December 7, 1999 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary



FGDC Coordination Group meeting
December 7, 1999

Site : NSGIC, 1201 New York Ave, Washington, DC

Information Item

John Moeller: Acknowledged the great work of Gerry Barton (NOAA) in support of the FGDC. Gerry will be leaving government service at the end of the month.

SDTS Part 7: CADD Profile

Nancy Blyler briefed on the SDTS CADD profile, which has been submitted through review process. The Facilities Working Group lead the development of the standard that supports exchange of geospatial data contained within CADD systems with other geoprocessing systems (e.g. GIS). The purpose of the profile is to facilitate the translation of this data between CADD packages without loss of data, and support the translation of this data between CADD and mainstream GIS packages.

The FWG received endorsement from the Standards Working Group and today is asking the Coordination Group to vote on endorsement of this standard.

    Decision: The SDTS Part 7: Computer-Aided Design and Drafting Profile was endorsed.

The standard will now be submitted to the Steering Committee through electronic ballot

Julie Maitra said she took a look at standards for which no action was reported to her in the last six months. After reviewing the list, she worked with the standards development groups: Census suspended development on metadata content, Nancy has indicated discontinuation of two standards. Census continues to work the address content standard. Next standard most likely to be submitted for review is the Shorline metadata profile. Lots of work in the international standards front.

Update on Chaordic process

John Moeller updated on the activities for establishing a National entity for public private partnership, and an update on the Digital Earth. Need to reexamine and work new ideas on how to address NSDI organization. Dee Hock presented some ideas that were well received. Follow on to the meeting in November established a stewardship group to take the initiative further. Meeting last week with Dee Hock and non-federal representatives. They have agreed to work on (TCA) this for the next couple of years. Will need fund raising effort to pay for this - members of the Stewardship group working this - 501C organization to pull this together as a multi-sector activity to move this forward outside the federal structure. This will also allow the entity to enter in to contractual agreements. Steps from here on out: initiation of fund raising, canvass the community for individuals interested and willing to work on the process over the next two years (must have commitment of the organization), twenty to twenty five people representing the interests of the geo community to draft the principles, practices, and other necessary items for organizational development and continuance of the process. Want a widely advertised announcement to assure broad participation from various sectors. Will also be starting to get the 501c so that board of directors and money handling can commence.

  • Questions and Answers:
  • How much money is the group looking at as a goal? 18 month to two year effort, looking at about $4M price tag over a 3-5 year period. Would like to have a nice nest egg in the transitional organization to transfer the permanent organization at set up.
  • What about a name for the organization? Not developed yet
  • Is there a business plan? Not yet, but there will be one.
  • Is the funding from the government agencies? Not totally, FGDC has committed some funds to get momentum going for initial activities like the Denver workshop. Terry Keeting and Bruce Cahan have been working on fund raising and recruiting activities already. Expenses such as air travel will be utilized initially then under the 501C
  • Is there a precedent for a group of feds coming together and forming a non profit? This is not just the feds, but there are a number of precedents. We hope that this will support the national (non federal) needs
  • Who is presently involved? About 50 folks from different sectors were in attendance. Last week's meeting involved John, K Covert, Bruce Cahan, Terry, and Gene Thorley. Main goal there was to get agreement on a contract to get TCA in the process as the lead for the development of the process and the organization.
  • How does this compare to the National Institute of Business Sciences. Julie: no, that was established by Congress with Presidential appointments to the staff. The genesis may have been different but it is currently behaving in a similar matter.
  • Alan: One of the questions in forming the 501C is will it be used as an advisory committee? There is precedent for it. John: probably the final intersector council might fall more in the nature of an advisory group. By that time we might also have legislation to support is as well.
  • As part of the fund raising strategy, the solicitation of funding from agencies will be a part. However the direct funding for the TCA over the duration will be from the fund raising activity
  • How do we deal with maintaining balance over all the special interests in terms of participation? John: We will ask for applications and will assemble a review committee to assess the applicants and select the most balanced body of members to express the diverse views of the community.
  • Out of this the FGDC's role will also be defined? John: FGDC will be working to focus more on federal interests as the new organization starts up. The Design Committee is working to see how the FGDC carries out it's interests - may change the task mix as a result of the study.
  • Who reports to whom to the group? FGDC will be a member. There will be a board comprised of various sectors.
  • Who is developing the business plan - this will specify election procedures, ground rules, etc. This is where the rubber will meet the road for an organization like this. Clearly in a "bureaucracy free zone" like Washington DC, this will be an important issue. As this stage of the game this appears to be a closed circle, may be useful at this stage to open up the process, formal report of the Denver Meeting, maybe indicating / defining the activities, stewardship group make-up, opportunities to participate. John: agreed - will pull this together to be ready just after the New Year. Must have this to get the broad buy in to make this successful

