June 11, 1996 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary


Bruce Ambacher (Historical); Gerry Barton (Commerce); Andy Battin (EPA); Fred Broome, Leslie Godwin (Cultural and Demographic); Carolyn Davis (FEMA); Rob Haar, John Stewart (DOE); Richard Hogan, Denise Perreca (Standards); Fred Kaiser, Peggy Harwood (Vegetation); Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric); M.K. Miles, Penny Capps, Paul Nagele (Defense); John Spencer (Geodetic); Gale TeSelle (Soils); Brad Thomas (International Boundaries); Gene Thorley (Chair); Dan Webb, Bob Ader (Cadastral); John Moeller, Mickey Kilpatrick, Bruce McKenzie, Kathy Covert, Doug Nebert (FGDC Secretariat).

Information Items

Outstanding Action Items:

FGDC Directory

Membership lists for subcommittees and working groups were distributed at the last meeting; corrections were requested by June 11. Not all groups have responded. A directory will be prepared with the best information available as of July 3.

Agency Contacts in States and Regions

tate council representatives requested contacts for Federal agencies in their States/regions. A request for this information was sent to Steering Committee members (agency representatives). The target date for collection of this information was June 26. The information may be provided by softcopy to FGDC Secretariat for a web site entry on the FGDC home page, or through an FGDC home page pointer to information on an agency s home page. Coordination Group members are asked to provide support as needed to establish these points of contact.

Clearinghouse Full Implementation Strategy

A presentation by the clearinghouse coordinator is planned for early fall; strategies to be developed will be part of the overall NSDI strategic plan.

Historical Data Working Group

Mr. Ambacher provided highlights for the report of the task force on archiving digital information, sponsored by the Commission on Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group. The report, entitled Preserving Digital Information, contained a cost model that appeared to be based on erroneous data access/circulation rates. The working group agreed to consider developing a white paper to look at the costs of archiving digital data, including maintenance of technology to access the archived data. The white paper would provide a Federal agency perspective as a corollary to the study by the research library group.

      The Historical Data Working Group will consider developing a white paper and will report at the August 13 Coordination Group meeting.

A copy of the new Historical Data Fact Sheet was included in the meeting materials.

International Activities

Ms. Tosta reported that 8 of the 11 countries contacted to date have indicated an interest in participating in a discussion on the feasibility of parallel efforts toward NSDI development in their own countries as a preliminary step toward a global spatial data infrastructure. The fax/electronic mail discussion will be initiated by Mr. Thorley to determine the level of interest in pursuing further dialog. Those countries that have responded to date are Japan, Malaysia, Venezuela, Botswana, Colombia, Portugal, The Netherlands, and Australia. Those who have not yet responded are Korea, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. Yet to be contacted are Thailand and Canada; others who indicate interest may also be contacted.

NSDI Strategic Plan

Discussions that followed the Mapping Science Committee s April futures forum focused on the status of the 1994 strategic plan for NSDI, what had been accomplished and what was missing, in order to develop plans for future actions. (Note: The ideas that were offered were distributed to participants and to Coordination Group members on June 19, as called for in the action item from the June 11 meeting. These will serve as input for revising the NSDI strategic plan.)

International Cartographic Conference --Call for Papers

Ms. Godwin distributed the ICC pamphlet that offers an opportunity to submit a paper for the conference in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1997. The U.S. National Committee has some funding available for travel for presenters. Contact Ms. Godwin for more information (301)457-1046.

Secretary Babbitt s Remarks at the ESRI Conference

Ms. Tosta noted that a copy of the speech that the Secretary presented was included in the meeting materials and that his remarks were well received.

Standards Working Group/Coordination Group roles and responsibilities: Mr. Hogan clarified the roles of the SWG and the Coordination Group in the standards development process:

At Step 7 of the process, the SWG forwards the draft standard to the Coordination Group to be approved for public review only after it has met the criteria for such review; no Coordination Group review is expected at this time.

      Step 7 was discussed and accepted by the Coordination Group.

