August 4, 1998 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Persons Attending:
Melissa Anley (EPA), Kevin Backe (USACE), Gerry Barton (NOAA), Frank Beck (FGDC Staff), Nancy Blyler (USACE), Don Buhler (Cadastral SC), Kim Burns-Braidlow (FGDC Staff), Dave Catlin (EPA), Alan Gaines (NSF), Hank Garie (NSGIC), Leslie Godwin (Cultural & Demographic SC), Richard Hogan (USGS/NACo Liaison), David Jones (DOJ), Fred Kaiser (Vegetation SC), Wes Kleene (Baker/ USACE), Nancy LaVigne (DOJ), Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric SC), Ed McKay (Geodetic SC), David Morehouse (DOE), John Moeller (FGDC Staff), Tom Palmerlee (UCGIS), Rick Pearsall (FGDC Staff), Barry Schimpf (Upper Eco Systems / USACE), Bruce Spear (Ground Transportation SC), John Stewart (DOE), Tom Terry, Fred Doyle, Jules McNeff, Alden Colvocoresses (Public XY Mapping Project), Gale TeSelle (NRCS), Gene Thorley (FGDC), Christine Ulrich (ICMA), Tom Usselman (National Academy of Science)

Information Items:
International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) was presented with a certificate welcoming them into the FGDC. And John Moeller acknowledged that the Department of Justice is the 16th Cabinet level agency to join the FGDC.

No actions were assigned in June so there was nothing to report on the progress.

A consolidated Draft Subcommittee and Working Group Report of 1997 NSDI Accomplishments was distributed for review and update. These reports will be discussed at length in the September Coordination Group meeting.

    Action: All members review the Draft 1997 NSDI Accomplishments and prepare to discuss these at the September Coordination Group meeting.

Feature Registry:
Kevin Backe, Barry Schimpf, and Wes Kleene updated the Coordination Group on the Feature Registry which is jointly funded and cosponsored by the FGDC Standards Working Group and the Tri-Service CADD/GIS Technology Center. The Feature Registry is a repository for spatial information regarding features which have been submitted by the various FGDC Subcommittees and Working Groups. The Feature Registry includes elements of individual Federal Government Agency spatial data catalogs as well as international spatial data standards. The Feature Registry database contains two items - Features (over 1000 currently) and it defines how features relate to one another. The Feature Registry will also address overlaps, gaps, and conflicts between FGDC standards. Current FGDC Standards included in the Feature Registry are: Utilities Content Standard, Wetlands Classification Standard, Vegetation Classification Standard, Spatial Data Transfer Standard (w Attributes), along with the IHO S-57 DX-90 Hydrographic Charting Standard and the DIGEST Feature and Attribute Catalog (FACC).

Mr. Backe reported that the Feature Registry will NOT resolve conflicts between standards, Subcommittees must work together to resolve these issues. Mr. Backe expressed concern that some of the Subcommittees and Working Groups are meeting infrequently or not at all and they have not been available to resolve these known conflicts. Mr. Backe commented that Subcommittees are the intended user of the Feature Registry as well as having internal FGDC uses. Mr. Backe reported he is concerned with semantics issues and would like to further investigate.

There was agreement that the Feature Registry is an important issue and that FGDC should continue to do what it can to fund the project. Mr. Backe encouraged Subcommittees to enter their standards into the Feature Registry.

The web address for the demonstration Feature Registry is Contact the Executive Secretary for a copy of today's Feature Registry presentation material.

    Action: Chairs who have approved FGDC Standards that are not in the Feature Registry, contact Kevin Backe to discuss incorporating the standards.

    Action: Chairs who have standards in the development process, use the Feature Registry.

    Action: Kevin Backe will explore the semantics issue and report back to the Coordination Group.

    Action: SWG will include in the standards development process the requirement to use the Feature Registry.

Standards Update:
Year 2000 Compliance and Standards Harmonization

Rick Pearsall reported that GSA defines Y2K compliance as the ability to "accurately process date/time/data". Mr. Pearsall further reported that since the existing FGDC standards are data standards and not processing standards, FGDC standards are neither compliant or non-compliant. However, the Cadastral and Soils standards will need to be modified to use 4-digit dates. The Standards Working Group standards checklist will be modified to include adherence to Y2K directives and to other standards that FGDC standards must adhere to.

