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Cadastral Data


1. Program/Activity Name:

FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral Data

2. What are the programs this data supports?

This question is more appropriate for an agency response. The Subcommittee does not have programs like the various agencies who participate on the Subcommittee. The major function of the Cadastral Subcommittee is the facilitation and coordination of shared initiatives to meet common business needs across jurisdictions, be they, functional or geographic in character. No less important is the maintenance of the cadastral standard to meet changes in how cadastral functions are performed and what information is recorded. Cadastral information is used for virtually every program with responsibility for the management of land, resources and revenues collected from either. The Western Governors' Association has recognized cadastral information as critical for encouraging economic development, maintaining livable communities and providing community leaders with tools to manage both. In addition, having ownership boundaries related to energy production and restrictions or stipulations on development will be essential if we are to meet the President's energy initiative. Attempts to meet Indian trust responsibilities and emergency response requirements (e.g., fire, flooding, 911, etc.) also will depend upon good cadastral information in a digital format.

Very Briefly Describe All Applicable Items:
3. Uses of Data: What are the end uses of this data? How does it benefit customers, support lead and other agency missions, etc.?

This question is not really appropriate for a Annual report. We are basically collecting it and using it to meet our individual agency requirements or mission needs. These vary from equitable taxation to energy production, preserving open space and wilderness and authorizing land use. Cadastral information represents a record of legal decisions on the land and its resources.

Because applications and benefits are so varies and widespread, it would not be possible or appropriate to document them in an annual report. Therefore, we have attached the results of the Western Governors' Forum on Cadastral Data for provide examples of the data and its uses.

4. Charter/Plan: Do you have a current charter or plan for collection? Should it be updated?

The FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral Data has a charter and a strategy for establishing the cadastral portion of NSDI. The charter is current and does not have to be updated. This strategy is based upon State driven, county by county identification of business needs and evaluation of the data to meet those needs. Specific plans developed by key stakeholders and participants are being developed as that will compliment and expand upon current I-Team initiatives and strategies. These plans will be continually updated and used to identify workloads, responsibilities, and budget requirements.

5. Metadata: What is the status of metadata? Is it discoverable and served through the NSDI Clearinghouse? What percentage of this theme's data has metadata and is in a Clearinghouse node?

Metadata is being collected and data is being served on the FGDC Clearinghouse as well as other Web based mechanisms. As we integrate data from multiple sources, however, the requirement for feature level metadata supported by the standard becomes apparent. "Vertical" integration or relationships between data themes will also need to consider feature level information or metadata to facilitate ongoing coordination and maintenance. With literally thousands of organizations responsible for the collection and maintenance of cadastral information and the sheer complexity (traditionally represented by more than 50 separate GIS data themes) and it volume containing 100s of millions of records, we do not have an estimate at this time on what percent of the data is provided through the Clearinghouse.

6. Standards: What is the status of this theme's data, process, transfer, and classification standards?

The Standard for cadastral data was approved in 1996 and has been formally updated on two occasions according to the Subcommittee's standard maintenance procedures. The key for cadastral or any geographic information for that matter, must meet local business requirements. This is especially true for cadastral information which is primarily collected, maintained and used at the local level. This situation gives us the advantage of ensuring that the data will meet local needs but presents a very complex coordination and standardization problem when attempting to consolidate data for regional applications that transcend jurisdictional boundaries. There are great savings and incentives for organizations who do not have digital data to use the standard to assist with automation efforts. If digital data already exists, however, there is little or no incentive to transfer their information to the standard. For these reasons, the Subcommittee has proposed a strategy that attempts to minimize the cost and effort associated with the actual conversion of complete local/operational data bases to the standard. Instead we are proposing to convert only minimal "core" level of data to the standard and work with vendors to build capabilities to translate the remaining data to standards on an as needed basis. In addition, the positional or locations of cadastral boundaries need to be standardized through collaboration and agreement between surveyors and cartographers across the various organizations. This has been initiated in earnest for the western United States but is only being developed in strategy form for the eastern states.

7. Progress: List FY 2000/2001 activities/progress to date (quantify where possible)

  1. Developed National Vision Statement and Draft Strategy for a National Cadastral Infrastructure including the NSDI
  2. Developed Western Strategy for Cadastral NSDI
  3. Initiated the Development of an Eastern Strategy for Cadastral NSDI (Draft document has been developed)
  4. Approved recommendations and upgraded the Content Standard
  5. Completed Cadastral Content Training materials for "Recorders" and"Surveyors" (funded by BLM)
  6. Developed Draft Training materials for "GIS Specialists" (funded by BLM)
  7. WGA Published the results for the 2000 Forum on Cadastral Data (available at
  8. WGA Policy Resolution 00-005 was passed supporting BLM's GCDB programs and NSDI
  9. WGA Policy Resolution 00-034 was passed recognizing Cadastral information as important for Emergency Response Initiatives (these resolutions are available at
  10. Widespread data integration initiatives have been started by participating agencies and organizations (primarily for positional data).
  11. Partnerships and collaboration have become a way of conducting business
  12. Technology offered by vendors such as ESRI is being upgraded to support the Cadastral Strategy

8. Leadership: Describe your active leadership role with others (private, local, State, Federal) who collect and use this data.

BLM, as the lead agency, has provided leadership through the facilitation of collaboration and partnerships in striving toward a common vision that is accompanied by a set of goals and objectives. This leadership has engaged the participation and insight of many local and state organizations to establish and initiate the implementation of a national cadastral infrastructure. We have worked cooperatively with and have garnered support from the Western Governors' Association, National Association of Counties, Western States Lands Commissioners, National States Geographic Information Council as well as a host of others and have received letters of support for a budget initiative from more than 50 local and state organizations across the United States including governors, county commissioners, and various state and private organizations. We initiated the first statewide planning to support the NSDI based upon recommendations from the Western Governors' Association and modified this initiative to enhance requests by the FGDC for Implementation Team Plans or I-Team Plans. We have a national strategy with separate components for the eastern and western regions and have begun implementation in a number of areas.

9. Collaborative Partnerships: How many major partnerships with others do you have on this theme? (list if desired)

Participants of the Subcommittee are involved with many partnership initiatives. We have partnerships that involve over 200 agencies and organizations, primarily at the local/county level..

10. Scope: Are you engaged in broad participation and international/global coordination?

We are engaged with international Groups such as the Federation Internationale Geometry (FIG). International coordination and participation has been minimal.

11. Policy: Do you have a policy in place for full and open access or data sharing?

The is a question more appropriate for each agency. The Subcommittee does not have a policy but has developed an interagency agreement to share and integrate our cadastral information to support a common cadastral data solution for the NSDI. The lead agency which is BLM does have such a policy and makes data freely available to all customers.

12. Are there areas or issues regarding lead responsibilities for spatial data themes that require attention, or lessons-learned that you would like to share with others? Please describe.

We continue to need a common vision and for NSDI and what it will require at the local level to support. This needs to be supplemented with common goals and objectives for standards compliance and definitions of compliance with standards. Without this, as FGDC subcommittees transition from developing standards to facilitating their implementation, each theme will perform this differently or implement their standard at different levels. The Subcommittee for Cadastral Data has developed definitions for different levels of compliance with the standard.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:06 PM
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