June 2, 1998 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Persons Attending:
Bruce Ambacher (Historical Data WG), Gerry Barton (NOAA), Jeri Berc (Earth Cover WG), Nancy Blyler (USACE), Don Buhler (Cadastral SC), Kim Burns-Braidlow (FGDC Staff), Dave Catlin (EPA), Bob Dahl (BLM), Mark DeMulder (Base Carto SC), Alan Gaines (NSF), Leslie Godwin (Cultural & Demographic SC), Ed Harne (BLM), Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric SC), Win Lyday (NACo), Ed McKay (NOAA/NGS), Bruce McKenzie (FGDC Staff), John Moeller (FGDC Staff), Jan Morton (Geological SC), David Painter (FGDC Staff), Richard Pearsall (FGDC Staff), Milo Robinson (FGDC Staff), Charles Roswell (NIMA), Bruce Spear (Ground Transportation SC), Tim Smith (USGS/BRD), Gene Thorley (Chair), Bill Wilen (Wetlands SC), Rick Yorczyk (Geodetic Control SC)

Information Items:
May Action Items were reviewed and Coordination Group members were reminded that the Steering Committee is meeting the 19th of June and this is a partnership meeting with State Councils. If Agencies have not yet entered their Regional GIS point of contact information they are encouraged to do so before the Steering Committee meeting. It is anticipated that the State Councils will be questioning the absence of agency information.

It was noted that responses to many of last months action items were very sparse. Only three responses have been received regarding Tom Kalil's questions at the May meeting. John Moeller asked that agencies who have input forward the information to him by the end of the week. He is planning on meeting with Mr. Kalil and Mark Schaefer in the near future to discuss responses.

The latest FGDC Directory was distributed. Changes should be sent to Jennifer Fox (jafox@usgs.gov). A new directory will be printed again in the winter. It was requested that the directory be placed on the web. Jennifer Fox will be consulted as to the feasibility of making the database available on-line.

Bruce Spear found approximately 100 copies of the Manual of Federal Geographic Data Products. Mr. Spear is forwarding this to the FGDC Staff for dissemination upon request. Let Jennifer Fox know if you need copies of this document. Dave Catlin commented that EPA has additional copies as well.

John Moeller asked if the Coordination Group wanted a briefing on the Year 2000 Computer Issues. Many representatives said they were dealing with this issue through their agency. It was suggested that all the FGDC standards be reviewed to ensure this won't effect the standards. Richard Hogan said he was not sure that all the standards have addressed this concern.

    Action: Standards Working Group will address the Year 2000 Computer Issue and ensure standards are not affected. The SWG will report its finds back to the Coordination Group.

Mr. Moeller announced the vacancies on the FGDC Staff, Standards and Framework, are now being advertised. Both positions are GS13/14 positions. They are announced government wide as well as IPA's. They will be open until the end of June. Information on these can be found at the DOI Vacancy announcement web site. These are permanent positions located in Reston, however, the IPA is one year, with potential to go up to 4 years. The location for the IPA can be discussed.

Richard Hogan is taking a one year assignment as the USGS liaison with the National Association of Counties and will be leaving his position as the chair of the SWG. Rick Pearsall will be filling that position in addition to his Metadata responsibilities.

CAP, Framework and Benefits Awards:
Mr. Moeller reported this is the fifth year for the FGDC funding programs. Over the last four years 122 projects have been awarded which resulted in 800-1000 partnering organizations getting involved with FGDC/NSDI activities. Approximately 5 million dollars have been award. Mr. Moeller stated he is seeking the Coordination Groups approval of the awards for this year.

Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP). Bruce McKenzie acknowledged NOAA and USGS- BRD for contributing supplemental funding of $150K and $75K respectively. Mr. McKenzie distributed and reviewed the summary information and recommendations for CAP and Benefit proposal awards. The proposals have been through two panel reviews. This year 47 project proposals were received, 31 are recommended for funding. Mr. McKenzie noted that the number of proposals are down this year. He attributes the decline to States becoming more mature in their development. Mr. McKenzie suggests that States now reach out and engage the counties in some of these activities. This was the first year that Federal agencies could lead a project. Only 8 CAP proposals were received from Federal agencies. Mr. McKenzie encouraged the group to get the word out to their regional Federal offices.

Mr. McKenzie noted that this is the 2nd year for the "Coordinating Groups" category which are funded at $6K each, the other categories (Clearinghouse, Educational Outreach, Standards) are funded at a maximum of $40K per project. The Coordination Group are "seed" efforts to get communities to come together to put on a workshop, symposium, or form a coordination group.