Mr. Pearsall also reported on the standards harmonization efforts between FGDC, ISO, ANSI, and OGC. Mr. Pearsall noted that any harmonization efforts will address the important issue of keeping FGDC standards in the public domain. The FGDC standards development process was reviewed and a possible 'fast-track' was suggested for standards approval. It was mentioned that since the Steering Committee does not meet on regular monthly basis, this could be a bottleneck for standards that are ready before a Steering Committee meeting is called. It was suggested that in that situation the Steering Committee could use the voting process via mail or e-mail rather than wait until an official meeting is called. The Standards Working Group will continue to work on the harmonization efforts.

Public XY Mapping Project:
John Moeller introduced Tom Terry and asked that the Coordination Group consider the topic Mr. Terry is discussing - spatial addressing, and whether this activity is appropriate for FGDC participation. Mr. Moeller asked members to consider having a follow-up discussion of the appropriate members to discuss this topic further.

Mr. Terry presented a briefing on the Public XY Mapping Project and spatial addresing. According to Mr. Terry, today, 3 years after the introduction of GPS receivers, it remains very difficult to find paper maps that will work with GPS. Many maps have grids, but they are rarely interoperable and a preferred spatial address system is needed (particularly for medium-large scale work). A spatial address is a two-dimensional address that will supplement a one-dimensional street address. Mr. Terry stated that the requirements for a preferred spatial address system are: 1) must reside in the public domain, 2) be geodetically referenced, 3) plane coordinate system, 4) seamless at political boundaries, 5) and possess powerful truncation features. Mr. Terry remarked that a preferred spatial address system is the bridge between the analog and digital products.

Several agencies said that this topic is something that is of interest to them and there was agreement that this should be explored further. John Moeller asked for a volunteer to head up a working group, to take the lead to set up a meeting to discuss this further and come back to this group, not with a solution, but rather to identify if there is a need to develop a spatial addressing standard and make recommendations about how to go about doing so. No volunteer stepped forward and Tom Terry volunteered to setup the initial meeting. Mr. Terry will get out a notice of a special meeting to discuss this topic. They will report back to the Coordination Group with recommendations of whether this should be a standard and if so, how the FGDC should pursue it. The report will be submitted at the November Coordination Group meeting.

    Action: Tom Terry will organize a meeting to discuss the need for a spatial addressing standard.

Budget Initiative & Demonstration Project Updates:
John Moeller reported that six demonstration sites have been selected: Dane County, Wisconsin; Tillamook County, Oregon; Gallatin County, Montana; Tijuana River Watershed; Upper Susquehanna / Lackawanna Watershed; City of Baltimore. Mr. Moeller said that a letter will be drafted in the near future asking for a lead Federal agency for each of the demonstration projects to provide a focal point for coordination of Federal activities.

Regarding the Budget Initiative, Mark Schaefer and Secretary Babbitt have had further discussions and they plan on putting language in the DOI budget suggesting that this is a good idea for an Administration initiative. This is being pushed as an Over Target Initiative.

Other items:
Richard Hogan reported that NACo had their annual conference in July. NACo has created a GIS committee and those committee members have been assigned to an FGDC Subcommittee or Working Group. Members reported back to NACo that they have had difficulty contacting their Subcommittee or Working Group.

    Action: Subcommittee and Working Group Chairs contact their respective NACo member if they haven't already done so.

Mr. Hogan reported that NACo has a GIS Starter Kit that is an opportunity for counties to get one license for Intergraph's GeoMedia software, training and county specific data. This is a limited time license to introduce this technology at the county level. It is being offered free of charge. Applicable Federal data sets are being sought.

John Moeller reported that ESRI has announced a local community grant program, $2.4 million that is open for applications until February 1st.

Next Coordination Group Meeting:
September 1, 1998
National Archives and Records Administration
8th and Pennsylvania, NW
Room 105
Washington, DC

Metro- Yellow Line at Archives/Navy Memorial Station, NARA is across the street.

Point of Contact for NARA is Bruce Ambacher - (301) 713-6630 ext. 229
A Photo ID is needed for entry into the building