March 10, 1998 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Persons Attending:
Gerry Barton (NOAA), Frank Beck (Standards WG), Jeri Berc (Earth Cover WG), Angela Bottom (International Boundaries SC), Fred Broome (Cultural & Demographic SC), Don Buhler (Cadastral SC), Kim Burns-Braidlow (FGDC Staff), Dave Catlin (EPA), Kathy Covert (FGDC Staff), Pat Cummens (New Jersey DEP), Bob Dahl (Cadastral SC), Mark DeMulder (Base Carto SC), Joye Durant (Base Carto SC), Andrew Euston (HUD), Alan Gaines (NSF), Hank Garie (NSGIC), Peter Gattuso (EPA), Norm Gunderson (USGS), Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric SC), Nancy Lopez (USGS/WRD), Win Lyday (NACo), Paul Manka (Census), Jerry McFaul (USGS), M.K. Miles (Facilities WG), John Moeller (FGDC Staff), David Morehouse (DOE), Maury Nyquist (Biological Data WG), Tom Palmerlee (USGIS), Milo Robinson (FGDC Staff), Bruce Spear (Ground Transportation SC), John Stewart (DOE), Gene Thorly (Chair), Jamie Woodwell (NLC), Rick Yorczyk (Geodetic Control SC)

Information Items:
The FGDC Secretariat's office has 30 copies of the Metadata Satellite Televideo Conference video available to Coordination Group members. Any one interested should contact Jennifer Fox, for a copy.

The FGDC membership directory will be printed in its final form in late March. Any changes to the directory must be received by Jennifer Fox on March 27. This document will be updated every six months.

The Coordination Group agreed there was interest in scheduling Subcommittee and Working Group presentations at future meetings to increase the awareness of noteworthy activities happening within these groups. The Subcommittee for Base Cartographic Data agreed to present the first such presentation at the April Coordination meeting.

The FGDC Secretariat's office will be announcing two openings: framework program head and standards coordinator. These announcements will be advertised government wide as well as opening the opportunity for 2 year appointments from the non-Federal community. FGDC Staff will alert everyone when these announcements are advertised.

A template is available on-line for use when submitting names of Federal GIS field office contacts. This template is the result of a Steering Committee and Coordination Group action to all Federal agencies to submit a list of their agency's GIS field office contacts. The URL for this template is The information will go into an Excel spreadsheet and will be made available for queries as it becomes populated.

Landview III Demonstration
Jerry McFaul (USGS), Norm Gunderson (USGS), Paul Manka (Census), and Peter Gattuso (EPA) presented an interesting demonstration of the Landview III product. Landview III consists of 10 CDs containing data from several federal agencies such as Census, EPA, and USGS. This project demonstrates the efforts of multiagency corroboration. The Landview III software attempts to allow the novice GIS user to perform GIS-type work. John Moeller stated he would like a commitment from the Federal entities to provide metadata in addition to the data they have currently provided for the Landview III product. The metadata will help eliminate some of the questions the sponsors of this product are now receiving. Anyone who would like to see more of the Landview III product or who is working on metadata for the CDs should contact Jerry McFaul.

Report of Advisory Committee on Water Information
Nancy Lopez, USGS/WRD, briefed the Coordination Group on the Advisory Committee on Water Information meeting held February 17-18. The Clean Water Act will celebrate its 25thanniversary and budget efforts are underway to fulfill the Act's commitment to protect and restore the Nation's waters. Ms. Lopez announce the reestablishment of the Subcommittee on Spatial Water Data. The first meeting will be held March 20 at the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Agencies who have an interest in water issues are strongly encouraged to have someone attend this meeting. For more information, contact Nancy Lopez.

Privacy Policy
Kathy Covert, FGDC, presented the FGDC Policy on Access to Public Information and the Protection of Personal Information Privacy in Federal Digital Geospatial Databases for the Coordination Group endorsement. This version of the Privacy Policy includes comments received from the April Steering Committee meeting as well as comments from personnel from the Office of Management and Budget. A question was raised as to whether the term 'Policy' should be used or if the term 'Document' was more appropriate. Gene Thorley stated that A16 gives the FGDC the authority to set policy. Mr. Thorley explained this document customizes the thoughts on privacy issues found stated in several other documents and places the privacy policy issue in this document in the realm of spatial data issues. A motion was made to approve the Privacy Policy.

    Decision: The Privacy Policy was approved by the Coordination Group and will be moved forward for approval at the next Steering Committee meeting.

    Action: Gene Thorley will call Greg Withee and discuss the terminology in the Privacy Policy.

Metadata Trademark
Having spoken with the Solicitor's office regarding the metadata lawsuit, John Moeller discussed the legal implications of continuing to use the term 'metadata' which was trademarked by the Metadata Corporation in the the late 80's. Mr. Moeller presented 3 options to the Coordination Group regarding the trademark issue: 1) place a notation on the word metadata to cite the Metadata Corporation trademark; 2) continue using the term as we have been, with no change; 3) alter the punctuation, change the casing (upper vs. lower), or select a new term. After discussion, it was decided by the Coordination Group to select Option 2, continue the use of the term 'metadata' with no change. The group contended this was a commonly used term nationally as well as internationally.

    Decision: The FGDC will continue to use the term 'metadata' on the grounds that it is a commonly used term, not only in this country but internationally as well.

    Action: John Moeller will report his discussions with the Solicitor's office regarding the use of the term 'metadata'.

Intergrated Initiative in Support of the NSDI
John Moeller briefly presented a draft budget initiative outline which proposes a consolidated multi-agency FY 2000 initiative to support the NSDI. Mr. Moeller asked for Federal members to attend a meeting to define details of what such an initiative would entail. Only Federal members can be present at such a meeting because the federal budget cannot be discussed with outside non-feds until the President's budget is announced.

    Action: John Moeller will send out notice of the budget initiative meeting to Federal members.

Note: The meeting has been set for Friday March 20, 1:30-3:30, Room 2642 of the Main Interior Building, 1849 C St. NW.

Next Coordination Group Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for:

April 7, 1998 from 9:00-12:00
National Association of Counties
440 1st Street NW
Washington, D.C.
No id required for entry to the building

From Union station, cross Massachusetts, walk west on E 3 blocks til 1st. Turn left (south) and building is in middle of block.

From Judiciary Square, come up escalator and walk straight (south) ahead to D street. Turn left (east). Go three blocks east to 1st (crossing a street, bridge and street) and turn left (north). Building is in middle of block.

The meeting is planned for the 8th floor, but the building is undergoing reconstruction. If we have to meet on the fifth floor, there will be a sign posted by the elevators in the lobby.