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Appendix C. National Geospatial Data Asset Themes

 

The vast majority of Federal Government business is associated with a place and thus a sizable amount of data generated or used by government staff and partners have a geospatial component. These data when used in tandem with geospatial information systems provide a critical tool to people who solve problems associated with implementing Federal agency and partner missions. Ensuring this data is accessible and of sufficient quality to meet the needs of these programs is essential if programmatic objectives are to be fully met.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–16 provides management directions to Federal agencies that produce, maintain, or use spatial data either directly or indirectly in the fulfillment of their mission. The circular also provides processes for agencies that if followed improve the coordination and use of spatial data. This includes effective and economical use and management of spatial data assets in the digital environment. The circular directs the establishment of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for the benefit of the Nation and launches the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to facilitate its development.

The OMB Circular A–16 Supplemental Guidance, released November 10, 2010, further defines and clarifies implementation of OMB Circular A–16. It also elucidates a process to modify Circular A–16 Appendix E themes and associated datasets to reflect the current business of Federal agencies and their partners. The objective of this coordinated Federal-wide geospatial asset management is to increase the effectiveness of geospatial data and associated services in supporting mission-critical business requirements of the Federal Government and its stakeholders.

Geospatial data is described for first time in the Supplemental Guidance as a capital asset, and its importance to the success of Federal Government and partner programs is emphasized. This focus provides the foundation for a portfolio management approach for Federal geospatial datasets of National Significance – a National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) portfolio called for by OMB in fiscal year 2011 budget guidance. All NGDAs are associated with a National Geospatial Data Asset Theme. These Themes serve as the management units for collections of related NGDAs that would benefit from coordinated development and management.

 

 

National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Theme Selection Principles

Principle 1: Themes and associated Datasets are logical groupings of national capital assets serving the needs of citizens and are readily discoverable and accessible to anyone.

Principle 2: Themes and associated Datasets are national in scope and are created and managed in response to well-defined spatial data requirements that are common across multiple Federal agencies and other organizations.

Principle 3: Themes and associated Datasets reflect legislated mandates, clearly defined directives, or core spatial reference datasets.

Principle 4: Themes promote cohesive and collaborative development, maintenance, and evolution of multiple Datasets across Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments and the private or nonprofit sectors.

Principle 5: Themes focus on the spatial representation of natural and manmade assets that are important to the Nation, including boundaries (jurisdictional, legal, statistical, and analytical).

 

 

Management elements clarified by the Supplemental Guidance to aid this portfolio management approach include: the geospatial data life-cycle management approach, portfolio management roles and responsibilities, the process for updating themes, and an outline of the portfolio management investment strategy. The Supplemental Guidance and its five reference documents, which provide further details and information about implementing the portfolio management and the Supplemental Guidance, are available on the FGDC website (www.fgdc.gov/policyandplanning/a-16).

The FGDC Steering Committee approved 17 NGDA Themes and their definitions in 2011. During the summer of 2012 the FGDC Coordination Group continued to evaluate the NGDA Themes and Datasets and proposed changes to the 17 Themes. The FGDC Steering Committee will review the recommendation in fiscal year 2013. In addition, the FGDC Steering Committee will vote on the designation of the Theme lead agencies, Theme leads, and Theme Executive Champions. In the meantime, the FGDC Coordination Group is finalizing the identification of the initial set of Datasets that comprise each Theme.

 

 

Evolution of Data Themes

Appendix E of OMB Circular A–16 identified 34 Data Themes. During the development of the OMB Supplemental Guidance it was observed that many of the Themes were actually individual datasets that would more appropriately be grouped as collections under a streamlined set of Themes. The Themes were consolidated into 17 Themes that were approved by the FGDC Steering Committee in 2011. The purpose of the consolidation was threefold: to develop an NGDA Theme and Dataset structure for portfolio management that enables more efficient management and reporting, to ensure that all relevant Datasets associated with a particular Theme effectively support the business processes reliant on them, and to ensure the Datasets are produced in the most cost effective manner. As the portfolio management process matures the NGDA Themes and Datasets will continue to evolve. Datasets that are related to demography were moved to the Governmental Units Theme that was renamed the Governmental Units, and Administrative and Statistical Boundaries Theme. Cultural datasets were moved to the Cultural Resources Theme. The FGDC Steering Committee will review the recommendation in fiscal year 2013.

 

Bar graph of NGDA Dataset Candidates

Number of NGDA Dataset Candidates by Agency, as of
September 2012.

 

 

Pie chart of NGDA Dataset Candidates

NGDA Dataset Candidates by Theme as of September 2012. This chart reflects the
proposed combination of the Cultural & Demographic Statistics and the Governmental
Units Themes into a single Theme titled Governmental Units, and Administrative and
Statistical Boundaries.

 

 

Below are the NGDA Themes that are the organizational constructs grouping and managing the NGDA Datasets. The list of the over 200 NGDA Datasets is available on the FGDC website (www.fgdc.gov/initiatives/portfolio-management).

 

 

Theme: Biota

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Pertains to, or describes, the dynamic processes, interactions, distributions, and relationships between and among organisms and their environments.

 

 

Theme: Cadastre

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Past, current, and future rights and interests in real property including the spatial information necessary to describe geographic extents. Rights and interests are benefits or enjoyment in real property that can be conveyed, transferred, or otherwise allocated to another for economic remuneration. Rights and interests are recorded in land record documents. The spatial information necessary to describe geographic extents includes surveys and legal description frameworks, such as the Public Land Survey System, as well as parcel-by-parcel surveys and descriptions. Does not include Federal government or military facilities.

