April 5, 2005 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Action 1: This month we will initiate a vote on Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards Part 5 - Standards for Nautical Charting Hydrographic Surveys. Alison will send you the ballot – please respond to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by May 2 with your Steering Committee member’s vote.

Action 2: If you would like to review the governance team’s document please contact Milo Robinson (mrobinson@fgdc.gov).

Action 3: If you have any comments or suggestions on how to effectively implement The 2004 Flood Insurance Reform Act please contact Paul Rooney at (paul.rooney@dhs.gov) or 202-646-3123.

Action 4: The Subcommittee and Working Group chairs should review their charters and if they are more than 5 years old please think about updating them.

Action 5: Please contact Michael Sherman if you would like to partner on the aerial photography, planimetrics and attribute data capture for the National Capital Region (michael.sherman@ncpc.gov).

Host: Doug Vandegraft

Leslie Armstrong, FGDC
Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC
Alison Dishman, FGDC
Milo Robinson, FGDC
Rob Dollison, FGDC/GOS
Myra Bambacus, NASA
Joe Evjen, NOAA
Libby Chandler, USGS
Carol Brandt, USDOT
Paul Rooney, FEMA/DHS
Bill Burgess, NSGIC
John Cooper, USFWS/NWI
John Clark, GSA
Julie Maitra, FGDC
Michael A. Sherman, FGDC
Ann Frazier, NRC
Roger Barlow, USGS
Kim Owens, NOAA
Shirley Hall, USDA-FSA
Frod James, USDA-FS
Richard Pearsall, USGS
Brett Abrams, NARA
April Avnayim, Census
Bob Harding, GSA
Monica DeAngelo, FERC

Doug Vandegraft welcomed the group to the Fish and Wildlife Service facility.

FGDC Updates:

Leslie Armstrong announced that John Mohoney has joined the NGPO and will be working with the FGDC. Keith Thackrey, who had a detail with the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure, will be leaving the FGDC in May and returning to NGA.

The Alliance for Regional Stewardship is meeting May 4-6 at the Wyndham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on 1400 M St, N.W. to explore “The Next Generation in Collaboration – Linking Economic and Social Issues.” For more information or to register please visit www.regionalstewardship.org/. For addition information please contact Amy Carrier at (303) 477-9443.

The 2005 CAP Program should open about April 15 and close June 15 and will have approximately $1.5 million for 4 Data Categories. The Funding Categories will be: Metadata Trainer and Outreach Assistance; Establishing Framework Data Services; Geographic Information Coordination; and Geographic Information Integration & Analysis.

Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards – Part 5 – Julie Binder Maitra, FGDC

In August 2003 the Coordination Group voted to approve the Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards – Part 5 for Steering Committee Endorsement. It represents Standards for Nautical Charting Hydrographic Surveys -- the fifth part of a five part standard and provides minimum standards for horizontal and vertical accuracy. No comments were received during public review.


Action 1: This month we will initiate a vote on Geospatial Positioning Accuracy Standards Part 5 - Standards for Nautical Charting Hydrographic Surveys. Alison will send you the ballot – please respond to Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) by May 2 with your Steering Committee member’s vote.

Future Directions – Milo Robinsion, FGDC

The next quarterly report is due April 11 from the Future Directions Team Leads. A draft copy will be provided to the Coordination Group within a week. The final copy will be given to the Steering Committee by April 29.

Milo handed out a Standards Exercise and asked the Coordination Group members to identify up to five data categories that they believed data were themes of National Importance and were important to their organization.

A question was asked, “Don’t some of these already have standards?”
Answer: Yes. Julie is going to tally the results and get a dialogue started to gather additional requirements. Two standards proposals are in the works – the Address Data Standard was submitted by URISA and NOAA is developing a Shoreline Data Standard. Those will be moving forward.

The Governance Team’s report will be completed by the end of May. The Governance Team has met with MAPPS, ACSM, GITA, and more.

Action 2: If you would like to review the governance team’s document please contact Milo Robinson (mrobinson@fgdc.gov).

Tribal – Bonnie has 17 classes planned for this year.

