FGDC Announces Establishment of New Address Theme

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has announced the establishment of New National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Address Theme. The FGDC Steering Committee, in concurrence with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), approved the creation of a NGDA Address Theme on August 8, 2016.  The addition of the new theme represents an official change to the list of NGDA Data Themes established as part of previous updates to OMB Circular A-16, Appendix E.

The Lead Agencies of the newly created Address Theme are the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau.  The new Address Theme will be supported by a subcommittee and will support the ongoing work to develop a National Address Database.

The NGDA Theme list and associated documents and web pages are being updated to reflect this change. The current list of NGDA Themes is available from the FGDC website at:

FGDC Announces Establishment of New Address Theme - Read More

FGDC Announces the Updated A–16 NGDA Biodiversity and Ecosystems Theme Name

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee approved the proposal to change the name of the A–16 National Geospatial Data Asset from the Biota Theme to Biodiversity and Ecosystems Theme at their June 16, 2016 meeting.

FGDC Announces the Updated A–16 NGDA Biodiversity and Ecosystems Theme Name - Read More

Enabling Transparency for Geospatial Portfolio Management

The FGDC announces the availability of the A–16 National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Theme Summary and Dataset Reports and the associated Performance Dashboard. This information provides consistent reporting for facilitating management of the A–16 NGDA geospatial portfolio as part of the implementation of the NGDA Management Plan (NGDA MP). The NGDA MP is the 3-year process developed to implement NGDA portfolio management as outlined in the OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance (2010). These outputs are the result of efforts by the NGDA Theme Leads and Dataset Managers across the Federal agencies.

The 177 NGDA Dataset Reports contain points of contact, links to metadata, and output from the 2015 Lifecycle Maturity Assessment (LMA), which provides key information about each NGDA Dataset. The 16 Theme Summary Reports contain information about the Theme, an overview of the Theme’s NGDA Dataset maturity and a summary table. The Performance Dashboard visualizes the information from the 2015 NDGA LMA as well as a summary aggregation. For NGDA Datasets with identified Web services, the dashboard also shows Web service availability and reliability. The dashboard is available to anyone but requires a login. Instructions to create an account are on the login page.

For further information please contact .

Enabling Transparency for Geospatial Portfolio Management - Read More

Recommended change to NGDA Biota Theme Name

At their April 2016 meeting the FGDC Steering Committee agreed verbally to the proposal to change the name of the Biota Theme to Biodiversity and Ecosystems Theme. This follows presentations that were made at the December Coordination Group and January NGDA Theme Lead meetings.

The change request was initiated by Roger Sayre, PhD, who is the Senior Scientist for Ecosystems, USGS Land Change Science Program; the GEO Task Lead; and the NGDA dataset manager for Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Conterminous United States. The proposed name will better reflect the content of the theme, as well as align more closely with common terminology used by professionals and subject matter experts using the data. Benefits of the name change include improved clarity; improved accuracy of placement for datasets related to biota, biodiversity, and ecosystems; and increased interest in the theme datasets from broader communities.

Following the presentation in January the proposal was circulated to the Coordination Group, Theme Leads, and Biota dataset managers for comment and consensus. All the feedback received to date has been positive. A vote by the Coordination Group on their recommendation for Steering Committee endorsement is currently underway. Next step will be a vote by the Steering Committee that will include concurrence by OMB, as FGDC Vice Chair.

Operationally, the change will require dataset managers to change the word “Biota” to the term “Biodiversity and Ecosystems” where it appears in metadata and other documentation and references where applicable so that the change will be carried through consistently. The change will also need to be reflected in multiple places, such as the, FGDC annual reports, communications materials, FGDC Web site, NGDA tools and reports. This also includes the current list of 16 NGDAs in OMB Circular A-16, Appendix E: “NSDI Data Themes, Definitions, and Lead Agencies”.

For more information, contact:

Marcia McNiff
Biota Theme Lead

Brigitta Urban-Mathieux
NGDA Coordinator

Recommended change to NGDA Biota Theme Name - Read More

FGDC 2015 Annual Report now available

2015 FGDC Annual ReportThe 2015 annual report is posted on the  FGDC Web site.  The report features an article on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee and provides a summary fiscal year 2015 activities focused on achieving the goals of the 2014-2016 National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) strategic plan. It also includes many Federal agency success stories and reports from the FGDC subcommittees and working groups. 