 

 

Theme: Climate and Weather

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind that characteristically prevail in a particular region over a long period of time. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.

 

 

Theme:Cultural and Demographic Statistics

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Characteristics of people; the nature of the structures in which they live and work; the economic and other activities they pursue; the facilities they use to support their health, recreational, and other needs; the environmental consequences of their presence; and the boundaries, names, and numeric codes of geographic entities used to report the information collected.

Proposed Change: The FGDC Coordination Group has proposed to remove this Theme and separate the Datasets to two other Themes. The FGDC Steering Committee will review the recommendation in fiscal year 2013.

 

 

Theme: Cultural Resources

Proposed Theme Lead Agency:  U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Features and characteristics of a collection of places of significance in history, architecture, engineering, or society. Includes National Monuments and Icons.

 

 

Theme: Elevation

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: Co-Leads: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: The measured vertical position of the earth surface and other landscape or bathymetric features relative to a reference datum typically related to sea level. These points normally describe bare earth positions but may also describe the top surface of buildings and other objects, vegetation structure, or submerged objects. Elevation data can be stored as a three-dimensional array or as a continuous surface such as a raster, triangulated irregular network, or contours. Elevation data may also be represented in other derivative forms such as slope, aspect, ridge and drainage lines, and shaded relief.

 

 

Theme: Geodetic Control

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Collection of control points that provide a common reference system for establishing coordinates for geographic data.

 

 

Theme: Geology

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: Co-Leads: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Geographically referenced data pertaining to the origin, history, composition, structure, features, and processes of the solid Earth, both onshore and offshore. Includes geologic, geophysical, and geochemical maps, stratigraphy, paleontology, geochronology, mineral and energy resources, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, coatal erosion, and landslides. Does not include soils.

 

 

Theme: Governmental Units

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Political, governmental, and administrative (management) type boundaries that are used to manage people and resources. Includes geopolitical boundaries (county, parish, state, city, etc.), Tribal Boundaries, Federal land boundaries and Federal Regions, International Boundaries, Governmental administrative units such as Congressional Districts, international lines of separation, limits, zones, enclaves/exclaves and special areas between States and dependencies as well as all jurisdictional offshore limits within U.S. sovereignty. Boundaries associated with natural resources, demography, and cultural entities are excluded and can be found in the appropriate subject themes.

Proposed Change: The FGDC Coordination Group has proposed to rename this Theme and change its description and scope of datasets. In addition to the Datasets already in the Theme, it also will contain the statistical boundary Datasets from the removed Cultural and Demographic Statistics Theme. The FGDC Steering Committee will review the recommendation in fiscal year 2013.

 

 

Theme: Imagery

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: Co-Leads: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency and U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Georeferenced images of the Earth’s surface, which have been collected via aerial photography or satellite data. Orthoimagery is prepared through a geometric correction process known as orthorectification to remove image displacements due to relief and sensor characteristics, allowing their use as base maps for digital mapping and analyses in a GIS. Specific imagery datasets created through image interpretation and classification, such as a land cover image, can be found under Themes specific to the subject matter. Includes imagery such as Landsat, National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs).

 

 

Theme: Land Use—Land Cover

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: Co-Leads: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: LU/LC is a term referring collectively to natural and man-made surface features that cover the land (Land Cover) and to the primary ways in which land cover is used by humans (Land Use). Examples of Land Cover may be grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, water, etc. Examples of Land Use may be urban, agricultural, ranges, and forest areas.

 

 

Theme: Real Property

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: General Services Administration

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: The spatial representation (location) of real property entities typically consist of one or more of the following: unimproved land, a building, a structure, site improvements, and the underlying land. Complex real property entities (that is, “facilities”) are used for a broad spectrum of functions or missions. This theme focuses on the spatial representation of real property assets only and does not seek to describe special purpose functions of real property, such as those found in the Cultural Resources, Transportation, or Utilities Themes.

 

 

Theme: Soils

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Depicts the geography and attributes of the many kinds of soils found in the landscape at both large and small map scales. A living, dynamic resource providing a natural medium for plant growth and habitat for living organisms, soil recycles nutrients and wastes, stores carbon, and purifies water supplies. Soil has distinct layers (called ‘horizons’) that, in contrast to underlying geologic material, are altered by the interactions of climate, landscape features, and living organisms over time. For more information on Soils, see soils.usda.gov.

 

 

Theme: Transportation

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of Transportation

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Means and aids for conveying persons and/or goods. The transportation system includes both physical and non-physical components related to all modes of travel that allow the movement of goods and people between locations.

 

 

Theme: Utilities

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Means, aids, and usage of facilities for producing, conveying, distributing, processing, or disposing of public and private commodities, including power, energy, communications, natural gas, and water. Includes sub-themes for energy and communications.

 

 

Theme: Water — Inland

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: Co-Leads: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Interior hydrologic features and characteristics, including classification, measurements, location, and extent. Includes aquifers, watersheds, wetlands, navigation, water quality, water quantity, and groundwater information.

 

 

Theme: Water — Oceans and Coasts

Proposed Theme Lead Agency: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of the Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Description/Scope of Datasets: Features and characteristics of salt water bodies (i.e. tides, tidal waves, coastal information, reefs) and features and characteristics that represent the intersection of the land with the water surface (i.e. shorelines), the lines from which the territorial sea and other maritime zones are measured (i.e. baseline maritime) and lands covered by water at any stage of the tide (i.e. Outer Continental Shelf ), as distinguished from tidelands, which are attached to the mainland or an island and cover and uncover with the tide.

 


 

Main Report

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2013 02:37 PM
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