March 13, 2001 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Host: Carol Brandt, Department of Transportation

Introduction and Announcements - John Moeller, Director FGDC Secretariat

Allison Kiernan, USGS, has been selected as the new FGDC Executive Secretary. She will assume her new position pending the lifting of the DOI personnel freeze.

NSDI Communication Toolkit is now available. The toolkit is a set of three interrelated briefing materials that describe the power of geospatial information and technology. The Tool Kit comes equipped with the following three "power" tools : (1.) CD-ROM - "Using Geography to Advance the Business of Government," a PowerPoint slide presentation. (2.) Brochure - - "Using Geography to Advance the Business of Government -Tap into the Power of GIS." This brochure complements the material presented in the PowerPoint slides. (3.) Video Tape - "The Power of Place to Support Decision Making" - This is a 15-minute video, produced by ESRI and provided to support this project. It highlights policy makers from several States who are effectively using geospatial data and GIS to support decisions in their daily government business. For more information go to the FGDC website:

National Academy Science Workshop Prospectus. A two-day interdisciplinary workshop is planned by the NAS Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. The workshop will explore commonalities and opportunities for increased interaction between the geospatial and mainstream information technology/computer science communities. Late Septmeber-early October is planned for the workshop.

    Actions: Agencies should review prospectus and nominate agency attendees to the NAS workshop.

Attachment: Geospatial Information and Information Technology

Year 2000 NSDI Accomplishments Report. FGDC agencies, subcommittees and working groups are requested to submit reports outlining accomplishments in implementing the NSDI. The report are due the end of April and especially important for the education of the new incoming administration. The format for the reports will be sent to the Coordination Group and posted at the FGDC website.

    Action: John Moeller will review and revise format NSDI Accomplishments Report template and send out to the Coordination Group.

OMB Implementation Team Initiative - John Moeller.
An overview detailing the team organization and current status of the initiative was presented. At present, the Council for Excellence in Government (CEG) has been issued a memo of "intent to award" a cooperative agreement by the USGS on the FGDCs' behalf. Under this agreement CEG will provide resources to move the initiative forward, including I-Team coordination, support linkage with OMB and e-government, and convene the Financial Solutions Team. Agreement is expected to be in place by summer. In addition, Urban Logic will provide support to the Financial Solutions Team. Twenty-five states and regions have shown interest with Utah, Texas, New Jersey, and New York City Metropolitan area are already organizing. North Carolina and FEMA CTS collaborative, and Seattle are investigating this approach.

Attachment: OMB Geospatial Information Initiative

A-16 Revision - Carl Zulick, FGDC
Carl Zulick of the FGDC presented the progress made to revise OMB Circular A-16. He distributed and discussed the definitions of terms, asking for review and comment. Carl noted that technical terms are difficult to define, as many dictionaries don't reference these words within the context of spatial data technologies. However good definitions can be located on the Internet, if they are thoroughly reviewed. (See attachment)

    Action: Coordination group should submit any changes to the definition directly to him at

He reviewed theme definitions, stating that several agencies had not submitted the descriptions for the themes for which they had the lead. He noted that these should be turned in by the end of the week. (See attachment) He will send out the descriptions for review once again when more are submitted. Comments can be sent to him at the email address above.

Carl then reviewed the schedule for completion of A-16, including getting all the theme descriptions in, checking legal implications with OMB, making needed revisions, getting Steering Committee approval, and turning the revision over to OMB. He noted that once turned over to OMB, it could still be revised several times during a 4-6 month period. (See attachment)

Carl summarized his findings about the Federal Advisory Council Act as it applies to the FGDC. He noted that although there is some gray area, the FGDC would qualify as a FACA Advisory committee, however it would be up to John Moeller and the Steering Committee to determine if the benefits outweighed the costs. A brief summary of his findings is attached. (See attachment)

Attachment: Appendix D: Definitions, Theme descriptions and responsibilities, schedule for completing A-16, and FACA notes.

April FGDC Steering Committee Meeting - John Moeller. An interim Steering Committee meeting is anticipated for late April with specific date to be determined soon. Due to the fact that a number of agencies do not have individuals in place in key positions, there will likely be Steering Committee members in an interim capacity. In order to ensure continuity for this meeting and to move forward with balloting on standards we need to identify permanent or acting Steering Committee members named.

    Action: Coordination Group members should identify permanent or acting Steering Committee representatives for their agency and provide their contact information to David Painter ( by April 6, 2001.