Mr. McKenzie is trying to engage a state to write a "How to Write a Better Proposal" guidebook. The guidebook would go out with applications for proposals. It is anticipated this book will be available in November.

Mr. McKenzie reported that all the funding program winners will be brought together at a Partnership Kickoff Workshop to be held September 22-24 to provide education and awareness training about what is going on in NSDI and give them a chance to network with the other participants. The workshop will be held in Charleston, SC.

Benefits Program. Barbara Poore was unable to attend today's meeting. Mr. McKenzie reported that there were 18 applicants, 5 projects were recommended for funding. Of the 18 proposals, 4 were submitted from the Federal offices. In response to questions of why so few were recommended for funding, Ms. Poore had stated that the proposals were not completely addressing the benefits of sharing data. On Ms. Poore's behalf Mr. McKenzie suggested that either we need to rewrite what it is we are trying to access from these projects or think of a different way to assess the benefits we are seeking. It was suggested we have a pre-proposal workshop where we brainstorm what we mean by the term 'benefits'. A question was raised as to why the number of proposals are going down. Mr. McKenzie said some people were reluctant to apply that had been previous winners, also state councils that are involved are rare and they really need to get their communities involved. Nancy Blyler commented that there is still a lot of confusion about what can actually be funded. It was suggested that at the June 18th Partnership meeting we encourage the State Councils to participate and get their counties involved. Mr. McKenzie encouraged agencies to get their field personnel involved in the proposal review process so they can become more familiar with the types of activities that are being funded and come to realize that it is not as difficult as it may appear.

Framework Demonstration Projects Program (FDPP). David Painter distributed and reviewed the summary information and recommendations for the Framework projects. Mr. Painter reported that 21 proposals were received, 19 were reviewed, and 16 are recommended for funding. Mr. Painter noted that the 1997 FDPP Interim Progress meeting will be held at the Main Interior Building on June 23 from 9:00 to Noon. All are invited to attend the briefings that the participants will make. Mr. Painter also asked if anyone was interested in mentoring any of these projects, let him know.

It was asked when the summary handouts received at today's meeting would be 'un-confidential'. Mr. Painter stated that the Contracts office must first be notified and they will contact the winners, it was estimated that it will take about 3 weeks.

    Action: FGDC Staff will notify the Coordination Group when they can discuss the winners of the Funding projects.

Mr. Moeller asked if there were any objections to funding the recommended proposals. No objections were noted.

    Decision: Recommended Funding Grants were approved for funding.

Standards Presented for Endorsement:
The Standards Working Group has approved the Content Standard for Geospatial Metadata Version 2 and the Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards.

Content Standard for Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) Version 2 - Rick Pearsall reported that version 1 of the Metadata Standard was adopted in June 1994. Since that time, through discussions and workshops, it was determined that the standard should be revised to include establishing guidelines for creating "user defined" metadata elements for elements outside the current standard but needed by the data producer; establishing the guidelines for creating a customized metadata profile such as those for cultural and demographic data sets; and refining the standard's production rule for implementation. Version 2 was developed to include these elements and the review for version 2 of the CSDGM was limited to the three areas of revision. 76 comments were received, 69 were outside the scope of the standard and 7 were within the scope. The comments outside the scope were not ignored, these included correction for misspelling, requests for clarification, format changes, etc. The adjudicators for the review were numerous and 20 modifications were made to the Standard as a result of the comments. Mr. Pearsall stated that the CSDGM version 2 meets with the new metadata requirements, is compatible with the June 1994 metadata implementations, has no dollar impact on existing implementations, supersedes the June 1994 CSDGM, and is consistent with ISO Metadata Standard developments.

John Moeller asked for unanimous consent from the group to present this standard to the Steering Committee for approval at their next meeting. Unanimous consent was reached.

    Decision: The Content Standard for Geospatial Metadata, Version 2, will be forwarded to the Steering Committee with the Coordination Group's recommendation for final approval.

Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards - Ed McKay stated that this standard is the first FGDC standard to intergrate standards from across FGDC Subcommittees and Working Groups. Mr. McKay acknowledged the work of Julie Binder Maitra on these standards. Mr. McKay reported that 163 comments were received during the public review and all the comments were within the revision scope. The adjudicators for the review were widely diverse and the adjudication log is available at: http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/documents/standards/accuracy/

Mark DeMulder commented that the Minnesota State GIS Council is establishing a working group for implementation of Part 3 of the Accuracy Standard and plan on creating a handbook. Mr. DeMulder said it was encouraging to see active development to implement the standard. Mr. McKay remarked that planning workshops at conferences is an easy way to get the word out about these standards and he encourage the group to consider this idea. Bruce Spear said there may be a request for a positional accuracy standard for linear networks. Mr. McKay stated that the current standards state that other standards may be added to this set of standards as needed. Richard Hogan reminded everyone that these standards are written to stand independently of one another and any new standard will be written the same way.

John Moeller asked for unanimous consent from the group to present this standard to the Steering Committee for approval at their next meeting. Unanimous consent was reached.

    Decision: The Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards will be forwarded to the Steering Committee with the Coordination Group's recommendation for final approval.

Automated Land and Mineral Record System (ALMRS) Demonstration:
Leslie Cone, BLM, demonstrated the capabilities of the ALMRS. Ms. Cone is the release 2 project manager and she stated that release 2 of ALMRS is dependent upon release 1 and there is no due date established yet. BLM has millions of records that will be converted to ALMRS and currently the data conversion issue is a problem. Ms. Cone presented a live demonstration of the system, stating that the challenge they face with ALMRS is how to make a huge amount of data available through the Internet with the short attention span of today's Internet users. ALMRS will act as a single point of access to a comprehensive set of public land data. BLM has a lot of GIS information, ALMRS will show you what data is available. At this time they do not have Metadata but it is planned for the future. For more information about ALMRS visit the web site: http://www-a.blm.gov/nirmc/almrs/

Report from the Cadastral Subcommittee:
Don Buhler distributed 3 handouts, Learning the Cadastral Data Content Standard, Functional Requirements for Parcel and PLSS Data Maintenance, and a copy of his slides. Mr. Buhler stated that the subcommittee felt the Cadastral Data Content Standard needed some explanation so they contracted out to an education group that prepared material for the Internet. This site explains how the standard works, explaining the attributes and gives many examples of crosswalks and translations. Mr. Buhler said that this education module is unique in that they have defined a 4 level compliance of cadastral data. The web site for the education modules is: http://www.fairview-industries.com/intro.htm Also within this training module they have defined a Cadastral Data Transfer Profile to enable users to have a two way sharing of data. The Transfer Profile is intended to be the mechanism which allows for the physical sharing of cadastral data among many implementations. The software is written in ArcInfo and future plans are to be make it SDTS compliant as well. This is currently in a prototype format.

Mr. Buhler explained the Cadastral Subcommittee is proposing a Geographic Communicator, currently in the conceptual stage, that will provide a two way communication on the Internet. The Geographic Communicator is a web based map that will show the intentions of people/agencies to collect data and the intentions of communities that have problems. It is being prototyped in New Mexico and Colorado where BLM will post to the Geographic Communicator an approved survey plat right after it is approved and signed. This information would automatically then be sent to any county or individual who had 'signed up' to receive notification of activity in this geographic area. The Geographic Communicator will be used to post any intent or notice of data collection activities to those who subscribe to the Communicator. This is intended to be used both ways, if a county has new cadastral data, they would post the notice to the web site as well. Mr. Buhler stated he thinks this will eliminate duplication of efforts and will provide opportunities for partnerships. Currently it is only for cadastral data, however, the intent is to expand in the future. Mark DeMulder said that the USGS web based Status Graphics demonstrates some of these capabilities, he said there maybe some opportunities to share experiences with BLM. Mr. Buhler said they have had some communication with USGS. Bill Wilen said this would be a good idea for cost sharing activities. Mr. Buhler said he welcomes anyone to post their ideas on the Geographic Communicator on the BLM web page.

Mr. Buhler stated the Cadastral Subcommittee has had partnerships with the Forest Service on the ALP/ALMRS combining or intergrating data. Interagency agreements exist between USFS, BLM, and MMS for the NSDI. The subcommittee has also been working on pilot projects in defining what States need for Framework. They are also working on functional requirements for parcel and PLSS data maintenance with counties.

Next Coordination Group Meeting:

July 7, 1998 from 9:00 - Noon

U.S. Department of Agriculture
South Agriculture Building, Room 0305
12th and Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC

Directions: South Building at 12th and Independence Avenue SW (Basement of the 3rd wing).

Metro- Smithsonian Stop (Blue & Orange), Independence Ave. exit