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July 12, 2005 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary


Action 1: Please send any nice graphic files that can be used in the FGDC exhibit at the ESRI map gallery to Leslie Armstrong (larmstrong@fgdc.gov).

Action 2: Ivan DeLoatch will discuss the FGDC member agencies’ concern over Recommendation 3: Improve Management of Federal Geospatial Programs (Create a geospatial investment analysis capability within FGDC), with Lynn Scarlett and Karen Evans prior to the October Steering Committee meeting.

Action 3: Prior to the October Steering Committee meeting the FGDC will formalize the voting process.

Action 4: Bill Burgess will set up a meeting with Ivan DeLoatch and Tom Weimer to see what they would like him to do to keep the 50 States Initiative on track.

Action 5: The 50 States Initiative will be on the September 13 Coordination Group agenda – with more details on what it means in terms of financial and other commitments.

Action 6: Alison will send a soft copy of the draft Steering Committee and Coordination Group charters to the Coordination Group mailing list. Please send Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) your comments and edits to these draft charters by September 1.

Action 7: Alison will speak with Ivan about creating a Steering Committee seat for DoD Installations and Environment.

Action 8: Tony LaVoi will email Alison the NOAA employee performance plan measures regarding their FGDC roles and responsibilities.

Action 9: Doug Vandegraft will also email Alison his performance measures relating to his FGDC responsibilities.

Action 10: If you are interested in the BGN please contact Roger Payne (rpayne@usgs.gov).

Action 11: If you would like your names databases to be added to the GNIS please contact Roger Payne (rpayne@usgs.gov).

Action 12: Alison will send The Policy on Recognition of Non-Federally Authored Geographic Information Standards and Specifications to the designated agency representatives for their review. Please send any comments to Julie Maitra (jmaitra@fgdc.gov) and Leslie Armstrong (larmstrong@usgs.gov). Please return your electronic ballot to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by July 29.

Action 13: Alison will send a soft copy of Tricia’s handout with the meeting minutes.

Action 14: Alison will send Dennis Crow a list of the Future Directions participants.

Action 15: Doug Nebert will present on the Geospatial Profile of the FEA at an upcoming Coordination Group meeting.

Action 16: If you want to be on a short action team to research the information an agency needs to respond to an OMB data call regarding grants let Leslie (larmstrong@fgdc.gov) know by August 1. There is already money for this activity.

Action 17: Please return your Steering Committee member’s ballot to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by August 1 on “Guidelines for Identifying and Restricting Geospatial Data That Have Significant Potential Value to Adversaries of the United States”.

Host: William Linzey, NOAA/NGS

Charlie Challstrom, NOAA/NGS
Leslie Armstrong, FGDC
Alison Dishman, FGDC
Dennis Crow, USDA/OCIO
Nancy Blyler, USACE
Brian Cullis, DoD
Kim Owens, NOAA
Tony LaVoi, NOAA
Billy Tolar, FGDC
Tricia Gibbons, LEAD Alliance
Monica DeAngelo, FERC
Brett Abrams, NARA
Anne O’Connor, Census
Kathy Covert, FGDC
Ann Frazier, National Research Council
Doug Vandegraft, DOI/FWS
Curt Sumner, ACSM
David Doyle, NOAA/NGS
Eddie Pickle, IONIC
Roger Payne, USGS/BGN
Jennifer Runyon, USGS/BGN
Lou Yost, USGS/BGN
Bill Burgess, NSGIC
Joe Evjen, NOAA/NGS
Julie Maitra, FGDC
Charles Croner, CDC/HHS
John Wertman, AAG
David Painter, FGDC
Leonard Gore, Jr., BLM
Jon Sperling, HUD
Mario Lopez-Gomez, DOJ (FGDC/GIO)
Myra Bambacus, NASA
Carolyn Austin Diggs, Treasury

On the phone:
Alan Voss, TVA
Joe Gregson, NPS
Barb White, FWS

Welcome - Charlie Challstrom, Director of the National Geodetic Survey

Charlie Challstrom welcomed the FGDC Coordination Group to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and gave a brief history of the NGS. The NGS was the U.S.'s first civilian scientific agency and was established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807 as the Survey of the Coast. Its mission included surveys of the interior as the nation grew westward. In 1878 the agency was reorganized and given a new name, the Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS), which it maintained until 1970. In 1970 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created and the National Ocean Service (NOS) was created as a line office of NOAA. To acknowledge the geodetic portion of NOAA mission, the part of NOS responsible for geodetic functions was named the National Geodetic Survey.

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) defines and manages a national coordinate system. This network, the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), provides the foundation for transportation and communication; mapping and charting; and a multitude of scientific and engineering applications. NGS manages the National and Cooperative CORS (Continuously Operated Reference Stations) program which is run in partnership with 140 different organizations across the country. The CORS is radically changing the way surveyors do business and changing the way NGS serves spatial control to the nation. There are even CORS operating in Iraq for the reconstruction effort and CORS will be added in Afghanistan and Ethiopia in the future. The Online Positioning User Services (OPUS) has 100,000 registered users. NGS also has the responsibility for delineating the national shoreline and assists in hurricane damage assessments. NGS also is developing industry specifications for detailed homeland security mapping using LIDAR.

Q. What is the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Project?
A. This project installs and dedicates commemorative markers along the route followed by the Lewis and Clark expedition. Markers have been installed at Monticello, Harpers Ferry, etc. It’s an ongoing project.

Q. How does NGS partner with USGS?
A. In the classic sense we are incorporating USGS data into our database. We also put on workshops related to water resources in partnership with USGS. The USGS State Liaisons should be connecting with those in the NGS State Advisory program.

Leslie Armstrong thanked Charlie Challstrom for his support on Geodetic Standards.

Presentation (PowerPoint)

Announcements – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

Chip Groat, former Director of the USGS retired on June 17, 2005, to accept an appointment at the University of Texas at Austin. Pat Leahy is now acting as Director of the USGS. Linda Gunderson is acting in Pat Leahy’s former position as associate director for Geology of the USGS.

Billy Tolar joined the FGDC staff as the program manager for Standards activities. He will put together a team with Julie Maitra and other USGS staff to focus on maintaining momentum in the standard activities.

Awards – Chuck Croner (HHS/CDC) recently received an award for work he has done with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Doug Nebert (FGDC staff) received an award from OGC – the Kenneth Gardels award dedicated to humane and democratic uses of GIS.

Milo has requested graphics and text from the FGDC member agencies to go in the FGDC exhibit that will be displayed at the ESRI map gallery.

Action 1: Please send any nice graphic files that can be used in the FGDC exhibit at the ESRI map gallery to Leslie Armstrong (larmstrong@fgdc.gov).

Leslie attended the UN Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas a couple of weeks ago. This meeting will next occur in June 2006 in Canada. Please consider participating in next year’s conference, it would be great if we had more participation from our FGDC members.

David Painter will be covering Alison Dishman’s duties while she is on maternity leave from September until December.

Steering Committee Meeting – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

The following recommendations from the Governance Action Team were approved at the June 23 FGDC Steering Committee meeting:

Recommendation 1: Enhance Role and Functions of FGDC

  • Ensure strong and active leadership; resume quarterly FGDC Steering Committee meetings
  • Develop an updated strategic plan
  • Accelerate standards development
  • Create, revise, and update charters for the Steering Committee, Coordination Group, subcommittees, and working groups (discontinue sub-groups as needed)
  • Strengthen and formalize the roles of NSDI liaisons
  • Revise the FGDC annual reporting process to focus on results
  • Develop a communications and outreach strategy
  • Seek opportunities to collaborate with NASCIO and the Federal CIO Council

Recommendation 3: Improve Management of Federal Geospatial Programs

  • Create a geospatial investment analysis capability within FGDC
  • Re-establish geospatial leadership functions within OMB

It was determined at the Steering Committee meeting that more work needed to be done on what was required to fund “Fifty States Initiative” Statewide Coordination Councils. It was also determined that more work needed to be done on Recommendation 2: Establish a National Geospatial Coordination Council (NGCC), before that could be acted upon.

