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Standards Working Group 1999 Accomplishments

GOAL 1 - Increase the awareness and understanding of the vision, concepts, and benefits of the NSDI through outreach and education.


·                     SWG members briefed the following groups:

·                     CIA, on FGDC standards

·                     ISO Technical Committee 211 Working Groups 1 and 4, on FGDC profiles of the Spatial Data Transfer Standard

·                     EarthData and TerraPoint, on the Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS), Part 5: Raster Profile and Extensions, FGDC-STD-002.5, and Content Standard for Digital Orthoimagery, FGDC-STD-008-1999

·                     GeoTech Forum ’99, sponsored by the Potomac Region of ASPRS, on Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards and FGDC standards activities.

·                     SWG Standards Coordinator maintained Web pages for disseminating up-to-date information on standards and FGDC standards process.


GOAL 2 - Develop common solutions for discovery, access, and use of geospatial data in response to the needs of diverse communities.


·                     FGDC endorsed four standards developed through the FGDC standards process:

1.       Content Standard for Digital Orthoimagery, FGDC-STD-008-1999 

2.       Content Standard for Remote Sensing Swath Data, FGDC-STD-009-1999

3.       Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, Part 1:  Biological Data Profile, FGDC-STD-001.1-1999

4.       SDTS, Part 5: Raster Profile and Extensions, FGDC-STD-002.5

·                     The Coordination Group approved the SDTS CADD Profile for FGDC endorsement.

·                     The SWG voted to recommend Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standard, Part 4: Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management for approval by the Coordination Group for FGDC endorsement.

·                     The SWG voted to recommend the Shoreline Metadata Profile for release for public review.

·                     SWG membership promoted U.S. review of Committee Drafts of standards developed through ISO Technical Committee 211, Geographic Information/Geomatics, including the ISO Metadata Standard

·                     SWG membership participated in the OpenGIS WWW Mapping Testbed project, which provides access to distributed, remote, heterogeneous geospatial data in a manner that instantly integrates data.


GOAL 3 - Use community-based approaches to develop and maintain common collections of geospatial data for sound decision-making.


·                     FGDC Standards Development Funds were awarded to FGDC Subcommittee and Working Groups to enable non-Federal participation in FGDC standards development.

·                     The Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) program manager agreed to a recommendation submitted by SWG that standards be made part of the application criteria and a “measure of success” for Framework demonstration projects in the FGDC Cooperative Agreements Program


GOAL 4 - Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.


·                     FGDC Standards Development Funds were awarded to FGDC Subcommittee and Working Groups to enable non-Federal participation in FGDC standards development.

·                     SWG membership participated as technical experts on ISO Technical Committee 211 work items and on OpenGIS topics, including the WWW Mapping Testbed.

·                     Past Acting Chair of Standards Working Group invited the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing to become a SWG member.

·                     FGDC Standards Coordinator participated as FGDC Representative to the National Committee for Information Technology Standards (NCITS) Technical Committee L1, Geographic Information Standards and voted on actions.

·                     SWG approved a directive for submitting comments for public review, consistent with ISO directives, with the view to harmonize standards activities between FGDC and ISO/TC 211, ANSI/NCITS L1, and OpenGIS

·                     Lockheed Martin is working on a contract with FGDC to identify relationships among FGDC standards and standards developed through ISO/TC 211, ANSI/NCITS L1, and OpenGIS and to recommend harmonization strategies.




Aside from the successes cited above, there were frustrations.  SWG members are satisfied with the design of the FGDC standards process, as it is similar to ISO and ANSI standards processes.    However, there has been limited or no response to announcement for public reviews.  The FGDC Standards Coordinator advises standards developers that they can’t control the number or quality of comments received during public review, but that they must justify how they promoted public review of the standard.   One may speculate on the reasons (burnout, low priority, “make work”) for seeming indifference by the public to review standards, but there is nothing conclusive.


Similarly, when a standard or proposal is released for SWG review, frequently only the FGDC Standards Coordinator submits a review.   Participation in SWG (and FGDC) is typically not written into people’s performance elements, and is undertaken only if all other responsibilities are carried out: thus, there is no time left over for SWG reviews. The FGDC can, at best, influence: it cannot direct.  The FGDC has reached the limits of volunteerism.


SWG members noted that there have been acting chairs for the last two years.  The FGDC Standards Coordinator has served dual roles as SWG Acting Chair and SWG Executive Secretary for the last six months, and would like to delegate administrative duties to focus on leadership activities.  [A call was made to CG members to identify an acting chair for a yearlong term, and the Facilities Working Group volunteered a representative.]


The FGDC did not act on the recommendation from the Subcommittee for Base Cartographic Data to resolve the definition of the Framework elevation data theme, after the FGDC Coordination Group did not vote to approve the Content Standard for Framework Land Elevation Data for approval.


SWG members also offered the following recommendations to the FGDC as the FGDC considers restructuring:


1.       The FGDC should establish a Program Committee to work on common data requirements across the geospatial data community.   This Committee might take the place of or be established in addition to the FGDC Coordination Group.

2.       The FGDC should find means of enforcing implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure, including NSDI standards.

3.       Focus on transnational ramifications of the NSDI with Canada and Mexico

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:09 PM
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