November 6, 2001 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Action items.

Action: Scott Cameron will distribute a Draft Business Plan for the Geospatial Information One-Stop on Friday (11/9) to Federal Partner Team Members. Please send comments to Scott Cameron ( by Tuesday (11/13).

Action: John Moeller will distribute the Draft Business Plan to the Coordination Group mailing list after it has been sent to OMB on Tuesday (11/13).

Action: An electronic ballot for the Standard for a U.S. National Grid will be forwarded to Coordination Group Members to take to their Steering Committee member for a vote.

Host: David Moffit, NRCS

John Moeller, FGDC
Alison Kiernan, FGDC
Jules McNeff, NSSA (SAIC)
Tom Terry, XY Project
Richard Hogan, USGS
Hedy Rossmeissl, USGS
Myra Bambacus, NASA
Dave Cowen, Mapping Science
David Painter, FGDC
Michelle Torreano, EPA
Bruce Ambacher, NARA
Timi Vann, NASA
Robert Venezia, NASA
Bob Andrew, ICF Consulting
Carol Brandt, USDOT/BTS
Leslie Wollack, NSGIC
Bill Burgess, NSGIC/MD
DNR Mark Reichardt, OGC
Cliff Kottman, OGC
Howard Diamond, NOAA
Scott McAfee, FEMA
Jason G. Racette, BLM - Cadastral
Donald A. Buchler, BLM - Cadastral
Anne Hale Miglarese, NOAA
Glenn Geoghegan, SPOT Image
David Morehouse, DOE
Billy Tolar, USGS/National Atlas
Ronald Matzner, I-Teams/FGDC
Jon Vrana, USDA NRCS
Chuck Croner, CDC/DHHS
Charles Roswell, NIMA
Nancy Blyler, HQ USACE
Priscilla Scruggs, FEMA
Leslie Weiner-Leandro, FEMA
Jerry McFaul, USGS
Ron Brohman, USFS
Betsy Banas, USFS
Scott Cameron, DOI

Global Climate Observing System - Howard Diamond, NOAA

The United States Detailed National Report on Systematic Observations for Climate was published in August 2001. Please contact Howard Diamond ( to request a copy of this report.

FY 01 FGDC Annual Spatial Data Report - Alison Kiernan, FGDC

The FY 2001 FGDC Annual Spatial Data Report was submitted to OMB on October 29, 2001. The report includes a narrative summary; a one-page summary for each of the subcommittee, working group and agency reports; matrices detailing the reports; and the individual submissions. The complete FGDC FY 2001 Annual Spatial Data Report will soon be available on the FGDC website.

A FY 2002 report will be issued to OMB next fall. John Moeller predicts an even higher level of interest from OMB in next year's Spatial Data Reports.

2001 Reports on NSDI Implementation

Standard for a U.S. National Grid - Richard Hogan, USGS

The two objectives of this standard are the protection of life and property, and to increase the usefulness of GPS for Location-based Services. This is a different type of standard for the FGDC because it is not about the data; it is about the human interface with the data. The standard uses the UTM Grid labeled consistently with the Military Grid Reference System for NAD 83. In 1998 the Public X-Y Mapping Project proposed the standard. It was accepted as a proposal for development through the FGDC process. During the course of development and review it has been completely rewritten to focus on NSDI objectives. The FGDC Coordination Group voted on the proposed standard and recommended its approval for a U.S. National Grid. The Standard will now be forwarded to the Steering Committee for endorsement.

Action: An electronic ballot for the Standard for a U.S. National Grid will be forwarded to Coordination Group Members to take to their Steering Committee member for a vote.

The next Steering Committee meeting will likely be held in late January or early February 2002, to be headed by DOI and vice chaired by OMB.

NRCS - Managing by Performance - John Vrana, NRCS

The new NRCS accountability system creates visibility for National goals at the local level, using performance reports to drive the strategic plan. The geographically based decision support system uses real time data to list natural resources and socio-economic needs. Data is gathered on a county basis but can be reapportioned at a higher level. The accountability system displays trends in natural resource conditions, conservation programs, and the distribution of NRCS services. The system enables workload analysis and skill needs assessment - determining gaps in skill and evaluating current training.

A web-based time and cost accounting system will soon be implemented that will include a conservation journal where employees will keep daily logs of who they work with, what they are doing, and where they are. A Fiscal Year Performance Summary will determine resource needs vs. performance. The NRCS is moving towards map-based data entry. The NRCS accountability system was developed internally over the past three years and has made a big difference in relations with OMB and Congress. The NRCS now has greater accountability of their people and activities through daily logs entered from the field. Information is timely, with finished projects reported to the system by employees within two weeks completion and with information available by geographically defined areas.

