Federal Trail Data Standards
On September 30, 2011, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee voted to endorse the Federal Trail Data Standards (FTDS). The FTDS enable national, regional, state, and trail-level managers, partners, and the public to use a common and mutually understood terminology for recording, retrieving and applying spatial and tabular information. The FTDS also make it easier for trail information to be accessed and combined by individuals, agencies, or groups. Ease in sharing data improves the ability for enhanced and consistent mapping, inventory, condition assessment, management, budgeting, monitoring, and information retrieval for internal and external needs.
Trails of all kinds, including Congressionally and secretarially-designated trails, are strongly recognized by the public and governmental agencies as important recreational and cultural resource corridors. The National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the United States Forest Service (USFS) have worked for many years with each other and with States, local governments and trail organizations to promote and develop trails for the benefit of the public.
Universal trail data standards will enable national, regional, state, and trail-level managers and the public to use mutually understood terminology for recording, retrieving and applying spatial and tabular information. Data standards will make it easier for trail information to be accessed, exchanged and used by more than one individual, agency or group. Ease in sharing data increases the capability for enhanced and consistent mapping, inventory, monitoring, condition assessment, maintenance, costing, budgeting, information retrieval, and summary reporting for most internal and external needs.
The collection, storage, and management of trail-related data are important components of everyday business activities in many Federal and State land-managing agencies, trail organizations, and businesses. From a management perspective, trails data must often mesh closely with other types of infrastructure, resource, and facility enterprise data. For the public using paper maps, the internet, GPS or other instrumentation, standard data formats enable users to consistently and predictably identify specific trails and a core set of corresponding information. Today, digital trail data are a necessity throughout a trail data management life cycle, from trail planning through design, construction, operation, and maintenance.
Automating, sharing, and leveraging trail data through a widely-accepted standard can provide a variety of important benefits:
Efficiency – creating and gathering trail data that are standardized and readily usable.
Compatibility – compiling data from one project or discipline that can be compatible with other applications;
Consistency – using the same standards, meshing data produced by one organization with that developed by another;
Speed – hastening the availability of data through a reduction in duplicative efforts and lowered production costs (Applications can be developed more quickly and with more interoperability by using existing standards-compliant data);
Conflict resolution – resolving conflicting trail data more easily if compliant to the same standards;
Reliability – improving the quality of shared trail data by increasing the number of individuals who find and correct errors; and
Reusability – allow maximum reuse across agencies and support objectives of E-Government (E-Gov) initiatives and enterprise architecture.
The functional scope of the standard includes the definition of a core set of trail data attributes, corresponding values, and definitions. These standards reflect tabular and spatial trail data applicable only to trails within the United States, including all U.S. territories and outlying possessions.
Federal Interagency Council on Trails
|Proposal||2007/02/01||FGDC Standards Working Group|
|Committee draft||2007/11/29||FGDC Standards Working Group|
|Comments by Julie Binder Maitra||2008/01/09||FGDC Standards Working Group|
|Comments by Sharon Shin||2008/01/10||FGDC Standards Working Group|
|Public review draft||2008/05/19||FGDC Secretariat|
|2010/09||FGDC Standards Working Group|
|FGDC-STD-017-2011 FGDC-endorsed standard||2011/11||
National Park Service