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NOAA Coastal Services Center Activities in Support of the FGDC, 1999

The NOAA Coastal Services Center supports the NSDI through many programs and initiatives.  The Center is active on a number of NSDI subcommittees, is the chair of the Bathymetric subcommittee, participates in the development of framework data, and helps build standards.  The Center completed two projects that were funded by the FGDC and received funding for another under the Don’t Duck Metadata program.  The Center employs a full-time metadata specialist who ensures the Center’s data follows FGDC standards and trains the Center’s partners in creating FGDC compliant metadata.  The Center supports both a Clearinghouse gateway and node.  The Center participated in both the National GeoData Forum and the Southeast Regional Framework Workshop.

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

The Center has developed a hands-on metadata workshop that it offers to its partners. Attendees bring a data set to the workshop and leave with an FGDC compliant metadata record for the data.  The workshops typically last two days and include instructions on setting up an FGDC Clearinghouse node.  During 1999, the Center trained participants from the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Program, National Marine Sanctuary Program, NSDI Community Demonstration Projects, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

Through an MOU with the FGDC, the Center hosted a workshop for FGDC partners to develop a standardized curriculum on the FGDC metadata standard and Clearinghouse.  The Center has contracted with the Center for Clear Communication to take the materials developed at the workshop and create professional training materials and teacher notes.

The Center is frequently called upon to give presentations on the value of the NSDI and FGDC standards.  The purpose of the presentations is to convince the audience to support the FGDC, particularly by implementing the metadata standard and Clearinghouse.  Some of the more notable presentations were given to the NOAA National Ocean Service Senior Management Council, Coastal America Partnership, Coastal GeoTools ’99 Conference, Estuarine Research Federation International Conference, and the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) Annual Conference.

The Center has created a Coastal Metadata Reference Guide that is accessible on the web at  The site provides information on documenting coastal data using the FGDC standard. 

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

The Center supported several initiatives to help its customers find geospatial data of interest. A report was completed on the “Benefits of Using a GIS for Ocean Planning and Governance” and is being edited for publication in a technical series.  Additional initiatives include:

·        Publication of geospatial data and metadata on CD-ROMs and web pages (

·        Creation and maintenance of a web resource linking customers to sources of GIS data (

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

The Center’s Coastal Information Directory was developed to link customers to a variety of data, products, and information regarding the nation’s coastline.  It provides single query access to coastal data and information available through FGDC Clearinghouse nodes and on-line library catalog systems. It has recently been expanded to include links to web pages containing coastal data.

The Center has worked with its partners to produce a number of CD-ROMs and web pages that were designed for specific communities. Examples of these products include:

·        Creation of a common shoreline data layer.

·        Access to comprehensive ocean-related data and information for the southeastern U.S.

·        Digital line boundaries for each of the NERR sites.

·        Creation of tool to help communities use geospatial data to assess vulnerability to coastal hazards.

A full list of geospatial data products and tools is available on the Center’s web site (

NSDI Goal 4: Build relationships among organizations to support the continuing development of the NSDI.

The Center constantly promotes the value of the NSDI to its partners.  The Center requires its contractors and grant recipients to follow NSDI standards.  The Center is actively pursuing the use of FGDC metadata and Clearinghouse architecture into new systems being developed in-house and by Center partners.  The Center has worked diligently with the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML) to ensure the data from the network of over 100 labs are documented according to FGDC standards.  Furthermore, the Center is helping NAML design NAML’s LabNet system, which will provide access and analysis tools for NAML data, to be based on the FGDC Clearinghouse architecture and metadata standard.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:09 PM
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