Jennifer Gimbel, FGDC Chair, stated that "We have made great progress in geospatial programs over the last year—from establishing the Geospatial Platform, to developing and implementing the goals of the NSDI Strategic Plan and the NGDA Management Plan,  to developing initiatives, such as the Open Water Data Initiative and the 3D Elevation Plan."

Many thanks to all the agencies and individuals who contributed content and provided review and comments.  

If you would like a printed version of the report please contact us at 

FGDC 2015 Annual Report now available - Read More

Open for Nominations Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award, due May 6, 2016

Doug NebertThe Federal Geographic Data Committee is now accepting nominations for the Doug D. Nebert National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Champion of the Year Award. Doug was a recognized national and international leader in the establishment of spatial data infrastructures and technical visionary as well as respected colleague.

To commemorate Nebert’s varied contributions to and passions for our nation’s geography and cartography, the FGDC is accepting nominations for the newly established award.

“This award commemorates Doug’s influence in promoting the vision of the NSDI,” said Ivan DeLoatch, Executive Director of the FGDC. “This is a unique opportunity to honor significant contributions to an individual or group of individuals that have furthered the goal of available and easily integrated data to enhance the understanding of our physical and cultural world.”

Eligibility: The nominations are available to an individual or a team representing Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and/or local government, academia, or non-profit and professional organization that has developed an outstanding, innovative, and operational tool, application, or service capability used by multiple organizations that furthers the vision of the NSDI. The nominee must be a US Citizen.

Nomination Process: Each nomination package will be submitted in electronic form through the award Web site and include justification and related nomination information. Nominations are due by May 6, 2016.

Award Selection: An interagency team of SDI experts from the FGDC will review all nominations and make a recommendation for the award to the FGDC Chair who will make the final decision on the award. The award information will be posted on the FGDC Web site. 

This NSDI award will be based on the following foundational precepts:

  • Innovation and vision
  • Interoperability
  • Use of standards
  • Advancement of NSDI principles
  • Service to communities of users
  • Developed once, used by many
  • Improved performance and service
  • Real-world application 
Further questions can be directed to Gita Urban-Mathieux or Rich Frazier.


Open for Nominations Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award, due May 6, 2016 - Read More

Interior Department Appoints New Members and Leadership to National Geospatial Advisory Committee

February 26, 2016

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has appointed a new Chair and Vice Chair and 14 new and continuing members to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC), which provides recommendations to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), the interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in federal geospatial programs. 

Julie Sweetkind-Singer, the new NGAC Chair, is a leader in the geospatial library and information management community, serving as the Assistant Director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data; and Head Librarian of the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections at Stanford University. Sweetkind-Singer has served as NGAC Vice-Chair for the past year.

Keith Masback, the new vice-chair, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. Before serving in this role, he was an officer in the U.S. Army and a senior executive in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 

"We are honored to have these accomplished geospatial professionals as leaders and members of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee,” said Jennifer Gimbel, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, who serves as Chair of the FGDC Steering Committee. “The NGAC has been a valuable resource and an excellent partner for the Federal geospatial community, and has provided thoughtful advice and recommendations on a wide range of geospatial policy and management issues. Geospatial data and technology are essential for Federal agencies and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with this distinguished set of leaders.” 

The NGAC includes up to 30 members, selected to achieve a balanced representation of the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology. NGAC members are appointed to serve staggered terms on the committee. The appointees to three-year terms on the NGAC are: 

  • Mr. David Alexander, Department of Homeland Security 
  • Mr. Frank Avila, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency 
  • Dr. Sarah Battersby, Tableau Software 
  • Mr. Talbot Brooks, Delta State University (reappointed to a second term)
  • Mr. Matt Gentile, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Mr. Frank Harjo, Muscogee (Creek) Nation (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Mr. Xavier Irias, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Mr. Roger Mitchell, MDA Information Systems, Inc. (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Ms. Rebecca Moore, Google, Inc. 
  • Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, Hunter College, City University of New York 
  • Dr. Carl Reed, Carl Reed and Associates, LLC 
  • Ms. Amber Reynolds, City of Topeka, Kansas 
  • Dr. Douglas Richardson, American Association of Geographers (reappointed to a second term) 
  • Dr. May Yuan, University of Texas – Dallas 

The NGAC meets three to four times per year. The public is invited to comment and make suggestions at all committee meetings, which will be announced by publication in the Federal Register at least 15 days before the meeting date. The U.S. Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior, provides support services for the NGAC. The NGAC functions solely as an advisory body. 