Metadata Profile for Shoreline Data: Proposal for approval for final endorsement - Julie Binder Maitra, FGDC-Standards. Coordination group was briefed on the standards development and readiness for approval as an FGDC-endorsed standard by the FGDC Steering Committee.

    Action: Coordination Group approved seeking final endorsement for the Metadata Profile for Shoreline Data by the Steering Committee. Endorsement by Steering Committee will be by electronic ballot.

Attachment: Shoreline Metadata Profile

Metadata Extensions for Remote Sensing Data - Barry Schlesinger, George Mason University. Coordination group was briefed on status of the standards development and readiness for public review.

    Action: Metadata Extension for Remote Sensing Data was approved by the Coordination Group for public review for a minimum of 90days.

Attachment: Metadata Extensions for Remote Sensing Data

FGDC Standards Working Group - Julie Binder Maitra, Acting Chair.

    Action: FGDC Subcommittees and Working Group chairs and other Coordination Group members are requested to notify Julie Binder Maitra if they have any proposals, committee drafts (to submit for public review), or final drafts (to submit for FGDC final endorsement) of FGDC standards to put on the agenda of the April 11th Standards Working Group meeting. Please contact her by to contact her by March 28, 2001.

FGDC Facilities Working Group Activities Update - Nancy Blyler, USACE. Briefing provided an overview of the Facilities Working Groups (FWG) activities to date. The FWG mission is to coordinate facilities infrastructure and environmental use of CADD and GIS within the Department of Defense with other participating federal, non-federal and private organizations. Highlights included FWG submission the Spatial Data Standard for Facilities, Infrastructure & Environment (SDFIE) to the ANSII standards process (NCITS Project 1411), the Kern County, CA utilization of the standard for the entire county by multiple organizations, and the incorporation of USGS DLG data into the SDFIE.

Jean McGinn ( will represent the USACE in the future while Nancy Blyler is away.
USACE's Steering Committee member is Dwight Beranek (

Attachment: FGDC Facilities Working Group Update

Clearinghouse Status and Plans - Doug Nebert, FGDC-Clearinghouse. Briefing covered goals of the Geospatial Data Clearinghouse including "one-stop-shop" search system for geospatial data, data described through metadata, metadata searchable through many local catalogs (clearinghouse nodes), catalogs registered with FGDC, and search forms that can search all catalogs.

There are now three search interfaces: place-name based, map plus place-name based, and search "Wizard" currently being refined. Plans for clearinghouse include improve search interface usability, testing and support of proposed extensions to the OpenGIS Catalog Services specs and ISO metadata standard, increasing the number of clearinghouses nodes (approximately 220 currently), improving referral capabilities to locate servers and data, and deployment of a public domain search program.

The Geography Network (GN) resources are a part of the Clearinghouse and the GN entries are searchable through the clearinghouse. It was recommended that the GN should be able to search the NSDI nodes as if they were GN members, and that mapping service linkages should be standardized by all providers in metadata. ESRI and the FGDC will continue to work together in achieving this functionality.

Both the OpenGIS Testbed prototypes (focusing on discovery of services related to data) and current Clearinghouse services (focused on data discovery and related services) need data and service metadata and discovery methods.

Attachment: Clearinghouse Status & Plans

The Geography Network - Kim Burns-Braidlow, ESRI. Presentation highlights on ESRI's Geography Network (GN) include that GN is complementary to the Clearinghouse, supports adherence to standards and encourages partnerships and the development of framework data. The GN is one vendors implementation a portion of the NSDI.

Users of GN web site are exposed to a comprehensive collection of both commercial and public geospatial information data, map services, solutions - not just the metadata. The GN provides access to map services that can be easily intergrated into GIS software. A user, sitting at a desktop has access to data hosted all around the world that can be integrated with their data hosted locally with the ease of clicking a button.

The GN infrastructure (search and dissemination) is of interest to many agencies and states- The Nature Conservancy, United Nations Environmental Program, HUD, Texas, and New Jersey as a way to organize and optimize on the Internet's ability to relatively painlessly share data.

Next Meetings:

    FGDC Coordination Group Meeting
    April 3, 2001
    9:00 - 12:00 pm
    Site: White House Conference Center
    Host: Tony Frater, OMB

    FGDC Steering Committee Meeting
    Late April - TBD
    9:00 - 12:00 pm
    Site: Department of the Interior