Digital Earth - Following up on the meeting that was held on the 10th of December. One of the next steps would be to specify and put together some alpha versions of the DE representation. Basically we need the FGDC Coordination Group's help - NSDI/DE converging rapidly. NSDI supplies the underpinning, DE will be represented as a fundamental requirement for the DERM and will influence the DE development and Alpha Versions. The development of the Alpha Version - Meeting at UCSB 12 - 14 January 2000 to get some closure on the AV, then will solicit industry for help in putting the versions together. Will provide a global, regional, and local view. Could include urban hazards, storm prediction and response, and other related ideas from a journalists, scientist, citizen view point.

    Alan: let's capitalize on projects already underway. Typically local and regional efforts that are going on. Adopt those and try to provide more of a global view. Then we can look at all of these at components of a coalesced activity. Try to join existing and complimentary work. We identified a number of activities that may require some marriage brokering, projects in the same location with similar objectives that may benefit by working as a whole.

    Is there a NASA program? Yes with some strings attached to the budget. Tom Taylor is heading up that effort and will be reporting directly to HQ on funding. He reports to Foresman and Maynard.

    Dan Dunbo talk was also great! Also, and article in EOS.

Mark Reichardt briefed the International Program. See slide package

FGDC International Activities

Mark Reichardt reported that the FGDC International Policy Statement major emphasis is on collaboration. Nation to nation agreements provide for opportunities to get organizations to work together. E.g. Crime-mapping in the U.S. and the Netherlands. CEOnet in Canada working on deforestation programs that applicability to U.S. Group is asked to review this policy with the goal to seek Steering Committee approval at the Feb 2000 meeting.

Alan Gaines and Gerry Barton mentioned that IAI and IGBC should participate. In the same vein the NSTC internal technical engineering workgroup is revising the model agreement to international agreements on intellectual property rights.

Mark indicated a need to conduct a survey of developing infrastructures around the world one more time be for turning over survey responsibility to GSDI.

Moeller quote "A lot of things are going on here in the US that gives a basis for common protocols and ways of doing things. For example Japan essentially copied NSDI/FGDC documentation to create their infrastructure.

NSGIC Activities Report

Bill Burgess reported that NSGIC has been involved with NASA after their conference last year to create state and local programs. The NASA Research Announcements are the major mechanism for granting. Very complicated and not a lot of awardees relative to the submissions. Through the Liaison Committee work, they moved NASA away from these initiatives toward: regional workshops, pilots, etc as the main mechanisms. Goal was to create a program that benefits the community through the use of NASA tools and data.

Direct involvement in NASA Outreach and Applications Activities. Common Product Availability: NASA will fund MR:S to purchase L7 for Alaska, Mosaicked and corrected scenes will be made available. To every state and locality, others see slide.

Pilot Projects - will be a competitive process, Broad Area Announcement as a more streamlined mechanism. Much more flexible for negotiating and bringing projects on-line. Will also cut time.

Regional Infrastructure Develop a support mechanism that incorporates NASA infrastructure into a neat package

Workforce Development - place graduate students in state and local organizations.

Regional Workshops - Eight regional w/s in FY2000, 8-10 fully paid scholarships, other

Web Site - NSGIC is working to support NASA on this effort. NASA is funding NSGIC to clean up and improve the NSGIC web page. One of the major reasons for this is to support the collection of information on state and local governments. Twenty-two additional states to compliment the NOAA and WGA sites, with full web search (keyword, etc).

