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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: FGDC Standards

2. What are the programs this data supports?

The FGDC Standards activity does not collect or acquire data; rather, it provides a standards approval process to ensure openness and accountability in data standards development. The data standards developed through the FGDC standards process support collection and acquisition of consistent data and to promote data sharing.

The FGDC Standards Working Group (SWG) actively promotes and coordinates FGDC standards activities. The SWG provides guidance on FGDC standards policy and procedures, facilitates coordination between subcommittees having overlapping standards activities, and reviews and makes recommendations on the approval of standards proposals and draft standards. SWG members are representatives of FGDC Subcommittees and Working Groups and Federal agencies.

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 better directed at the lead agencies and FGDC Subcommittees/Working Groups that support a particular data theme.

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

Once again, note that the FGDC Standards does not collect data.

The charter of the FGDC Standards Working Group may be found at The FGDC Standards Reference Model and FGDC Directives are being reviewed for updates and implementation of OMB Circular A-119 on Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.

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?

This question is better directed at the lead agencies and FGDC Subcommittees/Working Groups that support a particular data theme and who are represented on the FGDC Standards Working Group.

The FGDC Standards activity has been active in developing the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata and profiles of and extensions to the standard. Most recently, the FGDC Standards Working Group has approved a standards proposal to develop FGDC Profiles of the ISO 19115 Metadata standard.

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

A list of standards being developed through the FGDC Standards Process may be found at This list is regularly updated.

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

  • Shoreline Metadata Profile endorsed by FGDC Steering Committee in June 2001
  • Four draft standards completed public review:
    1. Extensions for Remote Sensing Metadata (closed August 31, 2001)
    2. NSDI Framework Transportation ID Standard (closed July 20, 2001)
    3. Address Content Standard (closed June 22, 2001)
    4. Standard for a U.S. National Grid (closed June 22, 2001)

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

The FGDC Standards Coordinator and FGDC Standards Working Group members are active in reviewing proposals and draft standards for eventual FGDC endorsement. We promote public review of standards through the FGDC web site, other web sites (such as GIS Monitor) E-mail lists, and presentations at various conferences.

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

This question is better directed at the lead agencies and FGDC Subcommittees/Working Groups that support a particular data theme.

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

The FGDC Standards activity encourages broad participation in the development and review of draft standards. The FGDC Standards Coordinator and various agencies represented on the FGDC Standards Working Group also serve on the ANSI-accredited NCITS Technical Committee L1, Geographic Information Systems, which is the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the Technical Committee 211 - Geographic Information/Geomatics.

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

According to the FGDC Standards Reference Model ( (272 KB PDF),

FGDC Standards will have a broadly based public notice of their availability. FGDC standards will not be developed from copyrighted or proprietary standards that would limit the ability of the final standard to be publicly available. They will not contain any copyrights or other limitations on their use or reproduction. FGDC Standards will be available electronically whenever possible.

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.

Once standards are endorsed through the FGDC Standards Process, the lead agency should implement standards in its activities and promote implementation of these standards with other stakeholders. "Boilerplate" procurement language, which helps implement the recommendations of Bruce Cahan's report on Financing the NSDI to use data standards as investment criteria, is one way to encourage implementation of standards in data collection and acquisition activities. 1 9/19/01 Part B - Page

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:07 PM
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