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Earth Cover

Part B
LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY/BUREAU AND/OR SUBCOMMITTEE/WORKING GROUP REPORT (Agencies With Lead Responsibilities Assigned under Current Circular A-16 Authorities) (Please provide a separate report for each activity for which you have the lead)

1. Program/Activity Name:

Federal Geographic Data Committee's Earth Cover Working Group

2. What are the programs this data supports?

The following are the participating agencies on the Earth Cover Working Group:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resource Conservation Service
U.S. Forest Service

Department of Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management

Department of Defense
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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.?

The Earth Cover Working Group (ECWG) will foster an integrated approach to the identification, classification, and/or mapping of features that cover the surface of the United States. The objective is to make maximum use of public and private-sector resources by avoiding duplicative efforts and using earth cover standards to produce more complete and usable earth cover data and maps, suitable to multiple applications by many different organizations. The Working Group will build upon the work of the FGDC Subcommittees and identify, classify, and develop protocols for cover categories necessary to add up to 100% of the earth surface, as they would appear on aerial photographs or satellite images. Vegetation, water, snow, ice, human constructions, bare soil, sand, and exposed rocks qualify as cover surfaces.

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

Yes. A charter exist for this Working Group and can be accessed at

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?

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

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

FY2000 FGDC Earth Cover Working Group Activities:

  • A draft Earth Cover Standard was submitted to the FGDC Standards Committee for initial consideration.
  • A request was submitted to FGDC for funds to conduct 2-4 regional workshops for public review of proposed ECWG Standard.

FY2001 FGDC Earth Cover Working Group Activities:

Change of Chairmanship of Working Group Requested.

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

The NOAA Coastal Services Center was the chair of the Earth Cover Working Group during FY2000. The purpose of the Earth Cover Working Group (ECWG) is to foster an integrated approach to the identification, classification, and/or mapping of features that cover the surface of the United States.

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

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

The Earth Cover Working Group consists of representatives designated by the Federal agencies that collect, or finance the collection of earth cover data as part of their mission or have direction application of these data through legislated mandate.

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

Yes. The policy is for full and open access of data in line with OMB Circular A-130. All data is freely available via the FGDC Data Clearinghouse.

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.


Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:07 PM
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