Contact List - imported Framework Survey data from FGDC, and pulled out contact list, and cleaned up the data. Made data more searchable. Also worked the data so that it can be exported in three different formats. DB3, Access, and delimited formats

Overall - pretty happy with the collaboration. NASA was very open to new ideas and the overall committee process. NASA was fully engaged and excited to participate.

Personal view from Bill: earmarks (the earmark shark) has consumed the entire budget. Program appears to be DOA unless NASA locates additional funds. Web Page, Contact List stuff will complete, but other areas are currently unfunded. First priority will likely be the regional workshops - this is also an area of interest with FGDC. Bill wants to contact Golden to plea for the identification of funds to continue this work - there is a great deal of positive marketing and awareness of NASA resources

Cadastral Subcommittee Report

Bob Ader requested that the FGDC staff attend the Subcommittee meetings to maintain information flow and NSDI mission alignment.

Consistency of collection and maintenance between organizations and jurisdictions so that it is represented and maintained once. This is more important than number of NSDI nodes.

Compliance between data sets (cadastral), and with other data sets that help define the cadastral (that are not necessarily surveyed). Data content

NILS project is a project to define common procedures, software interoperablity etc, Cadastral Subcommittee wants to review and see which subsets of the document should be used across the board and perhaps submit this to the OGC. CS contacted the OGC last year, and was directed back through the FGDC Coordination Group. The NILS Project will implement the metadata and cadastral standards as part of that effort.

Is there an implementation of these cadastral standards that are implemented in vendor specific cases so that organizations can just grab/buy and run with it. At one time, the Coordination Group talked about having the physical models (or product specific implementations) as part of the effort.

As a result of this project, ESRI will be providing the package as a part of their software. This is a direct result of the BLM, Forest Service and other Federal Interests.

The NILS Project has a number of aspects to it. Data Collection in the field (referring to the DB and adding to it real time), second is doing the measurement management (adjustments to the network based on new data, new readings), third is parcel management is where you would add data that has not been surveyed - this is where we need the help of USGS. Between 35-50% of the cases we have on claims in BLM do not conform to the PLSS. A lot of the other boundary information is not surveyed, and we need to get it in there.

The last part of NILS is Geocommunications.

  • Posting data to the clearinghouse will not get us the integrated data set. Pilot the improved communication to illustrate the partnerships needed to establish and maintain consistent data with a joint and single representation. This is largely a partnership effort for data and activities on the ground that drive data generation and maintenance. Clearinghouse is a major infrastructure piece that is needed, but the partnerships are critical to get to the goal. This will lead to required updates in other data sets (boundaries, etc) - effective communication and cooperation is essential
  • Partnerships and communications - Western Governor's sponsoring in March 2000, a Cadastral workshop. Look at what people are doing and try to come up with a integrated vision for cadastral that gets us to a consistent, coherent cadastral for the western states. Would like to push this success story east as / when we can.

Final issue, better communication between the CSC and the Coordination Committee. We would like a FGDC staff presence in our SC meetings if possible, then we would like to brief out to the Coordination Group regularly as well to tighten the bond.

Metadata needs for parcel and township is emerging to be certain to adequately track and maintain cadastral properly.

Gerry: Quick observation - lots of names mentioned in the briefings by Bob and Bill. Good indication is that the association of names with FGDC is about 70% - a great sign of the awareness and commitment

FY2000 CAP Update

(Short briefing due to time)
David Painter reported that the schedule for the CAP has slipped but planning is for the Federal Register Notice to be announce this month the open period for he program to begin in January, 2000 and run for 60 days until March. Three categories of proposals will be announced.

Category 1: Metadata Projects
- Total awards $300,000 - $400,000
- Create metadata
- Training
- Support metadata trainers
- Develop ISO metadata training
- Support state coordinators of consolidated projects

Category 2: Framework Community Implementations
- Total awards $450,000 (~$50,000 - ~$70,000 each)
- Address community issue through collaboration utilizing framework data

Category 3: Web Mapping Testbed Projects
- Total awards ~$280,000 - Recommended funding level $55,000
- Develop technical ability to discover map layers from multiple servers and view in one browser window.
- Assist in refinement of OGC web mapping standards.
- Three to four projects to be awarded

Proposal review period will be in April. Please forward names and contact information for volunteers to review application packages.

