-minute variations, geomagnetic hourly variations, geomagnetic activity indices, GOES solar x-rays, GOES magnetometer, GOES energetic particles, DMSP visible imagery, DMSP thermal infrared imagery, DMSP microwave imagery, DMSP auroral particles, solar indices, sunspot numbers, ancient solar databases, and solar radio.
2.2. Support the evolution of common means to describe geospatial data sets.
M. Lockwood, NOS, provided leadership for the development of a National Shoreline Data Standard. He gave briefings to the FGDC Coordination Group and to the FGDC Steering Committee and developed a proposal and federal register announcement outlining the issues that need to be addressed. He organized the Shoreline Workshop held at the Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC on November 3-5, 1997. He managed the steering committee and was responsible for all organizational and logistical aspects of the meeting. See Federal Register, Vol 26 no. 156, August 13, 1997.
NOS staff worked to develop a data accuracy standard for bathymetric and hydrographic survey data.
NOAA staff worked to develop a data content standard (feature and attribute catalogue) for nautical chart (marine/oceanic/coastal) objects.
The "Annual" meeting of the Bathymetry Subcommittee was organized and chaired by NOS and held in December 1997.
The Coastal Services Center staff developed a tool called the ArcView Metadata Collector to help create FGDC compliant metadata for ArcView GIS users. This tool won 2nd place in the ArcView Avenue competition at the annual ESRI Conference.
The Coastal Services Center staff created and maintained a metadata reference guide on the World Wide Web (http://www.csc.noaa.gov/metadata/).
2.3. Support the development of tools that allow for easy exchange of applications, information, and results.
The "Spatial Access to NOAA Framework Data" project, a joint effort of the National Geodetic Survey and the National Geophysical Data Center, has developed a Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) encoder for NGS geodetic control data, which is based on the SDTS Point Profile. The encoder dynamically accesses the NGS database to obtain up-to-date data. A World Wide Web interface to the encoder has been developed on the National Geodetic Survey web site, from which users may download geodetic data in SDTS-compliant format. The Point Profile is the first major addition to the Spatial Data Transfer Standard since the original development of SDTS by the FGDC. In addition to providing a means to transfer high precision point data, the Point Profile is serving as a model for additional SDTS profiles currently being developed. The NGDC effort was funded by the NOAA ESDIM Program. See the Web page http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/products_services.html
NGDC staff are collaborating with ESRI in development of ARC/INFO translators for the SDTS Point Profile. NGDC has provided NOAA point data sets to ESRI to aid development work, and has arranged to beta test the ARC/INFO Point Profile translators.
NOS staff developed and maintained the Bathymetric Subcommittee Home Page, and maintained a mailing list of subcommittee members
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee officially approved the Point Profile as Part 6 of the Spatial Data Transfer Standard at its October 22 meeting. A product of the ESDIM-funded "Spatial Access to NOAA Framework Data" project, the Point Profile was jointly developed by NGDC, NOS, and the USGS to enable transfer of high-precision point data such as the National Geodetic Survey's geodetic control data. It will be published as FGDC document number FGDC-STD-002.6 by the Federal Geographic Data Committee.
The NOS Strategic Environmental Assessment Division implemented the on-line MapFinder Service that allows on-line Web-based searching and viewing of digital image and map products. The ESDIM funded project provides direct Internet access to primary NOS imagery and data holdings for coastal photography, nautical charts, coastal survey maps, environmental sensitivity index maps, hydrographic surveys, water level stations, and geodetic control points. NOS MapFinder provides a spatial index that allows users to identify specific NOS products.
NOAA staff participated in GC-ASK Pilot Study completed in 1997 by the Data Management Working Group of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The Global Change Assisted Search for Knowledge (GC-ASK).is a tool for accessing and exploiting diverse, distributed databases via the Internet. GC-ASK is built on a powerful, dictionary/thesaurus based natural language knowledge retrieval system.
2.4. Research, develop, and implement architectures and technologies that enable data sharing.
The Prototype NOAAServer Web Page that provides access to NOAA Metadata and data services was implemented as an operational system. It now accesses over 10,000 NOAA data descriptions stored in the FGDC Metadata Standard format. Selected NOAA data bases can then be accessed for on-line data browse and preview, and for on-line data ordering.
Goal 3: Use community-based approaches to develop and maintain common collections of geospatial data for sound decision-making.
Intent: This goal recognizes that the job of developing and maintaining large collections of geospatial data can no longer be supported by any one institution. The highest resolution, most current data are usually produced and maintained in the communities in which they are used. The goal seeks to leverage activities that are already occurring over any given piece of geography so that common data may be more easily shared. A community-based approach will emerge from the efforts of individual data producers and users coming together to cooperatively solve problems.
3.1. Continue to develop the National Geospatial Data Framework.
NOAA's National Ocean Survey, Coastal Services Center, and the National Geophysical Data Center are currently producing primary framework data sets for the coastal zone GIS Community. The data sets are primarily bathymetry/hydrography and shoreline data from Coast Survey and National Geodetic Survey coastal surveys. Much of this activity has been supported by the NOAA ESDIM program.
3.2. Provide additional geospatial data that citizens, governments, and industry need.
The NOS Alaska office had contracts awarded to enable GIS for Kachemak Bay Estuarine Research Reserve.
3.3. Promote common classification systems, content standards, and other common models to facilitate data development, sharing, and use.
Dr. George Sharman, NGDC, as a member of the Bathymetric Data Subcommittee, participated in the Shoreline Data Content Standard Workshop, November 3-5, 1997, at NOAA's Coastal Services Center, Charleston, SC. As a result of the workshop, Dr. Sharman is part of the Glossary Working Group to help better define, refine, and clarify the terms bandied about in the context of shorelines, GIS, and associated data.
Coastal Services Center staff made plans for a Shoreline workshop to be held at the CSC in FY-98.
The Coastal Services Center staff provided documentation on a comparison of five land cover classification metadata schemes to the Earth Cover Working Group Subcommittee.
J. Thomas, NMFS, participated in FGDC Earth Cover Working Group meetings to help work toward a standard classification scheme.
J. Thomas, NMFS, participated in a FGDC Wetlands Subcommittee meeting for coordination purposes.
G. Fromm, NOS/NGS, participated in activities of the Subcommittee on Base Cartographic Data and is a member of the newly formed FGDC group developing a National Standard for Shoreline Data.
Alaska was represented at the National Shoreline Standards meeting by representatives from the NOS Anchorage office and the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
Five Coastal Services Center staff members participated on the following FGDC committees:
Cindy Fowler Bathymetric Subcommittee Base Cartographic Data Subcommittee Don Field Multiresolution Land Characterization Consortium Earth Cover Working Group Subcommittee Wetlands Subcommittee (substitute as needed) Dorsey Worthy Earth Cover Working Group Subcommittee Anne Miglarese Bathymetric Subcommittee David Stein Standards Working GroupNGDC staff members participated on the following FGDC committees:
Allen Hittelman National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse FGDC Geological Data Subcommittee George Sharman FGDC Bathymetric Data SubcommitteeBureau of the Census Geography Division Contributions to FGDC:
Subcommittee on Base Cartographic Data
Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data (SCDD)
Geodetic Control Subcommittee
Ground Transportation Subcommittee
Facilities Working Group
International Boundary Subcommittee
Earth Cover Working Group
Ad Hoc Metadata Working Group
Tabulated and presented results of FGDC Standards Questionnaire
Standards Working Group (SWG)
A developer of the Thematic Features Registry presentation to the subcommittees
Reviewed and commented on standards
Participated in the development of SWG Directives
Helped develop 1998 SWG Goals.
Chair of Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data (SCDD).
The SCDD continued work on developing the working draft of its Address Content Standard
The SCDD completed a proposal for a National Spatial Data Infrastructure Standards Project titled "Governmental Unit Boundary Data Content Standard." The proposal was approved by the Standards Working Group and is out for public review.