The NRCS has revised their GPRA Performance Measures in response to changing priorities. Geospatial GPRA Goals include the number of soil surveys digitized, the number of soil surveys downloaded from the FTP site, and the number of CDs ordered. For more information, please contact Jon Vrana (

SPOT Homeland Security Imagery Package - Chuck Croner, CDC

The SPOT National Satellite Mosaic (USA Select) is being marketed through government procurement as a base map for Homeland Security. USA Select is a product that provides a GIS base layer using current, seamless imagery with co-registered raster and vector layers (available in panchromatic and natural color). 2.5 m and 5 m updates will be available in 2002 after the launch of SPOT 5. SPOT Image is currently offering volume discounts and extended licensing. For more information please contact Glenn Geoghegan (

Original PowerPoint Presentation (PPT 3.1 MB)

NSDI Partnership Programs: Rethinking the Process - David Cowen, MSC

The Mapping Science Committee (MSC) was established in 1987 by USGS National Mapping Division to oversee development of the NSDI. The 2001 MSC Report focuses on redundancy, cost, access, and accuracy. It addresses local, State and Federal cooperation, as well as the GSDI and I-Teams. The report found that FGDC has done a remarkable job of developing a wide range of standards - however some problems do exist with the partnership programs. There is a lack of institutional oversight in the CAP program and the annual cycle of funding is a problem. It was determined that local partnerships were not formed in the Don't Duck Metadata program. The temporary nature of the funding led to a fragile work environment in the Framework Demonstration Project. The Community Demonstration Projects received a Hammer Award and served as a good test bed for citizen participation.


  • Partnerships should be conceived.
  • FGDC funding is small.
  • What is the role of the private sector?
  • Fewer than 50% of local governments are aware of FGDC or NSDI.
  • Geography Network is becoming more popular and its link with the FGDC Clearinghouse should be made clear.


  • Need more rigorous and longer-term view that includes hypothesis testing.
  • FGDC primed the pump and partnerships are in evidence but need more inter-jurisdictional interaction.
  • Relationship between FGDC, I-Teams, Geodata Alliance needs to be clarified.
  • Need to populate the Framework database.
  • Develop and disseminate procedures.
  • Be more rigorous in the evaluation of the money being used.

The next MSC study (entitled Beyond Mapping) will involve licensing, land and ocean data sets, and the National Map.

The MSC Report regarding NSDI Partnership Programs will be available soon. For more information, please contact David Cowen (

NSDI Partnership Programs: Rethinking the Process (PPT 7.5 MB)

Coastal Mapping Initiative - The Coastal Mapping Initiative is looking for volunteers. For more information, please contact Anne Hale Miglarese (

Homeland Security - John Moeller, FGDC Staff Director

An Ad Hoc Working Group was created to discuss the FGDC and NSDI in relation to National Security. A briefing paper was written regarding homeland security and GIS that covers information technologies and the current status of the NSDI and Framework Standards. This paper may be useful in many discussions regarding GIS and Homeland Security and is available at

The next meeting of the Homeland Security Ad Hoc Working Group will be held November 15, 2001 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Forrestal Building, Room GJ-015 1000 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, D.C. This working group is currently government only. New attendees should send their name to Alison Kiernan ( prior to the day of the meeting so that their name may be added to the list for DOE security.

A MOU regarding geospatial assurance has been proposed between NIMA, USGS, and the FGDC.

Appropriate GIS Coordination Actions to Improve State Response to Acts of Terrorism, Sabotage and Natural Disasters

On October 31 NSGIC Board of Directors approved a document entitled Appropriate GIS Coordination Actions to Improve State Response to Acts of Terrorism, Sabotage and Natural Disasters to be distributed to each State Representative. The document lists ten appropriate actions that State GIS coordinators can take to more readily deal with terrorism, sabotage and natural disasters (briefly listed below):

  1. Read Local Officials Guide, Domestic Terrorism: Resources for Local Governments published by the National League of Cities in 2000. Available at:
  2. Coordinate with local/state/federal/private partners to inventory available data
  3. Work with respective Fire Training Academies, Emergency Management Agencies, FEMA liaison and possible the lead FBI Field Agent to set up mutual aide support and do better inventories of residential and commercial properties (use Bureau of Labor Statistics 208 database to geocode it)
  4. Fully enable metadata and the clearinghouse nodes in the next few months.
  5. Embrace the FGDC and I-Team standards processes
  6. Adapt all new data production to national standards
  7. Use the ICS model to create special GIS Technical Teams willing to work on emergency operations.
  8. Ensure that Internet Mapping sites are secure to cyber terrorism and virus attacks
  9. Ensure that data stays accessible
  10. Don't promise more than you should. People won't be prepared for the intensity or duration of events unless appropriately trained.