Al Voss stated that the Governance Action Team members would like to continue to work on Recommendation 2: Establish a National Geospatial Coordination Council (NGCC).

Comment: The Coordination Group members would like Ivan to report back to Lynn Scarlett and Karen Evans that there is not consensus among the FGDC member agencies on Recommendation 3. The member agencies question the ability of the FGDC Secretariat to monitor their investments. In particular, USDA and Commerce have concerns.

Action 2: Ivan DeLoatch will discuss the FGDC member agencies’ concern over Recommendation 3: Improve Management of Federal Geospatial Programs (Create a geospatial investment analysis capability within FGDC), with Lynn Scarlett and Karen Evans prior to the October Steering Committee meeting.

Comment: The Steering Committee voting procedure needs to be formalized prior to the October Steering Committee meeting. We need to be sure who is voting - the voting issue is very important because all of these items have significant measures associated with them.

Action 3: Prior to the October Steering Committee meeting the FGDC will formalize the voting process.

Q: What could have been done better at the Steering Committee meeting?
A: The Coordination Group members should be told exactly what is going to be asked of their members prior to the Steering Committee meeting. More time needs to be spent briefing the Coordination Group prior to the Steering Committee meeting. If there are going to be any decisions made at the Steering Committee meeting the Coordination Group members want to be thoroughly briefed, to understand what is expected of their Steering Committee members and what the vote entails.

Comment: The Coordination Group members didn’t like that the issue of funding support for the 50 States Initiative wasn’t brought up to them ahead of time. It seemed almost like a telethon at the Steering Committee meeting with USGS saying that they would fund 10 states and then putting the other agencies on the spot to fund a state.

Q: Considering the fact that 50 States briefed the Coordination Group and promotional materials were out there – what other steps should the 50 States Action Team have taken? A: The Coordination Group members would have liked to have been told what funding decisions were going to be asked of their Steering Committee members.

Comment: Bill Burgess did an excellent job leading the team – it wasn’t until the funding issue came up that it lost some air. The 50 States Initiative was a very successful part of the Future Directions activity.

Bill Burgess comment – This is a bigger issue in general. Everything we do where we make a change – we are going to wind up spending more money. The reality is that each improvement we make will have a cost factor that we need to evaluate ahead of time.

Action 4: Bill Burgess will set up a meeting with Ivan DeLoatch and Tom Weimer to see what they would like him to do to keep the 50 States Initiative on track.

Bill Burgess stated that unfortunately DHS does not want to put the 50 States Initiative into their program now since it wasn’t supported by the Steering Committee. So it will be shelved for another year.

The 50 States Initiative doesn’t just depend on money – partnering and in-kind services could accomplish the same outcome.

Suggestion: You may want to send out an electronic ballot to endorse the 50 States Initiative in concept pending further study on funding.

Comment: Agencies can’t commit until they know what “funding” means. Funding is a big issue.

Suggestion: Bill Burgess should create a more detailed briefing on what the 50 States Initiative means in real terms for financial and other commitments.

Action 5: The 50 States Initiative will be on the September 13 Coordination Group agenda – with more details on what it means in terms of financial and other commitments.

Draft Steering Committee Charter – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

Draft Charter (Word)

Alison Dishman, John Mahoney and Tricia Gibbons developed draft charters for the FGDC Steering Committee and Coordination Group. Up until this time neither group has had a charter. The draft Steering Committee and Coordination Group charters were passed out for the Coordination Group to review.

Action 6: Alison will send a soft copy of the draft Steering Committee and Coordination Group charters to the Coordination Group mailing list. Please send Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) your comments and edits to these draft charters by September 1.

