December 5, 2000 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC

Ivan DeLoatch, EPA

Agenda Topics:

2001 NSDI Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) - David Painter, FGDC Approximately $1,000,000 is available for supporting CAP projects in FY 2001. There are four funding categories, these are: support for metadata implementers needing training and experience documenting data holdings, metadata trainers to provide training and assistance to organizations needing that assistance, technical projects implementing clearinghouse integration with web mapping (based on OpenGIS Web Mapping Specifications), and projects supporting collaborative framework projects over common geography in the US and Canada. Discussion concerning the possibility U.S. framework projects did not identify appropriate approaches for project funding this year, but did highlight a heightened need for the Coordination Group to have further discussion about 'Framework' and attendant agency responsibilities, scope of effort, and recommendations to make Framework happen.

    Action: The open period for the 2001 CAP program will begin January 2001. Funding categories will support Metadata implementation and training, Clearinghouse integration with Web Mapping, and Collaborative US/Canadian Framework Projects.

    Action: If opportunities are identified for U.S. framework projects a subsequent CAP program can be announced.

    Action: Milo Robinson and Fred Broome will work on a white paper describing mechanisms to enable Framework and formulate a set of recommendations for discussion and subsequent approval by the Steering Committee.

2001 CAP Presentation (911 KB PowerPoint)

A-16 Revision Discussion - Milo Robinson, FGDC; Carl Zulick, NPR; Tony Frater, OMB

This is the beginning phase of revising the circular and more changes should be anticipated. The revision objectives include that the circular be short and clear in the statement of agency responsibilities and leadership in regards to framework data themes; that it avoid unfunded mandates; and that data be treated as a capital asset. In making multi-year cost schedules it will be more difficult for Congress to overlook good investment and planning. Performance plans will be tied to framework creation and will motivate agencies to achieve goals. Circular revision will name and identify agency and FGDC responsibilities. The circular will be changed from an integrated mapping to integrated infrastructure system approach. The intent is to de-emphasize structure and the FGDC top-down approach and emphasize agency responsibility with a more bottom-up approach.

Below are notes and comments from discussion:

Page 1:
- Purpose of NSDI and emphasis on Federal agencies acquiring data
- Vice chair will be Deputy Director of OMB
- Secretary of DOI is chair
- Meet with OMB quarterly, is this feasible?
Page 2:
- Applicability to spatial data. Exclusion for DOD, DOE, CIA, and tribal organizations. Concern is expressed on archiving of classified/sensitive data having the same data maintenance and access requirements as public data, especially in light of these types of data can and are released at much later dates for historical and FOIA reasons. In addition, agencies dealing with classified data do have freely available and routine public information. Suggested language: they should implement but may opt out.
Page 3:
- Definition of NSDI
- Framework data as a national asset conceptually nested from local to regional, state to national.
- Agencies with thematic leadership roles must be stewards for providing (not necessarily directly creating or acquiring) framework data
- Is privacy adequately addressed by circular? Are there required, inherited Federal policies that must be considered? Lead agencies would need to address privacy concerns in providing framework.
Page 5:
- Descriptions of general responsibilities and specific for lead agencies
- There was a comment on the detail of theme leadership giving the impression of "exclusivity."
- The listing of lead agency thematic leadership needs comment on whether these agencies are the lead agencies.
Page 8:
- FGDC responsibilities
- Objective is to achieve clarity of responsibilities and tasks between lead agencies and FGDC.
- FGDC responsibilities include oversight, international coordination, dissemination, membership contact and activity information etc.
- Disputes will be remanded to OMB.
- Question of statement concerning item #6 what does "Do not make available to public if it is part of national security" mean.
- FGDC certification of framework data; what is envision by this statement?

    Action: Coordination Group members to review and comment on the attached draft version of the OMB Circular A-16. Comments are Due: 15 December 2000. Updated draft to be discussed at January 9, 2001 Coordination Group Meeting.

Comments should be sent to Milo Robinson, FGDC (Fax: 703.648.5755 or email: The FGDC Secretariat will coordinate the receipt of comments. All comments will be forwarded to OMB and NPR as they are received.

Comments on the draft OMB Circular A-16 can also be submitted using the FGDC Standards Review Comment Template. The URL is A Microsoft Word template may also be downloaded from that Web page and used to submit comments. Please provide constructive comments (not just dislikes) on how to modify draft document. You are encouraged to submit your comments early. If you have any questions regarding this draft version of A-16 please contact Milo Robinson or Carl Zulick ( or (202) 694-0034).

In addition, if there are any philosophical discussions that reviewers would like to make part of the record on file for this revision but not part of the actual comment on the draft text, please send it to Milo Robinson.

The next step in the revision process is the review by the OMB Council. A new circular can be expected no sooner that April 2001.

Draft OMB Circular A-16 (205 KB Word Document)

Interagency Initiatives:

Land View IV - Norm Gunderson, FGDC-retired; Jerry McFaul, USGS
Land View IV is a DVD product that enables the integration of vast amounts of EPA, Census, and USGS data. The intent of the LandView effort is to look at what organizations are trying to provide their users, with the goal of providing a more direct meaningful tangible presentation of data. This is an important first step towards higher levels of analysis. The importance is the data not the software. Land View consists of a map viewer and database and can be acquired from Census for $90.

E-MAP - Dave Nystrom, HUD and Todd Rogers, ESRI presented an urban land planning tool for users who will not know that they are using a GIS. This is a HTML product and a result of collaboration between HUD, EPA, Census and ESRI. Information is linked to demographic, environmental, housing and programmatic databases for geographic display. E-MAP can be accessed at


Jim Jaincaitis, the chair of the Base Cartographic Subcommittee has left USGS for NIMA. A new chair will be announced.

Next Meetings:

    FGDC Coordination Group
    January 9, 2001


      - ESRI Briefing on Geography Network
      - A-16 Revision
      - Framework Survey of local government interaction and sharing
      - Web & CD based Communications Toolkit
    FGDC Steering Committee

Please provide modifications or corrections to FGDC on this report. Contact David Painter at 703.648.5513 or This report will be posted at the FGDC website: