November 1999 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary



1201 New York Avenue
Washington, DC

Handouts: Agenda, Researching Federal Agencies template & Operational Definitions of Interviewees, Agencies with Potential Interviewees


Katie Ryan, Library of Congress, announced that the 29th International Geographical Congress will be meeting in Seoul Korea on August 29, 2000. The Library is gathering information to send to the meeting, .ie.maps, books atlases, the deadline for gathering donations is April 2000. Ms. Ryan asked that any agency wishing to donate material for the meeting should contact her. The Library will be sending out a flyer with more information on the meeting soon.

Public Safety Information Initiative:

John Moeller reported that the Public Safety group is taking the energy that resulted from the Crime Mapping Task Force to tie together the broader public safety issues coming out of federal/state/local agencies. The National Performance for Reinventing Government (NPR) recently held meetings to discuss the problems encountered with Hurricane Floyd and how future preparedness and coordination could lessen such natural disasters. Another meeting will be held on November 15 and will address Hurricane Floyd’s short-term needs, next season's needs, and the longer term public safety initiative. Mr. Moeller reported that a white paper on this issue will be coming out soon.

Digital Earth meeting

: Mr. Moeller reported that the next meeting on Digital Earth will be held in Reston on November 10. That meeting hopes to address the goals and functions that Digital Earth wants to capture and address how they relate to the NSDI.

Demonstration Projects

: Mr. Moeller reported that most projects are going well. The Upper Susquehanna/Lackawanna project has received assistance from Congressman Kanjorski's office. The Federal champions of these projects will be getting together on November 17; this is also the date their interim reports are due. Mr. Moeller emphasized the need to ensure the federal champion's support continues. The NOAA management briefing on November 1 is an example of the support needed. FGDC will focus on the final report, the coordination/communication among projects, and to provide support to project champions. At the December Coordination Group meeting another briefing will be provided.


: Members would like to see how these demonstration projects fit together. The challenge – to choose a geographic area and bring multiple agencies together to solve a problem. This is the heart of the new way of thinking. NSDI’s data sharing and partnerships are elements that come out of these projects.

Meeting of Steering Committee, Coordination Group and Chaordic Alliance Group


Mr. Moeller reported that in October, select participants from the Geodata Forum met with members of the Chaordic Alliance Group. At this October meeting discussions focused on the energy/resource/commitment level to establish a National Entity similar to the FGDC. As a result, four working groups were formed to research specific areas: finance, drafting team, full-time staff needs, outreach & communication process. During the October 26 Steering Committee meeting, an interest was expressed to learn more about the National group and how the efforts of the Design Study Team fit together. A meeting to discuss this issue has been scheduled for November 17. Invitees include Steering Committee members, Coordination Group members and members of the October meeting along with a Chaordic Alliance Group member.


: The last Steering Committee meeting was flat. No excitement and too many agenda items.

'99 Accomplishments reports & 2000 Work Plans


In an effort to make the reporting process easier, both for the reporter and the person compiling the reports, it was recommended that Subcommittees and Working Groups report the accomplishments (or not) of what is stated in their charter and previous year's work plan. The Accomplishments report should be no more than 1 to 2 pages in length and should honestly reflect the work performed by the group during the year. The honest feedback provided in these reports will assist the Design Study Team when looking at making recommendations to restructure the FGDC organization. The FGDC secretariat would also like reports from federal agencies, which would be a separate report from the subcommittee and working group. Again, 1 to 2 pages in length the federal reports should describe accomplishment the agency has made with respect to the NSDI. Participating in FGDC groups is only one element of an accomplishment. For example, the FGDC now has 14 endorsed standards, does the agency adhere to any of these standards and if not why; how the agency make their data accessible - via the web? Does the agency collect and maintain metadata or educate employees and customers about NSDI principles? Addressing the four goals of the NSDI strategy should be sufficient. These reports are due to Kim Burns-Braidlow by December 31st .

    Action: '99 Reports & '00 Work Plans due by December 31.

FY2000 CAP program


Dave Painter highlighted the strengths of the previous CAP programs and stated that for FY2000 there would be approximately $1.8 million available. Mr. Painter presented the proposed areas of focus for next year's CAP. The four areas include:

  • Continuation of last year's Don't Duck Metadata
    • Metadata for all themes of data
    • Maximum funding of $8.5K
    • '99 participants not eligible
    • Consolidated proposal accepted
  • Framework: Connecting Organizations
    • Focus is on solving problems
    • Maximum funding of $75K
    • Partnership required
    • In-kind match of 100%
  • Web Mapping Testbeds
    • Tied to the OGC WMT
    • Maximum funding $55K
    • Partnership required
    • Estimated number of awards - 4
  • Putting standards to work
    • Documenting implementation of FGDC approved standards
    • Pilot/prototype implementation of international standards developed for ISO metadata
    • Maximum funding of $40K
    • Partnership required


: Bruce Spear contested the restriction that the 'Putting Standards to Work' element is only for approved standards. Robin Fegeas seconded Bruce’s concern.

Regarding the ISO harmonization, several members felt that the ISO process is not yet ready to do this. Regarding the WMT – take the Lockheed Martin testbed and test that in communities where there are a variety of platforms and datasets available in an operational environment. Question - who is funding the testbed programmers to work with these projects. Comment: you need agencies to do simple features, update clients, and the separation is not clear - Client composes request – looks like URL, goes to machine that gets data (hopefully using simple features defined by OGC), composes a map then returns it to the client. There was a question as to how the money will work with the OGC stuff. Which does it fund – client, application, or data server. Recommendation from member - put the emphasis on the data server readiness.

Chris Clark does not hear anything in the proposed CAP that addresses data maintenance in real-time. Are there funding mechanisms in the CAP for federal agencies? Mr. Painter said that any federal agency can apply to any of these proposed areas. Bruce Spear said we are addressing taking the data that agencies already have, making it available, and documenting it; the piece that is missing is data development, maintenance, and use of the data. How doesn’t addressing standards and metadata address ‘good data’? Comment: when you have a small amount of data you only get a snap shot – a specialized little set. Using this snap shot process does not allow integrated data back into the overall process. These are the transactional updating and maintenance issues. Comment: OGC’s partnership WMT phase II is also looking at these issues and it may be good partnership timing. Resources from FGDC and agencies have helped to influence this process.

Hank Garie asked if the state coordinators would be involved in the CAP process. John said he’s considered putting in a component asking how it fits into the goals of the state GIS plans.

David Painter will get more detailed information to the Coordination Group. David asked for volunteers from members, as we have done in the past, to review proposals. He would like nominations by December 7. David will look at the standards element again and the breakpoint for requesting proposals.

    Action: Volunteers to review FY2000 CAP proposals are due to David Painter by December 7.

Proposed schedule for FY2000 CAP:

11/99 Public Notice
12/15 to 02/15/00 - 60 day open period
03/00 to 04/00 technical review and award recommendations
05/00 Coordination Group review
06/00 awards

USACE'S Land Management System

Bill Goran and Tom Hart, USACE presented: Bring together tools for managing our land and water resources - DOD Land Management System. They stated that they would like to brief the FGDC Steering Committee at a later date on this subject.

The Land Management System (LMS) is an initiative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) focused on improving customer’s landscape analysis and landscape management capabilities in several of the Corps of Engineers major mission areas. The objectives of LMS include: improve Corps/DOD/partnering organizations capabilities in meeting land and water resource management challenges; design, build, deliver and support a new computer-based technology product delivery framework; and improve teaming and reduce time and costs in delivery of technologies. LMS touches program planning and execution processes across the entire Corps lab organization (and beyond) with the goal of bringing diverse efforts and players into a coordinated framework.

The LMS Initiative had its roots in a study undertaken in 1995 and 1996 related to modeling and simulation capabilities developed or used by the Corps of Engineers, related to landscape or geo processes. 2 years ago LMS started changing the way they do business. They are looking for more agency participation and awareness about this project.

For more information visit their web site at:

Design Study Team

A handout was distributed that identified agencies that the team been given names for as potential interviewees. Coordination Group was asked to look for gaps in the handout and to ensure their agency provided the study with a list of interviewees within their agency. In order to ensure diverse groups of people are interviewed, another handout was provided that defined the five categories of professionals the team hopes to interview. Coordination Group was asked to use these definitions when providing names. In addition to names, the Coordination Group was asked to write a brief (1 to 2 page) description of their agency. A template (Researching Federal Agencies Template, which is located at the top of the Handout containing the operational definitions of interviewees) was provided which described the types of information the study team would like to know about the agency when preparing for interviews. Due to the urgent need of this information (interviews will begin being scheduled this week) the team needs the information by Friday.

    Action: 1) Coordination Group provide Kim Burns-Braidlow with categorized list of potential interviewees within your agency would provide enlightening information to the Design Study Team process. 2) Provide a brief description of your agency using the distributed "Research Federal Agencies Template". Both items are due by COB Friday, November 5.

Next meeting location:

December 7 - same location as this meeting - NSGIC, 1201 New York Avenue, Washington DC

January 11 - Library of Congress
February 1 - BLM
March 7 - BLM
April 4 - NARA - downtown
May 2 - NARA - College Park