FGDC Geologic Data Subcommittee 1998 Progress Report
1. NSDI Goal 3: Use community-based approaches to develop and maintain common collections of geospatial data for sound decision making. Objective 3: Promote common classification systems, content standards, data models, and other common models to facilitate data development, sharing, and use.
Actions: The following activities A and B relate to paragraph G, Section VII, Responsibility, of the Geologic Data Subcommittee charter.
In 1998, the Geologic Data Subcommittee proposed the development of geologic map standards for symbology and for a data model. Agreement to pursue development of these standards was reached by consensus among the Subcommittee, the USGS, and the state geological surveys. The USGS and the state geological surveys, through their collaboration in building a National Geologic Map Database, have resolved to propose these standards to the Subcommittee.
A. FGDC Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization: The objective is to provide a national standard for geologic map symbols, colors, and patterns in order to provide geologic map products that have a standard appearance. A national standard is needed to provide a standard cartographic product to the end-user.
Status: This standard has been under development within the USGS for several years. In late 1997, a revised version was circulated for comment within the USGS and state geological surveys. In 1998, the specifications for points, lines, and patterns were refined, and the document is now being prepared for review by the Subcommittee prior to release as a proposed FGDC standard. Concurrently, the USGS and the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) are working on an implementation of the standard in Arc/Info and ArcView. Next Steps: In 1999, the draft will be delivered to the Subcommittee for review, prior to consideration by the FGDC as a draft standard. The implementation also is likely to be released in 1999, after the standards document is delivered to the FGDC for public review.
B. FGDC Standard for geologic data model: The objective of this standard is to create a logical data model that will describe the various critical entities of a geologic map and the relations among them. The model will aid in the development of systematic mapping coverage for the Nation, and will facilitate production of a variety of derivative map products from geologic map databases.
Status: This standard began development in late 1996, under the USGS/AASG (Association of American State Geologists) Geologic Map Data Model Working Group. The data model is the product of a joint U.S-Canadian effort (the Working Group also has actively worked to include other federal surveys, especially Mexico, in development of the model). During 1997 and 1998, the Working Group held many presentations and discussion sessions, and gradually refined the data model. In June, 1998, the current version of the model, v.4.2, and a preliminary software-tool implementation of the model were formally reviewed at a workshop attended by field mappers and computer experts from the USGS, the state geological surveys, and the Federal and Provincial surveys of Canada. Workshop attendees called for continued development of the data model, and offered suggestions for its improvement. In late 1998, a revision to the principal chapter of the draft standard was issued, as v.4.3. Next Steps: The State and Federal participants in this process are forming a Steering Committee to oversee continued development of the model; plans include further refinement of the conceptual model, proposal of standard scientific terminology to be used in the model?s data tables, and development of more robust software tools. The Steering Committee also will decide on the appropriate time for delivery of a draft standard to the Subcommittee.
2. NSDI Goal 4: Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.
Objective 2: Build a network of organizations linked through commitment to common interests within the context of the NSDI.
Actions: Various U.S. and Canadian Federal and State/Provincial scientific organizations have formed a working relationship to support development of the draft standard geologic map data model. Common goals (supporting NSDI and improved data management and integration) have helped form a stable and productive community to support development of this standard. Formation of the Data Model Steering Committee (noted above) will help foster this cooperative work.