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FGDC Annual Report to OMB

Format for Agency Reports - FY 2001

The following outline should be used by FGDC Member Agencies (or Bureaus) for their Annual Spatial Data Reports, which will be consolidated by the FGDC and submitted to OMB. Reports should be brief, using bullets where possible. Please provide only the information that will be useful for OMB to assess the agencies' achievements using the funding they received, and for establishing future direction.

Part A

1. Agency or Bureau:

Department of Commerce (DOC)-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of the Census

2. Name of Contact for Report:

Howard Diamond

3. Steering Committee Member:

Mary Glackin


Coordination Group Participant(s):
Email Address:
Phone #:
Fred Broome
Charles W. Challstrom
Howard Diamond
Anne Hale-Miglarese
Rick Yorczyk
301-713-3230 x142


5. Subcommittee or Working Group Participation: Subcommittees or Working Groups in which your agency is actively involved, but does not lead:

  • FGDC Base Cartographic Subcommittee
  • FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee
  • FGDC Subcommittee on Cultural & Demographic Data (Lead)
  • FGDC Subcommittee on Federal Geodetic Control (Lead)
  • FGDC Subcommittee on Marine and Coastal Spatial Data (Lead)
  • FGDC Subcommittee on Spatial Climate Subcommittee
  • FGDC Ad Hoc Metadata Working Group
  • FGDC Biological Data Working Group
  • FGDC Clearinghouse Working Group
  • FGDC Earth Cover Working Group (Former Lead)
  • FGDC Marine Boundary Working Group (Lead)
  • FGDC Coordination Group
  • FGDC Standards Working Group
  • FGDC Cultural and Demographic Statistics Working Group (Lead)
  • FGDC Governmental Units Working Group (Lead)

6. Goals and Accountability: Are you using spatial data with regard to performance?

a. List agency GPRA strategic plan goals specifically related to spatial data activities (or "none"):

The Department of Commerce (DOC) fully supports the National Spatial Data Infrastructure for the benefit of local and state coastal resource managers. As an example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mission is to describe and predict changes in the Earth's environment, and conserve and manage wisely the Nation's coastal and marine resources to ensure sustainable economic opportunities. By its nature, this mission statement lends itself very well to pursuing the goals of the NSDI. The NOAA Strategic Plan lays out a set of goals that again are in line with the NSDI. This vision depends on actions now that:

  • Create and disseminate reliable assessments and predictions of weather, climate, space environment, ocean and living marine resources, nautical, aeronautical and geodetic phenomena and systems.
  • Implement integrated approaches to environmental management and ocean and coastal resources development for economic and social health.
  • Ensure continuous operational observing capabilities -- from satellites to ships to radars.
  • Build and use new information networks.
  • Develop public-private and international partnerships for the expansion and transfer of environmental knowledge and technologies.
  • Invest in scientific research and the development of new technologies to improve current operations and prepare for the future.
  • Improve NOAA's abilities to serve its customers and forge stronger ties with its partners and stakeholders.

The NOAA Strategic Plan can be found on the Internet at the following address:

In line with that, section four of the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) Strategic Plan is entitled the "Coastal National Spatial Data Infrastructure Theme." Projects in this area include the assistance to coastal managers in a variety of data-related tasks, including data acquisition, processing, storage, distribution, ease of use, and inclusion in the decision making process. In addition a number of goals related to furthering the strategic plan of the National Geodetic Survey are also included. Those goals specifically related to these spatial data activities are as follows:

  • The coastal management community understands and embraces the vision, concepts, and benefits of the NSDI.
  • Geospatial coastal and marine framework data are readily available for use by the coastal management community.
  • Innovative practices and technologies that facilitate the discovery, collection, description, access, and preservation of geospatial data are widely available to the coastal zone management community.
  • Foster, develop, and implement geospatial data applications in response to the needs of the coastal and marine communities.
  • Delivery and Evolution of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS)
  • Delivery: Increase the reliability, accessibility, availability and accuracy of (NSRS).
  • Evolution: Evolve the National Spatial Reference System to respond to the changing environment and user needs.
  • Achieve world-class leadership in use and innovative techniques and application of geodetic science, remote sensing, and precise positioning.

b. List agency GPRA performance measures specifically related to spatial data activities (or "none"):

Complete a percentage of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) [derived from the following three performance measures]:

  • FBN Horizontal - Percentage of Federal Base Network stations with NAD 83 latitudes and longitudes with 2 cm accuracy at 95% confidence level - Horizontal component.
  • Percentage of Networks with NAVD-88 heights with 5 cm or better accuracy (95% confidence level), resulting from direct connections to NAVD 88 bench marks through classical line-of-sight leveling ties to bench marks or Global Positioning System ties - Vertical component.
  • User availability to National GPS Continuously Operating Reference Station (National CORS) network measured by cumulative percent of areas of U.S. within 200 km of a National CORS.

7. Strategy: Has your agency prepared a strategy for advancing geographic information and spatial data activities in coordination with the FGDC strategy, pursuant to Circular A-16?

This strategy is still evolving; below are a few examples.