At Step 11, the draft standard has been publicly reviewed and all pertinent comments resolved, (including those of agencies who may have identified policy or legislative concerns during the public review period), and is being forwarded by the SWG to the Coordination Group for final approval. Agencies who have not participated in the review process for the standard will not be permitted to hold up approval of a standard because they have not participated. Issues that cannot be resolved between the SWG and the subcommittee or other group who developed the standard will be referred to the Coordination Group as a court of appeals.

      If Coordination Group members object to Step 11 of the standards process as clarified, they are asked to provide Richard Hogan with a written summary of their concerns by June 25. (email: richard.l.hogan@usgs.gov)

Mr. Hogan also reported on a meeting of the Information Infrastructure Standards Panel (IISP) created by the current administration to coordinate the standards activities of all the groups who participate in the NII. IISP is basically an industry standards body that reports to ANSI, but is a group by itself with a direct link to the Global Information Infrastructure under ISO. The IISP intends to catalog existing standards, identify where standards are needed, and develop plans and agreements with standards groups, such as the FGDC, to develop standards. Ms. Tosta noted that, although NII standards are industry standards and the public role might not be significant, it is the responsibility of public agencies to collect data and information, therefore, standards for those data become a public agency responsibility.

Mr. Hogan reported that the vegetation standard is ready for public review. A Federal Register notice will be prepared to provide information to the public about this review period. When it is published, Coordination Group members will be notified.

Framework Activities Mr. Moeller noted that applications in response to the Congress Business Daily announcement for framework demonstration project proposals for FGDC funding are due June 26, 1996. Some potential reviewers have been contacted, but several more are needed to participate on the panels in mid July.

      Provide names of potential reviewers of framework proposals to Mike Domaratz at (703) 648-4636 or to Mickey Kilpatrick at (703)648-4636 by June 26.

The third framework meeting will be held in Baltimore on July 23-25. Discussion at the July 9 Coordination Group meeting will focus on framework issues--especially how the Coordination Group and subcommittees should participate in the workshop and who should attend. The workshop will focus on the work tasks that were established at the Denver meeting: 1) data model of framework components, 2) a business plan template for partnerships, 3) organizational relationships, and 4) incentives. The framework pilot project representatives are particularly interested in FGDC subcommittee reviews and evaluations of draft products, and interaction on thematic categories.

A more detailed agenda and background information will be provided by the FGDC Secretariat before the July 9 meeting.

Future Interactions with State Councils

Ms. Tosta reviewed the approach planned for the discussion on the above topic at the June 12 Steering Committee meeting. Adjustments to the discussion paper were based on Coordination Group members comments, particularly on the potential role that State councils could play in the standards process, not just in the review of draft standards, but in the development stage as well. The Coordination Group supports opportunities for increased participation in the standards process not only for the input the councils and their member organizations could provide, but also as recognition that councils are valued partners in the NSDI process.

Competitive Cooperative Agreement Program Awards

Mr. McKenzie reviewed the summary information and recommendations for CCAP proposal awards for the current year that were distributed before the meeting. The proposals have been through several panel reviews, including the Standards Working Group where further evaluation was needed. Mr. McKenzie noted that NSDI was gaining visibility and that there was a lot of positive feedback and a willingness to participate. Some States are beginning to require use of the metadata standard, even from their contractors.

If more information about any of the projects is needed in areas of possible interest to agencies or subcommittees, please contact Bruce McKenzie at (703) 648-5740. Notification will be going first to non-awardees and then to awardees, with an opportunity to establish specific requirements (for example, to interact with a subcommittee) as conditions of award.

      Please notify either Bruce McKenzie or Mickey Kilpatrick as soon as possible, but no later than July 1 if your subcommittee or agency would like to be involved with a specific project or projects.

The meeting ended with a farewell tribute to Nancy Tosta, who is leaving her position as Special Assistant to the Chair, FGDC, to become Director of Forecasting and Growth Strategy for the Puget Sound Regional Council in Seattle, Washington. There were group and individual expressions of appreciation for her innovative leadership and her contributions to the ongoing development of NSDI.