The NGAC was created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, enacted by Congress in 1972 to ensure that advice rendered to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions formed by Congress and the President, be both objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies. 

Additional information about the NGAC, including a complete list of the committee members, is available at

Download the PDF version of the release.

Interior Department Appoints New Members and Leadership to National Geospatial Advisory Committee - Read More

FGDC Steering Committee Member Carrie Stokes Receives AAG Award

Carrie Stokes, an FGDC Steering Committee member representing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 2011 has been selected as one of two recipients of this year’s American Association of Geographers (AAG) Gilbert White Public Service Award. As per the award release "Stokes epitomizes the ‘geographer as leader’ as demonstrated by her unwavering commitment to public service through advancing geography within and beyond government, Through her years of advocacy, leadership and action to promote the use of remote sensing and GIS to inform international development, humanitarian assistance, and climate change mitigation, she has had a profound impact on government policy and its on-the-ground effectiveness around the world, from Bangladesh to Central America. As an unsurpassed ambassador for geography and its ability to transform development programming, she deserves our highest commendation as an “enabler of dreams.”

Read the complete announcement on the AAG website.
Congratulations Carrie!

FGDC Steering Committee Member Carrie Stokes Receives AAG Award - Read More

Introducing the Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award

The FGDC is pleased to announced the establishment of the Doug D. Nebert National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Champion of the Year Award in honor of a respected colleague, technical visionary, and recognized national and international leader in the establishment of spatial data infrastructures. Details of the nomination and award process will be made available in early 2016 via the FGDC Web site with the first award anticipated to be announced in Summer of 2016.

The vision of the NSDI is to assure that spatial data from multiple sources—Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and local governments, academia, and the private sector—are available and easily integrated to enhance the understanding of our physical and cultural world. Each year, the award will be announced in the FGDC Annual Report and will be presented to an individual or team representing Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and (or) local governments, academia, or nonprofit and professional organizations for development of an innovative and operational geospatial tool, application, or service capability used by multiple organizations. 

This NSDI award will be based on the following foundational precepts: 

  • Innovation and vision
  • Interoperability 
  • Use of standards 
  • Advancement of NSDI principles 
  • Service to communities of users 
  • Developed once, used by many 
  • Improved performance and service 
  • Real-world application 

If you have any questions, please contact Gita Urban-Mathieux, .

Introducing the Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award - Read More

FGDC endorses Part 2, Digital Orthoimagery (revised), of the Geographic Information Framework Data Standard

The FGDC Steering Committee endorsed Part 2, Digital Orthoimagery (revised) of the Geographic Information Framework Data Standard on September 29, 2015.

FGDC endorses Part 2, Digital Orthoimagery (revised), of the Geographic Information Framework Data Standard - Read More

Track Hurricane JOAQUIN using NOAA's nowCOAST - a Web Mapping Portal to Real-Time Coastal Observations, Forecasts, and Warnings

With Hurricane Joaquin approaching the eastern coast of the United States, anyone looking for reliable NOAA weather mapping services can use the recently launched updated version of NOAA/National Ocean Service’s nowCOAST, a GIS-based web mapping portal. nowCOAST  has provided the coastal community for the past 12 years with a  centralized site to display and obtain maps of near-real-time  oceanographic and weather observations, analyses, imagery, model  forecast guidance, forecasts, and warnings as well as hyperlinks to  thousands of observing sites, point forecasts and forecast discussions  from across NOAA.

nowCOAST has been migrated to use newer web mapping software and an open  source database.  The new nowCOAST version provides users with both  time-enabled ArcGIS Server Representative State Transfer (REST) map  services and time-enabled OGC Web Map Services (WMS).   nowCOAST's new  map viewer utilizes the time-enabled REST services, allowing users to  display and animate observational data for the past few hours and  forecasts and model guidance for several days into the future. Also,  a few new map layers (e.g. forecast guidance from additional  NOS oceanographic forecast modeling systems, near-real-time lightning  strike density) have been added or expanded in temporal resolution  and/or time extent in response to users' requests over the years.

nowCOAST offers over 60 mapping services that can be accessed at!section=mapservices

In addition, the new nowCOAST has been moved into the NWS Integrated  Dissemination Program (IDP) 24 x 7 high availability GIS hosting facility, operated by  NWS/NCEP Central Operations. This will provide operational high reliability of  nowCOAST 's map services and map viewer for its users and partners.

