June 6, 2000 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Summary Report
Site: Environmental Protection Agency 410 M St., S.W. Washington, DC

Attendees: Anne Hale Miglarese, NOAA; Bruce Spear, DOT; Bruce Ambacher, NARA; Jim Jancaitis, USGS; Howard Diamond, NOAA; Chuck Croner, DHHS; John Moeller, FGDC; Rick Yorczyk, NOAA; Margarette Shovlin (recorder), EPA; Jerry McFaul, USGS, Bill Wilen, FWS; Bruce Ambacher, NARA; Beth Duff, USGS; Brand Niemann, EPA; Katie Ryan, LOC; Ivan DeLoatch, EPA; Christine Clarke, USDA; John Stewart, DOE.

Information Items:
Bill Wilen presented the Wetlands Subcommittee Report. The purpose of the Clean Water Action Plan was to develop a uniform set of definitions which distinguish gains and losses in wetland acreage from gains and losses in wetland functions. Accomplishments to date are 1) Decision Matrix Table, 2) Set of Definitions, 3) Paradigms and 4) List of examples (50-60). The Definition for Categories of Wetlands Conservation can be accessed at http://cleanwater.gov/conservationcategories. The Wetlands Subcommittee Action plans are 1) Search for existing data, 2) Using Wetland Layer of NSDI to track gains and losses in Wetlands and 3) Review of Riparian Mapping Standards. Bill also discussed the Wetland Interactive Mapper, the URL is http://wetlands.fws.gov/wetland_interactive_mapper_tool.htm . There are 25,000 maps available through the US Fish and Wildlife National Wetland Inventory. To date 280,000 people have downloaded maps. Of that number 85% were not .gov/.

Standards Update:
Only 50% of the electronic ballots (Utilities Data Content Standard) have been returned by members of the Steering Committee, one more vote is required to pass the standards. John requested that those Agency which have not responded please do so. Overall 15 standards have been approved; 3 are out for public comment: Metadata Profile for Shoreline Data Public Review, Period extended to July 31, 2000; Hydrographic Data Content Standard for Coastal and Waterways (closes August 31, 2000); Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization (closes September 15, 2000).

John Moeller petitioned the group to volunteer or suggest volunteers to review standards. Currently only Julie Binder Maitra, reviews all standards. The suggestion was made that more volunteers could be found if the review of standards was based upon the interest of the Agency rather than representative to review all standards. Agencies which have a vested interest in a standard will be more inclined to participate. John indicated that Professional societies are also a good source for obtaining comments.

Design Study Team:
John Moeller presented an overview of the Implementation Plan. Of the fifteen topics presented in previous drafts presented by the Design Team, five final topics we chosen (reference June 6, 2000 message from Kim). John requested than rather than the Group spending time going over the five topics in detail, our time could be better utilized by establishing a priority or deciding which of the five the Group should focus on.

  1. Raise Geospatial data awareness to the policy level.

  2. Get serious about coordination among federal agencies.

  3. Focus federal agency efforts toward building and distributing integrated national Geospatial data assets.

  4. Restructure the FGDC.

  5. Establish Management Oversight and Accountability.

Topic 2 and 3 speared the most comments from the members present. It was the general consensus that more proactive action is required as a means of drawing the attention of and engaging Agency heads in the standards arena. It was suggested that having OMB more involved with FGDC is one way of accomplishing this objective. It was also stated that there are many projects which could be used as models/templates of Best Practices. Demonstration projects could be used as examples of FGDC accomplishments. Packages could be prepared for each new Agency Head.

    Action: Convene a meeting with OMB to get them on board to understand what the FGDC is and possibly become members of the Group, or have bi-annual workshops with OMB to bring them up speed on where the FGDC is on standards.

    Discussion with USGS Director on restructuring placement of FGDC.

    Begin getting the Stakeholder group participating (documents best practices)

    Major integrating activities; tie them together and how to the build off the NSDI.

    Develop templates of community demonstration projects which are examples of Best Practices for each Agency.

The tenet of NSDI is open access to the public domain. There will be a meeting on October 16, 2000 with ASPRS, NSGIC and MAPPS Conferencing Licensing people. John proposed that it would be advantageous for the Coordination Group to participate in the meeting. There are regulations A130, A16 and 12906 which clearly state when and how data is to be made available to the general public. FGDC and OMB representation will help point the ASPRS members in the right direction. Anne Hale Miglarese has agreed to take the lead, and volunteers to work with Anne should contact her (843-740-1238, anne.miglarese@noaa.gov) within the next two weeks.

Next Meeting:
July 11, 2000 at NACo
440 1st Street (across from the Hyatt, Union Station Metro)