October 5, 1999 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary


FGDC Coordination Group meeting
October 5, 1999

Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, SW
Room 3200 - 3204
Washington DC

Chaired by Kim Burns-Braidlow

Called to order at 9:10 a.m.


Hydrologic Unit Code Regional Meetings
Brief overview of the FGDC Organizational Design Study
The National Geodetic Survey=s new brochure, Geodesy Imagine the Possibilities


Base Cartographic Subcommittee
Max Ethridge related events from the recent Base Cartographic Subcommittee meeting addressing requirements for height resolution and accuracies of elevation data. The subcommittee decided to form a focus group to define the minimum level product would be usable. The national orthophoto quadrangles as a model.

Standards Kim Burns-Braidlow announced ballots will be sent to Steering Committee members for endorsement of the follow two standards:

    Biological Data Profile

    Content Standard for Remote Sensing Swath Data

Both were approved by the FGDC Coordination Group during its July meeting. Kim explained that only returned ballots will be counted and that a 50 affirmative vote of all the ballots are needed for passage. The Coordination Group members were tasked with alerting their respective Committee representatives prior to dissemination of the ballots on Friday, October 8, 1999.

Steering Committee
Next Steering Committee meeting scheduled for:

    Tuesday, October 26, 1999 (now date is undetermined)
    10:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon
    Main Interior, room 5160


    CFIP status
    GeoData Forum follow-up
    Presentation by FGDC Organization Design Study Team,
    Demonstration Project presentation
    Aurora project presentation

Subcommittee on Spatial Water Data
Kim distributed a report on the Hydrologic Unit Code regional Meetings by Tim Smith, the Subcommittee=s Executive Secretary. The report included a schedule of upcoming subcommittee meetings which are open to attendance by Coordination Group membership.

    October 13-14, 1999 - Little Rock, Arkansas - Arkansas Region Hydrologic Unit Code meeting
    October 19-21, 1999 - Lakewood, Colorado - National Hydrography Data Set Water Summit
    November 10, 1999 - USGS National Center, Reston, Virginia,
    November 17-18, 1999 - Austin, Texas - Texas Region Hydrologic Unit Code meeting


Bruce Spear led a review of the team relating that the team germinated out of the Shepherdstown FGDC retreat, the GeoData Forum, and the July Coordination Group meeting which all highlighted the need for defining the appropriate role of FGDC in promoting NSDI. These meetings pointed out the the combination of enthusiasm for NSDI at the state level and the frustration at the Federal level. The FGDC organizational structure has existed in its present form for about 8 years and has not kept up with the evolution. In response this team was formed composed of volunteers from FGDC staff, participating organizations, and interested third parties. John Moeller leads the group. The rest of the team is made up of Gale TeSelle, Lonnie Weiss, Hank Garie (from New Jersey), Nancy Blyler, Chris Clark, Bruce Spear, and Kim Burns-Braidlow and Bruce McKenzie from the FGDC staff. The group has met twice so far on September 23 and October 4.

The purpose of this study is to learn the needs of Federal agencies in order to encourage active participation and to determine an appropriate form and function for the FGDC. The product will be a report assessing the situation and making recommendations on form and function for FGDC. Bruce emphasized that the purpose was not FGDC self-preservation but how can the FGDC be relevant.

The team is examining the FGDC organization (Steering Committee, Coordination Group, subcommittees, and Working Groups) and is not a review of FGDC staff functions.

The FGDC Organizational Design Study is about getting the Federal house in order and addressing the Federal community=s geospatial data issues. It is consistent with the widespread awareness of the need to refocus on the management of Federal geospatial data activities to support national NSDI objectives.

The study will focus on Federal FGDC members. A broad mix of people will be interviewed in mostly, face-to-face interviews, representing two categories of interviewees. The team will interview current participating members of the Steering Committee, Coordination Group, Subcommittees, and Working Groups. The team will also interview regional field representatives, program managers, and others who have never participated in FGDC activities. The team seeks to engage champions in the agencies so they can best learn about the agency, its requirements, and what is important to them. Interviews will focus on geospatial data and on coordination.

Gale TeSelle discussed the assumptions (pressures, knowns, and givens). A16 and Executive Order 12906 are going to stay. The effects of legislation, the emerging National NSDI Council (not yet named), and the broad pressures for continued ease of data access and public accountability will all be considered.

Lonnie Weiss described the study process and method of interview collection, analysis, draft recommendation, validation, and presentation of final report with recommendation to the Coordination Group and Steering Committee. Among the first tasks are to develop an interview guide (a set of appropriate questions and the set of interviewees). The Coordination Group broke into work groups to brainstorm defining the set of questions and the set of interviewees.

    Actions: The Coordination Group was given two related tasks:
    Provide Kim Burns-Braidlow with names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and background information for interviewees from their agencies by October 14.

    Provide Kim Burns-Braidlow with potential interview questions by October 14.


Nancy Blyler recounted the history of revising the charter and name for the Facilities Working Group. At the September Coordination Group meeting, the new charter was presented and modifications were made to it based on recommendations. The revised charter was circulated by e-mail and the further comments were addressed. A motion was made and seconded to adopt the charter as revised for the CADD/GIS Technology Center for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment. The motion passed by positive ovation.

    Decision: Facilities Working Group will be reorganized.


Leslie Cone reported on the development of the National Integrated Lands System (NILS). This is a joint project between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS)to produce a common data model and tool sets for managing cadastral and land record (parcel) data. NILS has advisory support from a group known as the Parcel Consortium. NILS supercedes the Department of Interiors Automated Land and Mineral Records System (ALMRS). The decision was not to deploy ALMRS but salvage the investment and move forward. The NILS partnership between BLM and FS is based on the desire to have a consistent standard recognizing the similarities in the two agencies missions of resource management. NILS requirements were based on the those of ALMRS and other requirement documents. NILS starts at a more fundamental level than ALMRS at the parcel and survey information. All boundary data will be included.

There are five major components in NILS and their expected completion dates:

  1. - GeoData Model - FY 1999/FY 2000
  2. - Measurement Management Extension (compatible set of tools to move data) - FY 1999/FY 2000
  3. - Parcel Management Extension - FY 2000
  4. - Field Service Extension - FY 2000
  5. - Geo Communicator and subscription service for field plots - FY 2000

Nancy von Meyer of Fairview Industries and Don Chambers were also in attendance.

Information on NILS may be found on:

http://www-a.blm.gov/nils/ Adjourned 12:15 p.m.

Next Coordination Group meeting
November 2, 1999
at US Department of Agriculture

New Action Items:

1 - Coordination Group members are to inform their Steering Committee (SC) representative that a ballot will be faxed to the SC members on Friday, October 8. The ballot is for standards approval of both the Biological Data Profile and the Content Standard for Remote Sensing Swath Data Standard.

2 - Coordination Group members are to inform their Steering Committee representative that a Steering Committee meeting will be scheduled for late October or early November.

3 - Coordination Group members are to provide Kim Burns-Braidlow with names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and as much background information as possible for people within their agencies who should be interviewed by the Design Study Team. Names are needed by October 14.

4 - Coordination Group members are to provide potential interview questions for the Design Study Team to use during the interview process. Questions are needed by October 14. Questions will be clustered into two scenarios: for those with no FGDC experience and for those with current or past FGDC experience.

Minutes by Rick Yorczyk