Visit nowCOAST at

Track Hurricane JOAQUIN using NOAA's nowCOAST - a Web Mapping Portal to Real-Time Coastal Observations, Forecasts, and Warnings - Read More

FGDC Releases ISO Geospatial Metadata Editors Registry

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) has released the ISO Geospatial Metadata Editors Registry application to share information across the NSDI community about tools that can be used to create ISO compliant metadata. This online Registry provides comparative descriptions about the editor features, functionality, supported standards, and points of contact.

The Registry is available at:

Software developers are encouraged to provide input about their applications and expand the number of available ISO Geospatial Metadata Editors in the Registry. Another Registry feature allows users to provide individual reviews of different tools. User reviews may be submitted by FGDC Metadata Working Group (MWG) members only. If you are interesting in submitting a user review and would like to join the MWG, please email a request to  with your name, organization, and email address.

Special thanks to GeoNetwork, CatMDEdit, ESRI, Jennifer Walter (USGS), Doug Newcomb (USFWS), and Kathy Martinolich (NOAA/RTI) for testing and providing feedback on the application.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Carlino, FGDC Metadata Coordinator,

FGDC Releases ISO Geospatial Metadata Editors Registry - Read More

An Introduction to the Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA) - ISE Blog post by Ivan DeLoatch & David Alexander

Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC Executive Director and David J. Alexander, Director, Geospatial Management Office, DHS and also an FGDC Executive Member authored a guest blog post on the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) website introducing the Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA). 

The blog post is available online at

An Introduction to the Geospatial Interoperability Reference Architecture (GIRA) - ISE Blog post by Ivan DeLoatch & David Alexander - Read More

FGDC endorses five standards

The FGDC Steering Committee recently endorsed five standards after review and recommendation for endorsement by the FGDC Coordination Group and FGDC Standards Working Group.

FGDC endorses five standards - Read More

2015 GSDI Small Grants Awarded

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association is pleased to announce that four proposals have received awards from the 2015 Small Grants Program.

Since its launch in 2003, the GSDI Association's Small Grants Program has supported more than 100 projects around the world. Support for the program comes from a partnership between the GSDI Association, the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Canada’s GeoConnections Program, and the GISCorps of URISA. Three types of awards are available: a cash award of up to US$ 2500 per project; SDI/GIS consulting services up to the value of US$ 2500; or a combination of cash award and SDI/GIS consulting services. The consulting services are offered through the GISCorps.

In 2015, GSDI secured additional funding from the GeoConnections Program within Natural Resources Canada for four more GSDI Small Grant projects which were selected from highly rated 2014 proposals and come from Ecuador, Jamaica, Indonesia, and South Africa. Staff from the FGDC and the GSDI Association administer the Small Grant program.


Title: GeoCommunity Galapagos: Creating a Community-Based SDI for the Galapagos Islands

Institution:  GeoCentro - Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador

Project summary: This project supports the development of a community-based SDI Galapagos (GeoCommunity Galapagos) that will allows local authorities and communities in the Galapagos Islands to take informed actions in meeting the challenges of sustaining a vulnerable and unique island ecosystem in the 21st century. Project deliverables include:

• A conceptual framework for the community-based SDI Galapagos including a GeoCommunication framework focusing on citizen participation in spatial planning
• A system architecture and design of the SDI Galapagos.
• Implementation of flagship projects that are simple and easy-to-use GIS-applications based on shared spatial data and information.
• Publications in scientific media/conferences and local media and an online tutorial for designing and implementation community-based SDIs.


Title: Survey of SDI Readiness in Indonesian Local Government

Institution:  Research Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure Development (PPIDS), Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Project summary: This project will complete a comprehensive survey of SDI readiness at the local government level. The survey will obtain evidence-based information required to devise appropriate strategies for SDI development. The project deliverables include:

• Web-based self-assessment tools for SDI Readiness.
• Interactive maps of Indonesian Local Government's SDI Readiness. The map will also present an interactive analysis of SDI components and roles.
• A workshop for validation and analysis as well as launching the web-based tools and maps.


