Appendix E: Federal Geographic Data Committee

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) was established by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-16 to promote the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geographic data. The FGDC is composed of representatives from the following federal agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Library of Congress
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
The National States Geographic Information Council and the National Association of Counties also participate in the FGDC. Additional federal agencies participate on FGDC subcommittees and working groups. The Department of the Interior chairs the committee.

Subcommittees coordinate key data categories. Subcommittees establish and implement standards for data content, quality, and transfer; encourage the exchange of information and the transfer of data; and coordinate the collection of geographic data to reduce duplication of effort. The following are the subcommittees and their lead departments:

  • Base Cartographic, Department of the Interior
  • Bathymetric, Department of Commerce
  • Cadastral, Department of the Interior
  • Cultural and Demographic, Department of Commerce
  • Geodetic, Department of Commerce
  • Geologic, Department of the Interior
  • Ground Transportation, Department of Transportation
  • International Boundaries, Department of State
  • Soils, Department of Agriculture
  • Vegetation, Department of Agriculture
  • Water, Department of the Interior (co-sponsored with the Interagency Advisory Committee on Water Data)
  • Wetlands, Department of the Interior
Working groups address issues that transcend data categories. Working groups have been established for issues of data archives, clearinghouse, earth cover, facilities, framework, standards, and sample inventory and monitoring of natural resources and the environment.

A coordination group develops implementation strategies and coordinates committee- wide activities, such as gathering needs and evaluating proposals.

The FGDC can be contacted by the following means:
Federal Geographic Data
Committee Secretariat
c/o U.S. Geological Survey
590 National Center
Reston, Virginia 20192

Telephone: (703) 648-5514
Facsimile: (703) 648-5755
Electronic mail:
World Wide Web: