June 4, 2002 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Action items.

Action: Please e-mail Janet Irwin (Janet_E._Irwin@omb.eop.gov) or Jason Freihage (Jason_Freihage@omb.eop.gov) with your input on how to best ask the questions during a geospatial data call.

Action: Please look within your agency for collaboration tools that could be used for document sharing, calendaring, and communication.

Action: Alison will canvas the Principal Contacts and Theme Leads for a meeting date during the week of June 17.

Action: David Painter will forward the Federal Coordination Group members the list of recommended proposals by the middle of next week.

Action: Please contact Shel Sutton (shel@mitre.com) if you would like to attend the July 11 MDA Tutorial hosted by NIMA.

Host: Jason Freihage, OMB-Interior

John Moeller, FGDC
Alison Kiernan, FGDC
Janet Irwin, OMB-Interior
Elissa K. Konove, OMB-Transportation
Mark Keenan, OMB-Agriculture
Kathleen Cahill, OMB-Agriculture
Erin McCartney, OMB-FEMA
Gary Reisner, OMB-Commerce
Erin Wuchte, OMB-Commerce
Craig Harper, OMB-Interior
Andrew McIlroy, OMB-NSD
Ronald Matzner, FGDC
Milo Robinson, FGDC
Myra Bambacus, NASA
Hedy Rossmeissl, USGS
Howard Diamond, NOAA
K. Thirumalai, DOT
Betty O'Connor, GSA
Nancy Blyler, USACE
Shel Sutton, MITRE/NIMA
Don Buhler, BLM
Bruce Ambacher, NARA
Carol Brandt, USDOT/BTS
Susan DeLost, USDA/USFS
Christine Clarke, USDA/NRCS
Shirley Hall, USDA/FSA
Charles Croner, CDC/NCHS
Jon Sperling, HUD
Richard Pearsall, USGS
Michelle Torreano, EPA
Frederick R. Broome, Census
April Avnayim, Census
Brand Niemann, EPA
David Painter, FGDC
Leslie Wollack, NSGIC
MaryAnn Andersen, DISA
Ivan DeLoatch, EPA
Daniel Benz, FGDC
Scott McAfee, FEMA
Billy Tolar, USGS/National Atlas

Janet Irwin - OMB (Chief of the Interior Branch of the Natural Resources Division at OMB)

Janet Irwin welcomed the Coordination Group and spoke of the importance of the FDGC. The FGDC is receiving high profile attention due to the Geospatial One Stop Initiative. We should see this as an opportunity to capitalize on being in the spotlight. Data is moving towards being collected according to FGDC standards. OMB and FGDC need to demonstrate the value of spatial data, standards and interoperability.

There was guidance in the FY 03 Passback directing agencies to spend money on data collected to FGDC standards. The OMB examiners have met to learn more about the value of geospatial data. Please keep pushing for the goals of the FGDC within your agency and use Jason Freihage as your liaison to the OMB examiners.

OMB Circular A-16 is in the Counsel's Office for review.

Jason Freihage - OMB-Interior

There is a need for a common language to be developed between OMB examiners and the agencies. The goal for today's meeting is to deliver information to the OMB examiners regarding your agency's geospatial activities, funding, and role in the NSDI and Geospatial One Stop. This will give the examiners a better idea of the uses and importance of geospatial data.

John Moeller - FGDC

Coordination Group Business:

  • The Commercial Imagery and Remote Sensing (CIRS) Report called for comments to be delivered to each agency's task force representative by May 28.
  • The Homeland Security Working Group Charter called for comments by May 22. The Charter will be approved with some minor changes regarding international standards.
  • A Spatial Data Workshop will be held in Denver, CO from June 24-27 to develop synergy among the participants and to increase knowledge. FGDC and Geospatial Solutions will cosponsor this workshop. Information is available on the FGDC web site There is no registration charge and the workshop is open to all (Federal, State, Local, and Industry). This is a great opportunity for the Geospatial One Stop Theme Leads and Lead Agencies.
  • Due to the Independence Day Holiday, there will be no Coordination Group meeting in July. The next Coordination Group meeting will be held in August, likely hosted by USACE. Possible presentations will include the Government Blue Pages and the Nature Serve Decision Support System.

Geospatial One Stop Update - John Moeller, FGDC and Janet Irwin, OMB

  • Mark Forman sent a memo requesting financial and funding information for the CIO Council to use to create a government-wide funding strategy. This strategy will focus on FY 03 and will include some in-kind funds, pooled funds, and in some cases a mixture of the two.
  • A Government-wide data call was sent to the agency budget offices last week asking for the review of their IT portfolios to determine which IT activities support the E-Gov initiatives. This data call will help focus the CIO's and budget offices on E-Gov issues.

    Action: Please e-mail Janet Irwin (Janet_E._Irwin@omb.eop.gov) or Jason Freihage (Jason_Freihage@omb.eop.gov) with your input on how to best ask the questions during a geospatial data call.

  • There was a suggestion that the BDR collect data about all the different geospatial programs, such as Homeland Security Working Group, hazards, environmental monitoring, etc.)
  • FGDC submitted a proposal for a $300,000 supplement for Geospatial One Stop activities, but it is likely that the initial $900,000 for E-Gov initiatives will be awarded to projects with more short-term goals.
  • OMB has Accenture working on a portal for collaboration for the E-Gov projects. The 40 seats given to the Geospatial One Stop project will be used for communication among the Agency Principal Contacts and the non-Federal representatives.

    Action: Please look within your agency for collaboration tools that could be used for document sharing, calendaring, and communication.

  • OMB is developing an outreach strategy to better communicate information to the Hill pertaining to the E-Gov initiatives.
  • By the end of summer the Geospatial One Stop will have a full time project manager (a term SES position) who will report to Scott Cameron and work with the FGDC staff.
  • Administrative support, project management support, facilitation, modeling support and travel support will be provided for the Geospatial One Stop
  • Scott Cameron is working with States and locals such as NLC, NACO, ICMA, NSGIC, and NACIO to determine their role in the Geospatial One Stop.

    Action: Alison will canvas the Principal Contacts and Theme Leads for a meeting date during the week of June 17.

  • The new FGDC Metadata coordinator will start work in the next few weeks. This position will help with the Geospatial One Stop activities and help in the transition to ISO standards.

CAP Status Report - David Painter, FGDC

27 proposals will likely be awarded grants for 2002. The reviews of Categories 3 and 4 have been completed and the review of Categories 1 and 2 will be completed this week and information regarding the recommended proposals will be sent to the Federal Coordination Group members electronically for final review. The information is contract sensitive and cannot be released to the organizations until the USGS contract office has contacted the recipient.

Action: David Painter will forward the Federal Coordination Group members the list of recommended proposals by the middle of next week.

Agency 5-Minute Presentations:

NOAA - Howard Diamond

All of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) work is predicated on the use of geospatial data. Satellites and Data; Ocean and Atmosphere Research; Ocean Service; Fisheries Service and Weather Services are sources of coastal mapping information in NOAA. Categories of marine and coastal spatial data include spatial frameworks; meteorological and oceanographic; ecosystem; and human activities. NOAA's Clearinghouse participation includes: NOAA's Coastal Services Center which is one of the FGDC Clearinghouse's six gateways, maintenance of 15 FGDC Clearinghouse nodes and metadata training at NOAA's Coastal Services Center. NOAA has active leadership and participation on a number of FGDC subcommittees and working groups. For Geospatial One Stop NOAA is heading up the Geodetic Theme Development and is contributing to efforts of three other framework layers.

Census Bureau - Frederick Broome

All of the Census Bureau's information is tied to geospatial data. The TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) System is at the heart of the Census Bureau's geospatial data support for its statistical programs. TIGER content: Streets, lakes, streams, railroads, boundaries, housing, key geographic locations (airports, schools, etc.), zip codes and address ranges. The MAF (Master Address Files) is a comprehensive database for each housing unit in the entire United States, Puerto Rico, and the associated Island Areas. Census is the Governmental Unit Boundary theme lead for the Geospatial One Stop.

USGS - Hedy Rossmeissl

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has many programs with a geospatial component including: Cooperative Topographic Mapping, Geologic Mapping, Land Remote Sensing, Energy, Minerals, Hazards, Coastal and Marine Geology, Surface Water, Water Quality, Ecosystems, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Invasive Species, and Wildlife and Terrestrial Resources. USGS is the Geospatial One Stop Theme lead for three framework layers: orthoimagery, elevation, and hydrography. Roughly half of the USGS budget is spent on geospatial activities. OMB Circular A-16 designates USGS as the lead for digital orthoimagery, elevation/terrestrial, hydrography, geologic, earth cover, geographic names, watershed boundaries, and biological resources. Although the National databases are already standardized, the research databases are works in progress with regard to standardization. As the metadata tools become easier to use, the more the scientists will be able to document their data according to FGDC standards.

Discussion: It would be helpful to determine the definitions for terms such as Clearinghouse, NSDI, and geospatial data prior to the OMB Bureau Data Call. It was difficult for the agencies to determine which expenses should be included in today's presentations to the OMB examiners.

BLM - Don Buhler

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has used geospatial data since 1785 when the West began to be surveyed into 6-mile square townships. BLM provides cadastral data expertise (cadastral data is the record of our decisions on the land). Approximately 78% of BLM business practices use geospatial data to support mission related land and resource decision-making including inventories, permitting, leasing, land tenure and planning. Much of the spatial data the BLM uses is provided by other federal, state, and local organizations. States and locals also provide input for cadastral standards. BLM fully supports the Geospatial One Stop's vision.

NIMA - Shel Sutton

Prior to September 11 the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) did not have a domestic mission, so participation in FGDC activities is a new role for the agency. NIMA provides financial support to the Geospatial One Stop and co-chairs the FGDC Homeland Security Working Group.

On July 11 NIMA will host a Model Driven Architecture (MDA) Tutorial. Geospatial One Stop Theme leads or people involved in standards development may find this unclassified tutorial helpful. Seating is very limited.

Action: Please contact Shel Sutton (shel@mitre.com) if you would like to attend the July 11 MDA Tutorial hosted by NIMA.

DOT - Carol Brandt and K. Thirmulai

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) creates and maintains transportation specific spatial data for highway, railroad, transit, airport facilities and airspace and intermodal facilities and produces cartographic products, aeronautical charts, tools, and publications. DOT collaborates with State organizations and gets some spatial information (such as pipeline data) from non-Feds. DOT chairs the FGDC Ground Transportation Subcommittee and is the Geospatial One Stop Theme Lead for road, rail, and air transportation. DOT has approximately 20 FTEs working on geospatial activities. DOT has a 6-year cycle for appropriations and during the next cycle the Department hopes to leverage the States' geospatial data by integrating them with each other as well as the Geospatial One Stop Portal.

USDA/FSA - Shirley Hall

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers over 40 programs in farm commodity, credit, conservation, environmental, and emergency assistance. Its business directly involves the use and maintenance of maps and geospatial information. FSA is involved in reengineering business processes to eliminate redundant processes. The FSA is building a GIS training program for FSA employees in the field. FSA participates with FGDC activities regarding Metadata, Data Standards, Clearinghouse, Interoperability Specifications and Geospatial One Stop.

USDA/NRCS - Christine Clarke

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides leadership in a partnership effort to help conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources. Geotechnology tools support many NRCS programs. NRCS has data development activities and partnerships related to soils, orthoimagery, critical program management themes, and watershed boundaries. The NRCS collects and generates data at the local level, with much of the data stored locally. The NRCS has developed a Customer Service Toolkit (CST) geared towards customers at the local level.

USDA/USFS - Susan DeLost

Roughly 60% of the US Forest Service (USFS) budget goes towards collecting, maintaining and using geospatial data, and approximately 80-90% of USFS business involves geospatial data. The 2003 USFS Strategic Plan will include more details about geospatial data than past strategic plans. Approximately 1000 USFS employees are involved with geospatial data and each district office has several GIS people. The Geospatial Service and Technology Center (GSTC) produce much of the standardized forest-level geospatial products for the USFS. The GTSC is also responsible for updating approximately 600 topographic maps per year. USFS has a Geospatial Executive Board and a Geospatial Advisory Committee that deal with issues regarding geospatial investments. USFS will have an active FGDC Clearinghouse node by FY03. USFS supports the Geospatial One Stop.

USACE - Nancy Blyler

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a decentralized organization with a very limited mapping mission. USACE's only mapping mission is the Inland Waterways. USACE participates with FGDC regarding metadata, Clearinghouse, and data standards development and coordination. USACE is supporting the Geospatial One stop by developing transportation theme for waterways and is providing funding to OGC and ANSI.

FEMA - Scott McAfee

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works to reduce loss of life and property and protect our critical infrastructure from all types of hazards. A significant amount of resources are directed toward geospatial data use and activities due to the geographic nature of hazards and disasters. For example, 50-70% of the Flood Mapping Program's budget goes toward the creation, collection, evaluation, processing, production, distribution, and interpretation of geospatial data, as well as standards and procedures development to support these activities. FEMA's NSDI activities are related to standards development and the Multi-Hazard Mapping Initiative.

Q: Are there redundancies or gaps in your programs?
A: The type of disaster determines which agency will lead the response. Although it may look as if agencies are using the same types of data, their missions and temporal need may be different. It is often difficult to coordinate among agencies due to stove piped budgeting. In many cases agencies already share data, the savings would be in developing reusable applications.

FGDC has an opportunity to work in 2 areas:
1. Data standards, documentation and access for consistent data
2. Program coordination and leveraging

EPA - Ivan DeLoatch

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a Geospatial Activities Baseline in June 2001. The baseline describes how Agency business is supported and documents current data sets, hardware and software, applications, users, and expenditures. The baseline also identifies stakeholder issues. EPA geospatial data supports: Superfund, tribal activities, emergency response, water quality and water standards, compliance, environmental justice, air, risk assessments, performance measurement and growth. The EPA is developing a geospatial blueprint that will describe an approach to more effectively organize, coordinate, and leverage geospatial data activities on an enterprise-level within the EPA. The EPA is contributing to the Geospatial One Stop and has a Clearinghouse node.

NASA - Myra Bambacus

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) participates in FGDC through participation on the standards teams, Chairing the Geospatial Applications and Interoperability Working Group and fully supporting the Geospatial One Stop. NASA uses geospatial data in spacecraft and airborne measurement programs, data distribution and handling systems, and earth science research, composed of both science and the applications. The latest applications strategy focuses on National Applications through partnerships. NASA supports the NSDI through the Clearinghouse: Global Change Master Directory; Agency-wide coordination; OGC Strategic Membership and ISO TC211 participation. Direct contribution to Geospatial One-Stop will be in the areas of program management, outreach and portal design.

Next Coordination Group meeting:

August 6, 2002
Hosted by USACE
(An agenda will be forwarded in mid-July)