Title: Upgrading in the National Metadata Portal

Institution:  National Spatial Data Management Division, Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, Climate Change, Jamaica

Project summary: This project supports upgrading the current metadata portal that is used by Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) member organizations. The portal will enable discovery and use of geospatial resources including datasets, rasters, and Web services and will support a standards-based clearinghouse and metadata discovery applications. The GSDI Small Grant supports this deliverables:

• Creation and publication of user guide for the platform.
• Creation and publishing of metadata records on the upgraded platform.


Title: Developing a Framework for South African SDI Education and Training

Institution:  Committee for Spatial Information (South Africa), Sub-Committee on Education and Training

Project summary: The project will initiate a discussion on GIS market sector demand in Southern Africa with academics, researchers, and industry representatives. In addition, a survey of GIS user needs will be conducted in order to better inform education and training curricula. These are the planned deliverables for the project:

• A workshop to prepare a framework for South African SDI education and training, at the University of Pretoria.
• A survey of tertiary education sector curricula (SDI contact) in South Africa.
• A database of currently available SDI education and training material that will be published on a central web page.


Once completed, summaries and final reports of these projects will be posted to the GSDI Website by April 2016.

For more information please visit the GSDI Small Grants Program web page.

2015 GSDI Small Grants Awarded - Read More

PLSS Data Sets Catalog available through

BLM Cadastral Survey, the FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee, Premier Data Services, and Fairview Industries, have teamed over the past four years to complete the standardized PLSS data for nearly all of the 30 Public Domain states. Oklahoma is the only state waiting to be completed and it is in process. These data sets represent about 40 million parcels that provide the basis for parcel mapping, land governance decisions, and navigation of cadastral data in Public Domain states. 

The catalog listing the location of available standardized PLSS data sets which are hosted by BLM and states is available through the Geospatial Platform. The catalog can be accessed at:

PLSS Data Sets Catalog available through - Read More

3DEP Data Acquisition Partnership Opportunities

FY15 BAA / FY16 Awards

3DEP Data Acquisition Partnership Opportunities - Read More

A-16 NGDA Themes Crosswalk to Framework Themes

The National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) Themes list has been updated to indicate Framework themes for consistency with OMB Circular A-16 Appendix E. 
A-16 NGDA Themes Crosswalk to Framework Themes - Read More

U.S. Board on Geographic Names Celebrates 125TH Anniversary

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) will be observing its 125th anniversary by inviting the public to a one-day symposium on geographic names, “Traditions and Transitions”.  The event, at the Library of Congress, will be held on Friday, September 18, 2015 in the Mumford Room, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by an Open House and special exhibit from the Library of Congress.  No registration is required to attend. For more information, please contact

The symposium morning session keynote speech will feature "Geographic Names:  Roles, Rhetoric, and Resistance", plus presentations on national naming authorities, and the origins and evolution of the BGN.  The afternoon session will feature presentations on tribal names, English-language names in a multi-lingual world, and the state of volunteer geographic information. The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division will host a special exhibit and Open House following the program.  Featured items will include historical documents, maps and associated materials of the Board on Geographic Names.

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names was established by Executive Order from President Benjamin Harrison, on September 4, 1890, to standardize geographic names for federal government use.  The BGN is federal body comprised of ten member agencies.  The BGN organization includes the Domestic and Foreign Names Committees, and three Advisory Committees.  Committee meetings are held regularly, and activities are reported annually.  The BGN website hosts the online domestic geographic feature names database,, with links to the foreign geographic feature names, hosted by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency,

U.S. Board on Geographic Names Celebrates 125TH Anniversary - Read More

HUD Releases Geospatial Storefront

The first iteration of HUD’s Geospatial Storefront, released on June 9th,2015 is an easy-to-use portal where users can search for and discover the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) geospatial datasets, application programming interfaces (APIs), web-based mapping applications, and other eGIS initiatives. The Storefront unifies public access to HUD’s portfolio of applications and geospatial data resources, including the 11 National Geospatial Data Asset (NGDA) data sets that HUD is currently contributing to the Federal geospatial data portfolio. The initial build of the Storefront is focused on HUD’s core geospatial data sets, but will soon include all of HUD’s published geospatial data. Following iterations will also include expanded documentation including developer guidance for the APIs, on-line training resources for HUD mapping applications, and tighter coordination with and

Visit HUD's Geospatial Storefront

HUD Releases Geospatial Storefront - Read More