Continued support of FGDC Framework Activities
Active member of Framework Working Group
Advisor for Framework Demonstration Projects
Investigating methodologies with other Federal agencies for the exchange of transportation features
Participant in 1997 Framework conferences
Actively developing a Common Exchange Format to be used in exchanging governmental unit boundaries
Investigating the use of SDTS for the exchange of governmental unit boundaries
Prepared business plans for the boundary element component of framework
Staff attended the FGDC Shoreline Data Content Standard Workshop, and gave a presentation: "Federal Perspective: the U.S. Bureau of the Census position on Shoreline," and volunteered to participate in the development of shoreline metadata
Jun 97 Attended kickoff Shoreline working group meeting 6/23
Jul 97 Participated in the Bathymetry workshop at Coastal Zone workshop, Boston 7/21
Jul 97 Attended Shoreline working group meeting 7/27
Sep 97 Attended Shoreline working group meeting 9/22
Oct 97 Reviewed material from Wetlands Subcommittee meeting 10/8
Nov 97 Attended Shoreline Workshop in Charleston SC 11/3-5
Dec 97 Attended Bathymetric Subcommittee meeting 12/17
Maureen Warren's participation in FGDC activities in 1997:
The Census Bureau continued to chair the FGDC's Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data (SCDD). The SCDD is develop a cultural and demographic data feature registry and conducting a data query as a preparatory step in developing a data classification standard.
Federal Geodetic Control Subcommitte Activities:
The Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee (FGCS) of the Federal Geographic Data Committee was chaired by Captain Lewis Lapine, former Director NOAA National Geodetic Survey. The FGCS exercises government-wide leadership in coordinating the planning and execution of geodetic surveys, in developing standards and specifications for these surveys, and in the exchange of geodetic survey data and technical information. FGCS coordinates Federal agencies' aspects of surveying that are governmental responsibilities. These responsibilities include standards setting, testing new geodetic instrumentation and operational systems, coordination of user agency requirements, and dissemination of government data to user agencies.
The FGCS acts to ensure that the Global Positioning System (GPS) will continue to meet the positioning needs of the Federal civilian community and works to strengthen the ties between the GPS positioning and navigation communities. This responsibility will be implemented through its role as GPS Interagency Advisory Council (GIAC) to the Department of Transportation PosNav Executive Committee.
Examples of Geodetic Control Subcommittee accomplishments:
1. Twenty-eight CORS brought online.
Ongoing participation in the nationwide implementation of NAVD 88 and in the development of the Nation's geodetic height system using GPS: submitted "Guidelines for Establishing GPS-derived Ellipsoid Heights (Standards: 2 cm and 5 cm)."
Ongoing participation in the implementation of the geodetic data framework. completed Geodetic Control Framework Profile
3.4. Provide mechanisms and incentives to incorporate multi-resolution data from many organizations into the NSDI.
Regional Pilot GIS projects in San Francisco Bay and South Florida were supported by the NOAA Environmental Services Data and Information (ESDIM) program
Goal 4: Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.
Intent: The intent of this goal is that organizations and individuals work together to jointly build the NSDI and share data. Relationships among groups will take many forms and NSDI will be flexible enough to support a multitude of relationships. Economic, organizational, legal, and behavioral constraints can significantly influence the willingness and abilities of organizations to share data. It is also the intent of this goal that these constraints be identified and removed, where appropriate.
4.1. Develop a process that allows stakeholder groups to define logical and complementary roles in support of the NSDI. Two Census staff members participated in the FGDC Cooperative Agreement Program proposal review.
Coastal Services Center provided four staff members to the NSDI CCAP program for reviewing proposals and paid for travel from Charleston, SC to Reston, VA for the panel meeting.