For more information on Appropriate GIS Coordination Actions to Improve State Response to Acts of Terrorism, Sabotage and Natural Disasters, please contact Bill Burgess (

Geospatial Information One-Stop - Scott Cameron, DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary for Performance and Management

Scott Cameron has previous knowledge of the FGDC through work on the development of Circular A-16 in 1990, as well as Executive Order 12906 in 1994. Scott will be the managing partner of the Geospatial Information One-Stop Initiative. The President is placing emphasis on management reform and improvement. Cabinet officers will receive a report card on five areas (including E-Gov) that form the President's Management Plan. OMB is taking this management reform seriously, and Mark Forman (OMB) is driving E-Gov reform across the Federal Government. Although DOI is the managing partner of the Geospatial Information One-Stop, it is requested that every FGDC partner agency participate.

The Draft Geospatial Information One-Stop Business Plan will have an emphasis on data inventory and documentation, enhanced data access, Framework Data Standards, and publishing Agency data collection plans in the Clearinghouse. As part of the focus on standards, it will call for a completed set of Framework Data Standards by FY 03. The Draft Business Plan will call for an aggressive 12 to 15 month schedule for standards development in order to implement the plan. Full-time managers, along with data modelers and facilitators, will be needed to develop the Standards. (See the presentation by John Moeller at the October 2, 2001 Coordination Group meeting for an overview of the proposal for Framework Standards development.) If your Agency is responsible for Framework Data Standards you will be working on developing them. OMB has received requests that State and local governments also be involved in the process to help reduce overlapping efforts. The Circular A-16 policy that Agencies that collect data consistent with improved FGDC Standards will be used by OMB when reviewing future budget requests and making allocations.

Action: Scott Cameron will distribute a Draft Business Plan for the Geospatial Information One-Stop on Friday (11/9) to Federal Partner Team Members. Please send comments to Scott Cameron ( by Tuesday (11/13).

Action: John Moeller will distribute the Draft Business Plan to the Coordination Group mailing list after it has been sent to OMB on Tuesday (11/13).

Suggestions from Coordination Group members regarding Framework Development:

  • Put more resources into Standards development to support travel.
  • Give enough notice to State and local participants.
  • Reallocate FGDC resources and labor to support Framework Development.
  • Find a good way to use web comments to reduce travel and speed up edits.
  • It is difficult to reach consensus when participants are not in a position to commit Agencies to spending more money.
  • The Business Plan should identify key actors outside of the Federal Government and ways to access them (including Industry Associations, like MAPPS).
  • OMB could visit the Governors' offices and ask for specific emphasis and people to be assigned to this task.
  • It is important to stress that the developing Standards be passed through local governments.

I-Teams - Ron Matzner, FGDC

The Federal Partners Meeting took place at OMB on October 24. The Federal Partners (senior-level Agency representatives) were asked how they would take advantage of the I-Team process. OMB made it clear that the I-Team Initiative and the Geospatial Information One-Stop Initiative are linked. I-Teams will be involved in the Standards Process and will assist in development, review, and implementation.

The Financing Solutions meeting has been postponed until December or January. For more information contact Ron Matzner ( or visit

GeoData Forum - John Moeller, FGDC

The GeoData Forum was held in Denver from November 1-3. There were excellent plenary presentations and working sessions, and there was a lot of interest expressed regarding collaboration and interoperability issues. The GeoData Forum was less formal than previous ones and provided a great opportunity for learning about collaborative activities. There was good dialogue from the counties and other local representatives.

Action: John Moeller will solicit the Coordination Group for ideas regarding the GeoData Alliance focus for the coming year.

Next Coordination Group Meeting

Date: December 4, 2001
Site: NRCS (location info will follow)
Possible Agenda Topics:

  • Webmapping / Clearinghouse
  • E-Gov
  • NSGIC Perspective on Homeland Security
  • OGC Update

Please submit agenda suggestions to Alison Kiernan (

An agenda will be forwarded in mid November.