State Councils – Bill Burgess passed around a NSGIC flyer detailing the Fifty States Initiative. It’s continuing to evolve and the team will meet in a month to outline an implementation strategy.

Training and Education – Sharon Shin is developing Framework training materials.

Framework Standards – Julie is adjudicating standards.

Metadata Profile report – 65% have been returned by the agencies. Administrators are realizing there is value to metadata.

Web Protocol Team is tying GIRM to FEA to build out interoperability.


Non-Geospatial Organizations: Outreach Plan and Approach – John Clark, GSA

Non Geospatial Organizations are organizations whose members are users but not builders of spatial data. The group is recommending a 4 phase plan with 9 steps of implementation.

The outreach strategy for the short term would identify & engage 10 organizations that would benefit most from use of Geospatial Information. In the long term it would identify, prioritize, & engage another 30 plus organizations that would benefit from use of Geospatial Information.

The group would determine their target audience’s interests and then show them the tools that could deliver results and give them the most impact for minimal investment.

Q: What is the payback to helping this group?
A: To give value to FGDC geospatial technology – demonstrate the value of geospatial technology to the non-user community. There will be value for both sides. We have budget constraints – we can do this as a group based upon similar core audiences that we are trying to reach.

Action Plan – next steps
We should do this intergovernmentally – target and participate in professional management association conferences/events over the next 18 months. Implement an outreach model that includes our private sector partners. Fund and implement the proposed Regional Intensive Geospatial Training Pilot in Virginia’s Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Action: Please contact John Clark with any comments on the Engaging Non-Geospatial Organizations action plan (john.clark@gsa.gov).


The 2004 Flood Insurance Reform Act – Paul Rooney, FEMA/DHS

The 2004 Flood Insurance Reform Act includes language on using digital geospatial data for flood insurance purposes. FEMA is responsible for identifying special flood hazards and publishes maps for federally backed mortgages. The Reform Act includes a section that states the geospatial digital data from FEMA is legally equivalent to paper maps. Flood maps are the central tool for risk identification, floodplain management and insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) – and numerous stakeholders are required to use them.

Goals: FEMA wants stakeholders to be able to use either paper or digital maps. FEMA wants to enable the use of advanced technology to make the administration of the NFIP more efficient. The more advanced technology can bring cost savings – reduce operational costs and make it faster for them to do their work.

FEMA wants to make it easier for people to adopt the digital data and not need a paper backup for every activity. FEMA can save a lot of money by not printing and distributing paper maps. In the past, FEMA’s maps have used landmarks like roads and railroads as boundaries in the past, rather than a coordinate system. GIS will fix this. FEMA’s new maps (both paper and digital) include a coordinate grid system as a reference. This ensures that users get the same answer no matter which version of the map they use (paper or digital).

The Act says non-FEMA data can be used as long as it meets standards.

Action 3: If you have any comments or suggestions on how to effectively implement The 2004 Flood Insurance Reform Act please contact Paul Rooney at (paul.rooney@dhs.gov) or 202-646-3123.

Q: Have you considered doing a pilot demonstration project as part of this to show the cost savings? North Carolina has done a flood mapping modernization project to show cost savings.
A: No, not yet.

Local permitting officials, banks, insurance industries will be affected by this.

Q: Given the way the system works now – licensed land surveyors might be affected by this if private citizens can go out with a GPS themselves to determine their land boundaries. Wetlands areas could be affected by this too.
A: If a land owner disputes the boundaries as depicted on the FEMA maps, they can hire their own land surveyor results and FEMA will incorporate their information. About 15,000 people do this a year.

This is for horizontal data – not the elevation data for each house.


National Wildlife Refuge System Mapping Effort – Doug Vandegraft, FWS

Doug is the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Chief Cartographer. He has been in the DC area for the past 5 years – he spent the rest of his career in Alaska. The vast majority of refuge lands are in Alaska.

FWS uses USGS base maps and FWS refuge boundaries. Doug showed the Coordination Group members examples of refuge maps that depict complicated land status holdings.