The Coastal Services Center transferred $150K to the NSDI CCAP program in support of projects that further the amount and quality of coastal metadata available
4.2. Build a network of organizations linked through commitment to common interests within the context of the NSDI.
NOS Alaska office: The Office of Coast Survey Anchorage staff participates in the Alaska Geographic Data Committee (AGDC) for inter-agency coordination on coastal mapping, bathymetry, and geodesy. Activities have included discussions on raster imagery, including NOAA Charts and USGS Digital Raster Graphics; review of private data sources for the Pribilof Islands to meet coastal mapping needs; evaluation of remote sensed data sources, including internal NOAA sources and potentials for application of national source data to Alaska issues; coordination with public and private members, including State of Alaska Division of Natural Resources, Municipality of Anchorage, several native corporations, and private firms, on access to coastal data; and establishment of a Bathymetry Subcommittee. Of particular note is that the AGDC offers a public- private data coordination forum that enables discussions of standards for data collection and distribution to enable understanding for GIS development and contract planning. An open forum, in the bathymetric subscommittee, enables discussions of data needs and differences in standards between federal agencies, including bathymetric data standards between the Coast Survey and Corps of Engineers, and coastal mapping standards between the USGS and NGS. The bathymetry subcommittee also noted the significant lack of data in western Alaska, including tidal datums, geodesy, and coastal mapping.
NOAA continued to work with Multiresolution Land Characterization (MRLC) Interagency Consortium to share thematic data sets.
The Coastal Services Center continued to develop partnerships with state and local organizations within coastal states for the purpose of sharing coastal zone data
The National Geodetic Survey monitored the compatibility of federal fixed reference stations with NAD83 and their relationship to the development of a single Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) system to meet a maximum number of Federal GPS post-processing requirements to support NSDI development.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) sponsors a cost-sharing geodetic advisory program with several states. Twenty two advisors instruct local surveyors and others on how to use and preserve the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). The program provides a liaison between NOAA and the host state, usually with a jointly-funded NOAA employee residing in the state to guide and assist the state's geodetic and surveying programs. The program is designed to fill a need for more accurate local geodetic surveys, and is in response to the states' desire to improve their surveying techniques to meet FGCS standards and specifications. The advisors are:
CALIFORNIA: Joseph D. D'Onofrio COLORADO: Richard S. Cohen DELAWARE: Edward E. Carlson FLORIDA: Ronnie L. Taylor ILLINOIS: Ronald K. Brewer KANSAS: Monroe Rivers III LOUISIANA: Robert Zurfluh MARYLAND: Donald M. Mulcare MASSACHUSETTS: Curt Crow MICHIGAN: Ronald L. Ramsey MINNESOTA: Dixon Hoyle MISSISSIPPI: Donald D. Rexrode MONTANA: Charles Wright NEBRASKA: Jerry Odum NEW HAMPSHIRE: Curt Crow NEW JERSEY: Michael Cline NEW MEXICO: William Stone OHIO: David A. Conner, NGS OREGON: Curt Smith VERMONT: J. Milo Robinson WASHINGTON: Gary C. Perasso WISCONSIN: Dr. D. David Moyer4.3. Remove regulatory and administrative barriers to agreement formation.
4.4. Find new ways to provide resources for data production, integration, and maintenance.
In support of the Presidential Decision Directive on GPS, the Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee (FGCS) in its role as Global Positioning System (GPS) Interagency Advisory Council to the DOT Pos/Nav Executive Committee, acted to ensure that GPS will continue to meet the needs of the civilian community and works to strengthen the ties between federal agencies involved in GPS positioning, timing, and related navigation activities.
NOAA continued the development of the National Environmental Data Index, NOAAServer, and the Coastal Information Directory.
The NOAA High Performance Computer and Communication (HPCC) Office will continue to support the research and development of innovative, collaborative, and data sharing and dissemination technologies in NOAA
4.5. Identify and support the personal, institutional, and economic behaviors; technologies; policies and legal frameworks that promote the development of the NSDI.
4.6. Participate with the international geospatial data information community in the development of a global geospatial data infrastructure.
The Census Bureau continued participation on the International Organization of Standard's Technical Committee 211, Geographic Information/Geomatics (IS/TC 211). ISO TC/211 is developing a suite of standards defining a schema for information on data sets which can be exchanged via GIS systems. Bureau staff will continue to lead Work Item 13 "Data Quality," and participate in Work Item 10" Cataloguing," Work Item 14 " Quality Evaluation Procedures," and Work Item 15 "Metadata."