NSDI Community Demonstration Projects Update

Mark DeMulder reported:

  • For details and technical, please consult with the Federal Champions assigned to the six projects
  • Six communities selected October 1998, with close out anticipated in May 2000
  • Early on successfully received an innovation fund award of about $640K. Most monies spent at this point for staffs, software, training, travel. Grant monies have been very useful to jump start the projects toward their objectives.
  • One of the grants with Dane County had an uncomfortable clause on data copyright , that has been removed with the concurrence of Dane the University and the Government.
  • Finally got an approved, signed, and distributed Charter for the six projects as NPR Innovation Labs
  • We have initiated reporting requirements with the communities to assure compliance with the Grant requirements and more importantly to document the outcomes of the NSDI projects. Have preliminary reports in at this point: Dane, Tillamook, Susquehanna-Lackawanna, Tijuana projects are now on hand. - contact Mark for copies of these reports. Still awaiting reports from Baltimore and Gallatin.
  • Questions:
  • Who is running Gallatin from the Federal side? Paul Dressler and BLM
  • I heard that some of the projects were lagging behind. Can we get more information on this? Mark: some have been more technical than others, some have been wrapped in lots of interesting issues and complexities that have needed time to work. Tijuana is one of those, but has really come along in terms of progress and has gained a focused degree of federal support (imagery flights for collection over the basin supported by NOAA)
  • Tillamook County - Grant monies and federal support has been helpful. Project is much smaller in scale than others.
  • John: Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna had some scoping problems in the early stages. Dave C. need to look at the context of this project as a component of the larger vision. Lots of good progress with this one
  • Mark: entering the really active period with respect to the Federal Champions and support. Need to assure that final reporting is completed. Mark will put that in a package, with the intent that this information will be helpful for CFIP in 2001. There is an opportunity for another grant to assist in these projects Innovation in Government? (Ford Foundation) to be used for marketing and outreach. Will be useful for wrapping up the activity. FGDC will pursue this in partnership potentially with the NPR for the communities.
  • Use of reports: CFIP 2001, help other communities become aware of capabilities / possibilities, extract best practices and cost / benefits (things to do and not do).

Facility Location and Identification Standard Report

Lois Fritts explained that unique facilities number is a big issue - SC determined that the number must not imbed any characteristics of the facility in the identifier, rather that data would be stored elsewhere, and referenced to the unique number. However, many organizations did not want to change their numbering. SC determined that the most important aspect of the number ought to be that it does not change over time.

    Action: Put this discussion on the agenda for the next Coordination Group meeting, EARLY on the schedule. 30 minutes.

Julie: We need to get with the critics to work the issues. Fred Broome and others have some strong objections and we need to get to them ASAP. We want to avoid a repeat of problems coming up late in the game with regard to issues. (i.e. gridded elevation standard) OK to defer vote to early in the session so that we have ample time to address any discussion and issues. Julie will distribute the standard out again with at least two weeks notification prior to the meeting.

John: 1999 NSDI accomplishment reports due to Kim by 31 December 1999. Next meeting is 11 January 2000. Library of Congress will host the meeting in the West Dining Room. Katie will get the details and agenda out to all in a bit. Any additional suggestions for the agenda - please get them to Kim soon. Also, Subcommittee briefs are invited, particularly interested in elevation.

Next Steering Group meeting is TBD, checking with Babbitt's schedule

Gerry: A couple of comments on some items: GPS and mapping (get these people up here to talk with the Coordination Group). We rarely have NASA here - this needs to be fixed. We now have NSDI recognized in the DE forum. Mark Schaefer needs to get together with senior staff soon, we have some folks on board others, it would be good to get that collaboration and discussion going. HE will be moving to the Hudson Canskill area (Woodstock!). Will ride his motorcycle more often

Next Coordination Group Meeting:
January 11, 2000
Library of Congress
West Dining Room
Contact: Katie Ryan