  • All NSDI framework data and users' applications data require geodetic control to accurately register spatial data. Geodetic control provides a common reference system for establishing coordinates for all geographic data. The National Spatial Reference System is the fundamental geodetic control for the United States. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) annually creates operating and work plans. The primary component of these plans deals with the delivery and evolution of he National Spatial Reference System.
  • NGS is the lead agency and chair of the Federal Geodetic Control Subcommittee and also chairs the GPS Interagency Advisory Council (GIAC).
  • The Coastal National Spatial Data Infrastructure theme of the NOAA CSC strategic plan outlines a strategy pursuant to Circular A-16 section 6.A.1.
  • The NOAA CSC is the chair of the FGDC Marine and Coastal Spatial Data Subcommittee and co-chair of the Marine Boundary Working Group.

8. Standards: Has your agency developed and/or adopted appropriate standards?

The following four standards have been fully endorsed by the FGDC:

  • Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards, Part 1: Reporting Methodology
  • Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards, Part 2: Standards for Geodetic Networks,
  • Spatial Data Transfer Standard (SDTS) Part 6: Point Profile
  • Shoreline Metadata Profile of the Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata.

In addition, the following standards related activities and associated documentation work has been accomplished:

  • NGS has in place Input Formats and Specifications of the National Geodetic Survey Data Base. This is the standard method for contributors of geodetic data to have their data adjusted, archived, and disseminated.
  • NGS collaborated with the Federal Aviation Administration in developing General Specifications for Aeronautical Surveys Volume I, Establishment of Geodetic Control on Airports.
  • NGS is currently developing a variety of specifications and guidelines:
  • Guidelines for Establishing Federal Base and Cooperative Base Networks.
  • Guidelines for Establishing GPS-Derived Orthometric Heights,
  • Constrained Adjustment Guidelines,
  • Guidelines for Setting 3D Monuments,
  • Guidelines for Establishing Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) (National & Cooperative),
  • Guidelines for Densifying the NSRS (First-order GPS),
  • Guidelines for Rapid Static and Kinematic GPS Surveys,
  • Guidelines for Real-Time Positioning,
  • Using the Geodetic Toolkit,
  • Using NGS Geoid Models,
  • Using Horizontal Time-Dependent Positioning (HTDP ) software,
  • Using CORS (National & Cooperative),
  • Using NADCON coordinate datum conversion software,
  • Using State Plane Coordinate and Universal Transverse Mercator Systems,
  • Using the On-line Positioning User Service (OPUS ),
  • Using NGS Antenna Calibrations,
  • Using NGS Orbits,
  • Accuracy Assessment of CORS, and
  • Accuracy Assessment of the Federal Base and Cooperative Base Networks.

9. Metadata: Is your agency's metadata and/or data available and discoverable online through an NSDI-compatible clearinghouse node registered as part of the NSDI Clearinghouse Network?

Yes. The data includes the following types:

  • Geodetic Control (data sheets)
  • Shoreline Data (digital compilation)
  • Calibration Base Lines
  • Gravity Data and Models
  • Geoid and Deflection of the Vertical Models
  • GPS Orbits
  • Shoreline Data (manual compilation), and
  • Aerial Photographs
  • Coastal Data
  • Climate and Weather Data
  • Ocean Data
  • Fisheries Data
  • Demographic Data
  • Environmental Satellite Data

10. Vertical and Horizontal Data Integration: Is your data integrable with other Federal agencies and other sources of data (State, County, local, private)?

Yes, via the FGDC Clearinghouse Nodes.

11. E-Gov: How are you using geospatial data in your mission activities to provide better services? (Please list)

  • National Virtual Data System providing climatic, oceanographic, and geophysical data from NOAA's three data centers. (
  • National Environmental Data Index, a one-stop shop for environmental information (e.g., data, reports, legislation, etc.) from a number of federal agencies (
  • NGS Data Sheet - geodetic control point data sheet. Data sheets are generated live from the NGS database via the Internet.
  • CORS data - from National Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS), Cooperative CORS, and California CORS are accessible via the Internet.
  • OPUS - On-line Positioning User Service (OPUS) allows GPS users to input their data to NGS via the Internet and receive, in return, an accurate geodetic position.
  • NOAA Shoreline Data Explorer
  • Ocean Planning and Information System (OPIS). OPIS provides easy access to comprehensive ocean-related data and information to enhance integrated approaches to coastal and ocean resource management.
  • Coastal Information Directory (CID). CID provides access to coastal-related databases and libraries throughout the nation at

12. Are there areas or issues regarding spatial data that require attention, or lessons-learned that you would like to share with others? Please describe.

We are constantly looking at the best uses of spatial data to fulfill the varied missions of both NOAA and the Census Bureau. As we work our way through this we share this information on a collaborative basis with other FGDC members via the various FGDC Subcommittee and Working Group venues. The one lesson learned is that this field is in constant flux regarding technological and collaborative advances. While it is difficult to get a complete handle in this area, we have learned that the FGDC provides an excellent forum for the dissemination and discussion of where we are headed in this area.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2006 03:07 PM
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