Comment: DoD Installations and Environment would like a seat on the FGDC Steering Committee. Right now DoD has two representatives (NGA and USACE), but NGA addresses items exempted from Circular A-16 and USACE represents civil works. Installations and Environment would address DoD investment management and requires it’s own Steering Committee representative.

Action 7: Alison will speak with Ivan about creating a Steering Committee seat for DoD Installations and Environment.

Comment: Neither charter address the level of responsibility within the Federal agencies. Acquisition management should be added to the first bullet in the charter.

Comment: The charters should include something about the voting process being formalized. The voting process to approve the charters also needs to be addressed. There should be a formal voting process similar to that used by the L-1.

Comment: Take out the piece on vote by consensus.

Draft Coordination Group Charter – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

Draft Charter (Word)

Comment: The voting process should be formalized in this charter too.

Comment: Should membership be called out differently because of multiple members for DOI and DOD etc.?

Comment: The mechanism to coordinate votes within Departments needs to be addressed. Dennis Crowe pulls together the vote for NRCS and USFS at the departmental level. Who does this for DOI?

Comment: Should votes be taken at the agency level at the Coordination Group?

Action 8: Tony LaVoi will email Alison the NOAA employee performance plan measures regarding their FGDC roles and responsibilities.

Action 9: Doug Vandegraft will also email Alison his performance measures relating to his FGDC responsibilities.

Board on Geographic Names – Roger Payne, USGS/BGN

Standards for Geographic Names exist and are in place. FGDC is represented on the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) by Doug Vandegraft (FWS), Betsy Kanalley (USFS) and Bonnie Gallahan (FGDC).

Geographic Names was recognized as a problem during the first great expedition to the west. Although they were collecting a lot of data, in many instances the maps weren’t useable because they had different names for the same feature. In 1890 the US Board on Geographic Names was established by Presidential Executive Order. In 1947 the Board was reestablished by Public Law to standardize geographic names for the Federal government and to formulate principles, policies and procedures to achieve the promulgation of standardized names.

Names shown on USGS topographic maps, USFS maps and NOAA nautical charts used to be the only three official sources of geographic names. Today no Federal agency may change or add unilaterally any name on any product without BGN approval; however an agency may choose to leave the name off a map or out of a publication. Congress is the only outfit that can overrule the BGN. The most important toponymic policy for the Federal government is local use and acceptance – the BGN refers the name proposals to state names authorities.

USBGN is divided into the Domestic Names Committee (DNC), with staff support through USGS, and the Foreign Names Committee (FNC), with staff support through NGA. Only Federal employees are permitted to vote on the committee.

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) http://geonames.usgs.gov/
is the only source for applying geographic names to Federal maps and other products depicting areas under U.S. jurisdiction. The GNIS deals with every category of name except roads and highways.

FIPS 55 Code will be carried through 2012 but is being replaced by GNIS ID codes which will be random and have no data content in the number. Until 2012 both codes will be shown in the GNIS for a feature. Fed agencies that use FIPS 55 place codes will be expected to switch over to the GNIS ID codes.

The following departments/agencies are members of the Domestic Names Committee:
Agriculture Department (USFS)
Commerce Department (NOAA, Census)
Government Printing Office
Department of Homeland Security (FEMA, USCG)
Department of the Interior (USGS, NPS, BIA, FGDC, BLM, FWS)
Library of Congress
Postal Service

The BGN would like the States and Federal agencies more involved.

Presentation (PowerPoint)

Action 10: If you are interested in the BGN please contact Roger Payne (rpayne@usgs.gov).

Action 11: If you would like your names databases to be added to the GNIS please contact Roger Payne (rpayne@usgs.gov).

Policy on Recognition of Non-Federally Authored Geographic Information Standards and Specifications – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

We have received no comments on this policy thus far. At our last meeting FGDC had an action item to look through our records to find the voting results, but we were unable to find them. So you would be voting to take the proposed policy as is.

