September 9 and 10, 1997 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

This meeting of the Coordination Group was focused on in depth discussions of topics and of progress and plans for the implementation of the NSDI Strategy.

This meeting was a two day session for the purpose of conducting more in-depth discussions of topics and progress and plans for the implementation of the NSDI Strategy. This report will only cover the result of those discussions.

Persons Attending
Fred Broome, (Cultural and Demographic); Bruce Spear (Ground Trans); MK Miles, Nancy Blyler, (Facilities); John Stewart (DOE); Win Lyday (NACo); Jerry Dobson, David Mark, Tom Palmerlee (UCGIS); Gerry Barton (NOAA); John Spencer, Milo Robinson, Rich Yorsick (Geodetic Control); Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric); Alan Gaines (NSF); Dave Soller (Geologic): Mark DeMulder (Standards); Don Buhler (Cadastral); Bill Wilen (Wetlands); Hank Garie (NSGIC); Dick Kleckner (Base Cartographic, Earth Cover); Gale TeSelle (Earth Cover); Angela Bottom (International Boundaries); Dave Danko (NIMA); Gene Thorley (Chair, Coordination Group) John Moeller, Denise Perreca, Bruce McKenzie, Barbara Poore (FGDC Secretariat)

Note: Several additional persons who attended during the two days may not be listed.

Report of Decisions and Actions from Meeting


Standards Development

Standards of the Subcommittees and Working Groups are intended to be those needed to develop the NSDI and are intended to be national in scope. To achieve this, Subcommittees and Working Groups will strive for the fullest participation practicable by all sectors in the development and implementation of standards.

The NSDI standards development process will be broad in scope and will include all categories and themes of data needed to build the NSDI.

To ensure that needed standards are being addressed and to help allocated Subcommittee, Working Group and Staff resources, an assessment will be conducted of needed standards and their priorities. A format will be provided by the FGDC Secretariat. After receipt of responses, an analysis of the responses will be brought back to the Coordination Group for further discussion and action.

The FGDC Standards Development process will be used to provide a mechanism for linkage and input into the standards activities of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and other similar organizations. FGDC will provide a forum for facilitating this interaction.

The FGDC will provide the mechanism for presenting a single federal voice on geospatial data standards.

The FGDC will work with NACo, NSGIC, NLC, OGC, UCGIS and others to ensure a that there are ways to obtain participation and involvement of the various sectors in standards activities.

The FGDC Standards Working Group will prepare an issue paper detailing the alternatives for ensuring that FGDC Standards are incorporated into ANSI and other standards activities.

FGDC Subcommittees and Working Groups will work with NACo, NSGIC, UCGIS, OGC etc. to obtain participation in standards activities.

Standards Implementation

In order to ensure that FGDC Standards address implementation, the following positions were agreed to:

    That all FGDC Standards will have an informative annex containing one or more examples of implementation of the standard and/or tools for implementation.

That all standards have a compliance section defining full and other levels of compliance.

That this be required only of standards which have not been into public review.

    That for all future standards development activities, implementation needs and approaches be discussed early in the development process.

In addition two Chairs volunteered to offer Standards from their Subcommittee/Working Group as tests:

Bill Wilen offered to provide the implementation procedures for the Wetland Classification Standard for review by members to see if they give adequate guidance.

M K Miles offered to incorporate implementation examples in the review of the Facilities Working Group Standards.

Standards Approval

The preferred process for approval of FGDC Standards is by discussion and action of the Steering Committee in an FGDC Steering Committee Meeting. However, with the increasing number of standards under development there is more potential for the need to approve a standard before a scheduled Steering Committee Meeting. Therefore the following is proposed as an alternative process for standards approval:

Procedures for approval of a Standard by ballot:

- Steering Committee members only will vote

  • Ballot will be conducted via E-mail unless otherwise arranged by the member's office. A courtesy copy will be provided to Coordination Group members.
  • A non-returned ballot will not count either for or against approval of a standard. Only ballots returned to the FGDC Secretariat will be counted.
  • In order to be approved by ballot at least 50% of the ballots must be returned with all votes in favor of approval.
  • If there is insufficient return or dissenting votes the Standard will be referred to the next Steering Committee Meeting for discussion and action.

FGDC/NSDI Partnership Funding Programs

The Partnership Funding Programs (Cooperative Agreements Program, Framework Demonstration Projects Program, and NSDI Benefits program) are viewed as critical in providing incentives and seed funding for partnership projects among organizations to share data and help build the NSDI. The following focus is to be followed for 1998.

- Continue the Programs at approximately the same level as in 1997.

  • Conduct a review by an independent entity in 1998 to supplement the FGDC review done in 1997.
  • Prepare write-ups of success stories and use them to help broaden the awareness, understanding and support for the NSDI.
  • Solicit members of the panels that reviewed projects for approval to also review project reports and to assess the projects results against that proposed.
  • As part of review activities take a look at some of the projects not funded to see what happened to those efforts.

