September 8, 1999 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary


FGDC Coordination Group meeting
September 8, 1999

Handouts: CADD/GIS Technology Center for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment Charter; CADD/GIS Center organization slides; Comments on Biological Data Profile; Comments on Remote Sensing Swath Data; Draft Outline of ideas on NSDI Legislation document; Rotator Program document; and notice of Chaordic meeting.


  • Kim Burns-Braidlow provided an update on the activities of the Procurement Task Group. The group had identified the initial scope of the boilerplate NSDI procurement language to include metadata, data content, accuracy and transfer standards. The Task Group anticipates providing the Coordination Group (CG) with a draft of the language at the next CG meeting.
  • The FGDC web site was hit by hackers and is temporarily down. It should be back up by noon today.
  • Gerry Barton distributed copies of a CD from London Times containing images, GIS applications and global change/environmental type of things.

Facilities Working Group Reorganization:

  • Nancy Blyler proposed reorganizing the FGDC Facilities working group by merging them with resources from The CADD/GIS Technology Center for Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment (formerly the Tri-Service CADD/GIS Technology Center).
  • The new working group would be titled "FGDC Facilities, Infrastructure and Environment working group".
  • Merger would broaden the scope of the group to include Infrastructure and Environment activities.
  • Merger should also increase membership and interest from a larger community.
  • Participation in the reorganized working group would be available at various new levels, other than the technical level, to also include management and field level participation in the development of standards.


  • This approach is more natural for them concerning integration of standards.
  • Tri-Services has traditionally worked at large scale and concern was expressed that the new working group might limit the group's standards scope.
  • Standards need to be integrate-able.
  • How will FGDC standards get implemented and how will this group's standards that have national importance get implemented? M.K. said as FGDC standards are put in place they will be integrated in to the CADD/GIS center's spatial data standards.
  • It was suggested that a sentence be inserted in the charter that implies the scale.
  • There is overlap of interests in facilities such as transportation systems.
  • The CADD/GIS center will be brought in as a resource for the working group that will be a multi-level facility.
  • It was requested that a statement be inserted in the charter stating this is an FGDC working group.
  • The CADD/GIS center board of directors also functions as the FGDC working group.
  • The group agreed that the charter needed clarification and definition of its role and responsibilities within the mission of the FGDC.
  • Nancy agreed to take the input from the CG and rewrite the charter and distribute it to members.

    Decision: Group concurred with the reorganization initiative.
    Action: Nancy will rework the charter and disseminate for review. We will close on this at the next meeting.


    Decision: Biological Data Profile was approved and will be forwarded to the Steering Committee for FGDC endorsement.

    Decision: Content Standard for Remote Sensing Swath Data was approved and will be forwarded to the Steering Committee for FGDC endorsement.

In the absence of a Steering Committee meeting, SC members will be sent ballots to vote on the endorsement of these two standards. Coordination Group members are asked to brief their Steering Committee representative on these standards and inform them that they will be sent a ballot for their vote of endorsement/or not.

    Action: Coordination Group members inform their Steering Committee representative of approaching standards for endorsement.


John reported that while C/FIP did not get favorable action in this year's budget, don't view this as over yet. Items will be added in as the end game is approved. Discussions are underway to include C/FIP in the FY2001 budgets.

NSDI Legislation

A draft Outline of Ideas for NSDI Legislation was distributed. John said that NSDI legislation would take NSDI from the Executive Order and put it in national policy. John has had discussions with committee staff, NAPA, and STIA to gather their ideas on legislation for the NSDI. Secretary Babbitt wants FGDC to work in coordination with the officials on the Hill. Government oversight is where the legislation would be drafted. John asked for as broad of input on this legislation as possible to preclude last minute lobbying efforts. Coordination Group was asked to send comments on the draft document to Kim.

    Action: Send any comment on the draft Outline of Ideas for NSDI Legislation to Kim ASAP.

Rotator Program

A handout was distributed that described the Rotator Program. Through employee rotational assignments in and out of the FGDC secretariats office, the program is anticipated to provide opportunities to promote the development of the NSDI across the community.

October Chaordic Meeting

A handout was distributed that described an upcoming meeting of the GeoData Forum Organizational Initiative. John briefly reported that this meeting will concentrate on the process necessary to create a national organization to further the NSDI.

Organizational Design Study

John reported that the time is right to move forward on an issued discussed at the Shepherdstown retreat to examine the FGDC structure and the activities that being focused on by the committee. The CG July meeting was an indication of the overwhelming amount of work the Coordination Group is asked to do. And the GeoData Forum showed a broader expansion of the geospatial community. Discussions are underway to form a National Council and the time is right to concentrate on building better federal relationships within the FGDC.

To do this, a Design Study Team facilitated by Lonnie Weiss, will be composed to clarify and update the federal FGDC functions. The Study Team is still in its early stages of development and the initial plans include: compose study team, analyze situation, develop questionnaire/survey instruments, test instrument at Oct 5 CG meeting, conduct interviews, analyze data and develop recommendations, review recommendation w/CG, present to Steering Committee. Study team membership criteria includes: listen well, build good relationships, capture/analyze data, advocate beliefs, will to succeed, grace to compromise, has time. The estimated time constraints amount to 16 days over 4 months (Oct - Jan) in 2-3 day blocks time.

John asked for nominations of team members. A-16 needs to be updated and this could provide some of the substance for that activity. Fred would like to see good bounds set. Max would like to offer a staff member by late this week. Bruce Spear, Alan Gaines, Nancy Blyler, Gerry Barton, Chris Clark said someone from USDA, OMB or EO (needs to be implemented and understood at that level), NSGIC representative suggested, NAPA staff person. It was reported that interviews with 10 or more non-federal employees must have consent by OMB. If CG members have concerns or ideas about boundaries of the Study Team, please let Kim know. Lonnie said we need ideas for whom to interview as well.

    Decision: Agreement to move forward with the Design Study Team.

Next Meeting Location:

Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, SW
Room 3200 - 3204 - located in the southeast corner of the building on the 3rd floor.
Washington DC

The closest Metro station is L'Enfant, which is a transfer point for the Blue, Orange, Yellow, and Green lines. The 7th and D St. exit takes you right into the plaza of DOT headquarters. All non-Federal employees must go to the southwest entrance of the building to get a visitor badge. I would strongly recommend that they get their names to Bruce Spear ( or (202.366.8870) by Friday October 1, so that we can get a list down to the guard's desk. This will save them time in signing in.