Action 12: Alison will send The Policy on Recognition of Non-Federally Authored Geographic Information Standards and Specifications to the designated agency representatives for their review. Please send any comments to Julie Maitra (jmaitra@fgdc.gov) and Leslie Armstrong (larmstrong@usgs.gov). Please return your electronic ballot to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by July 29.

Concern – it’s another process and we are committed to the ANSI process. The onus seems like it’s on the agency in this policy and it could be more proactive.

Response: We aren’t intending to rewrite or revisit a standard.

Suggestion: On page 5 – The FGDC should not just exercise its right to act as the sponsor of a standard in “rare instances”. It should be more proactive.

Future Directions Update – Tricia Gibbons

Status Report (Word)

Tricia passed out a handout with the status of the Future Directions action teams. The teams are in transition. Some are still in the report stage – like results of the metadata survey.

Suggestions: Communications Team and Outreach Team could be combined to create an outreach/communications committee could be created.

Some of the next steps will take financial commitment. We’re in transition.

Action 13: Alison will send a soft copy of Tricia’s handout with the meeting minutes.

Action 14: Alison will send Dennis Crow a list of the Future Directions participants.

Action 15: Doug Nebert will present on the Geospatial Profile of the FEA at an upcoming Coordination Group meeting.

Grants Workshop – Kathy Covert

The grants workshop on June 13-14 was very successful, and was attended by 40 people from 15 agencies, NACo and NSGIC. The grants workshop report will be posted on FGDC website. Background information on the workshop is listed at the following address: http://www.fgdc.gov/fgdc/grantswg/grantsworkshop.html

Accomplishments:

  • Reached consensus to use language of the Federal Enterprise Architecture in order to have common language spanning the grants programs.
  • Reached consensus that we need to find out more about the challenge
  • learn more about the grants that are out there.

Recommendations made by Kathy to Leslie and Ivan:

  • Convene a team of people to write a statement of work to fund the research for the next steps.

Action: If you would like to help draft a statement of work for a competitive contract to do complete the next steps for the grants process please contact Kathy Covert (kcovert@fgdc.gov).

Q: Does anyone else have their GOS OMB milestones modified? For DOC there are at least one of two new milestones for aligned geospatial activities with grants. How does that milestone align with your statement of work activity?

Comment: FGDC and GOS ought to be working on this with OMB on a daily basis until these milestones are worked out. What is this really all about? The crux of the matter seems to be 2 things: have we gone to the workshop and have we got the button on our grants that says “geospatial”. It’s up to GOS to harvest that info – that’s an e-grants, e-gov and GOS issue. The agencies shouldn’t be dinged on whether we have done these things because its not under our purview.

Q: Do you have a timeframe for results from this small team?
A: We wanted to do it right away and get results by the end of the calendar year to demonstrate to OMB there was good faith effort by the agencies.

Suggestion: FGDC should work with OMB and tell them this is your goal for the grants activity and have them involved with what you are doing so that they will be committed to the results.

The next action is to institutionalize this, bring it into the FGDC as a working group – a Federal Geospatial Grants Working Group. We need a couple people to serve as Chair and Co-Chair. So an alternative would be convene a group of people to take quick actions, write a statement of work and work with OMB to see where the high leverage actions are.

Comment: OMB doesn’t seem to know who to communicate with for data calls. That process needs to be formalized. Tying it to FEA is a good idea, we should talk to Hank.

Leslie is heading up the Geospatial Modernization Blueprint for DOI.

Action 16: If you want to be on a short action team to research the information an agency needs to respond to an OMB data call regarding grants let Leslie (larmstrong@fgdc.gov) know by August 1. There is already money for this activity.

Action 17: Please return your Steering Committee member’s ballot to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by August 1 on “Guidelines for Identifying and Restricting Geospatial Data That Have Significant Potential Value to Adversaries of the United States”.

The next FGDC Coordination Group meeting will be hosted by DoD at the RAND office in Pentagon City on September 13. The agenda will be sent in early September.

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2006 11:30 AM
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