University Consortium for Geographic Sciences

The UCGIS is setting up teams to prepare assessments of each of the 10 Research Topics identified by the Consortium. FGDC, NSGIC and NACo have been invited to provide comments and names of contacts to UCGIS for any or all of the 10 Topics. UCGIS will determine the requirements for government participation on the Work Teams to the Coordination Group which will then coordinate the identification of participants. The UCGIS 1998 Summer Assembly will be in Park City, Utah and Work Team participants will be expected to attend the meeting. Other FGDC members will also be able to attend the Assembly as they have need or interest.

Action: Provide comments and contact names to Tom Palmerlee of UCGIS at or prior to next Coordination Group Meeting.

Status of items from the April 30, 1997 FGDC Steering Committee meeting.

At the April 30, steering Committee meeting several items were identified for joint action of the participants in the meeting. In summary, these items and their status are:

  • Increase resources for development of foundational data sets to enhance collaborative decision-making

      Status: Kathy Clement and Gene Trobia have done initial work with further follow-up planned

  • Improve understanding and ensure participation of federal field offices in local spatial data coordination and development

      Status:Initial ideas were sent to a small group identified after the April 30 meeting. Subsequent discussions have identified that an increased focus on federal office interaction through regional meetings, interaction with state/regional coordinating organizations and building on some existing or planned cooperative efforts will be a better approach than a set of guidelines or directions from the FGDC or national level offices. This approach is being further developed.

  • Assure participation of state and local representatives in the collaborative development of national standards

      Status: NSGIC has initiated a process to identify participants to selected Standards Activities that are of highest priority at this time. NACo is exploring a similar process.

Spreading the NSDI Message

After discussion about the need for increased communication activities and potential involvement of all Subcommittee and Working Groups it was agreed to establish a Communication Working Group. The first step is to propose a Charter for review by the Coordination Group. Action will be with the FGDC Secretariat.

1997 Reports and 1998 Plans of FGDC

Subcommittee and Working Group Reports and Plans

For calendar year 1997 Subcommittees and Working Groups have developed and worked against Plans that address implementation of Goals and Objectives of the NSDI Strategy. Reports of the progress and activities on these Plans as well as plans for calendar year 1998 need to be prepared. It was agreed that each Subcommittee and Working Group would prepare a 1997 Report and a Draft 1998 Work Plan by December 1, 1997.

1997 Reports

Two products will be prepared

    1) Report by each Subcommittee and Working Group on 1997 activities and progress. Format:

- Status of planned activities

- Value or benefit of work in NSDI implementation

- Problems or difficulties

Due Date: December 1, 1997

2) A synthesis report of NSDI Implementation
Will be done after individual reports are completed Draft 1998 Plans

    Will be prepared similar to the 1997 Plans using the NSDI Strategy Goals and Objectives as the building blocks. Format for the Plans is included as an attachment.

      Due Date for Draft 1998 Plans: December 1, 1997

Agency Reports

The Coordination Group agreed that it is desirable to prepare Agency Reports for 1997 NSDI implementation actions. John Moeller will develop ideas for a Matrix to use for these reports for discussion at the October 7, 1997 Coordination Group Meeting.

Next Coordination Group Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for:

October 7, 1997 from 9:00-12:00
US Army Corps of Engineers
Pulaski Building Room 8222D
20 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington , DC


2 blocks west of Union Station
Attachment 1998 WORK PLANS

GUIDANCE TO SUBCOMMITTEES AND WORKING GROUPS The Goals and Objectives of the Strategy for the NSDI were in the spring of 1997 and published in April 1997. 1998 Subcommittee and Working Group Work Plans should now be prepared with implementation actions that support the goals and objectives as defined in the strategy document.

Emphasis is placed on actions that will be effective in accomplishing the stated goals of the Strategy. Work plans should include actions that will have tangible results in increasing the usefulness and applicability of NSDI to solve geographically based community problems.

With the limited resources available, it is important to plan actions that will have an impact in moving the NSDI toward full implementation. Groups are not expected to address every goal in their 1998 Work Plans; however, the actions should be tied to the goals that are supported, and may also be tied to a specific objective under a goal.

A suggested format is attached. Please use 12 point type and 1" margins all around.

Please submit your 1998 Draft Work Plan on or before December 1, 1997. October 1, 1997


1998 NSDI Work Plan


Introductory paragraph if desired.

    Goal Two: Develop common solutions for discovery and access of geospatial data in response to the needs of diverse communities of users.

      Objective: Continue to develop a seamless National Geospatial Data Clearinghouse.

      Action: Provide hands-on workshop(s) for personnel in 2 Federal agencies on how to use and encode Metadata to place legacy cadastral data in the clearinghouse.

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