“Digital Boundary” is the digitized version of the “approved acquisition” boundary – showing the full extent of what FWS would like to own.

“Digital Land Status” is parcel mapping that FWS actually owns or manages.

Results from FY04 Annual Report – Alison Dishman, FGDC

Alison presented the results from the Annual Report. This year 62% of the FGDC member agencies, 50% of the Circular A-16 Theme Leads, 69% of the Subcommittees, and 61% of the Working Groups submitted their annual report responses.

The annual report will be posted on the FGDC website shortly – Alison will send the Coordination Group members an email notifying them as soon as the report is posted. Please let Alison (adishman@fgdc.gov) know if you would like a copy of her PowerPoint presentation summarizing the results of the Annual Report.

Comment: Part of the issue is that there are about 6 to 7 reports that need to be delivered and there is no continuity and even the metrics are different. People look at this annual report as a chore to do. Isn’t there a better way of having one or two reports to tackle all the questions – OMB uses different metrics – some include IT costs and others don’t.

Comment: It seems like with every OMB circular there is a new annual report required.

Comment: How many Coordination Group members are involved in Capital Assets planning? We don’t want to make more work for folks but we want to have something that is useful to report to OMB.


Subcommittee and Working Group Status – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

The FGDC Steering Committee is the Executive Committee that meets to approve standards. It was the only original group chartered under Circular A-16. The thematic Subcommittees need to be continued because there is a data lifecycle management and a 5 year revision cycle of these standards.

All of the Subcommittees and Working Groups should review their charters to see if it needs to be updated to include new responsibilities from the revised Circular A-16. Both Subcommittees and Working Groups are chartered but Subcommittees tend to be longer lasting. Working Groups tend to be more ad hoc and last as long as needed.

As we look at governance we are looking at the existing structures to see if they make sense and if they should continue. A number of the Subcommittees and Working Groups are not very active – we don’t need groups in place that are not active and not working. If they are active we need to know what their activities and priorities are. Some of these are driven by Circular A-16 – which is a living document that can be revised.

Comment: The Transportation Subcommittee has been inactive because DOT doesn’t have the resources for both the GOS transportation layers and Transportation Subcommittee. There is also the issue of interest – it is sometimes difficult to generate interest and activity.

Comment – FWS has done important things with wetlands and is working to get a strategic plan in place for the program. FWS hasn’t felt it necessary to reconvene the Wetlands Subcommittee just for the sake of having meetings but they will revisit the charter. They are doing the internal housekeeping so before they invite company over everything is in place. At a future meeting John Cooper will give a 15 or 20 minute overview of their wetlands activity.

Comment – We need to coordinate with existing geospatial mapping agencies and get their representation on our committees.

Comment: In 2002 it was recommended that NDEP and NDOP replace the Base Cartographic Subcommittee. It was put forward in the 2002 NSDI Report. USGS has been using NDEP and NDOP as a model for imagery and it has overtaken what the Base Cartographic Subcommittee was working on. Although the Subcommittee was there for the Framework Layers initially, as other groups dealt with other layers it wasn’t as necessary.

Q: Are there requirements for Subcommittees and Working Groups to report back to FGDC on their activities?
A: Only through the Annual Report, although this may change.

The results from the Standards Survey that Milo passed out may help us determine which Subcommittees and Working Groups are needed.

Comment: NDOP/NDEP could be tricky. They are comfortable with how they are working -- we would have to explain to them what it would mean to be a FGDC Subcommittee.
Response: USGS already submits a report to the FGDC for NDEP and NDOP. Circular A-16 says that if you are involved in the geospatial activities you should be in the FGDC. We will examine what works and doesn’t work in the FGDC and make it more efficient.

We will have further discussions on this.

Action 4: The Subcommittee and Working Group chairs should review their charters and if they are more than 5 years old please think about updating them.

Aerial Photography, Planimetrics and Attribute Initiative (APPA) Data Capture for the National Capital Region – Michael Sherman, NCPC & Roger Barlow, USGS

NCPC is the Federal Planning Agency in the Metropolitan Washington Region. NCPC does planning research and policy, urban design and plan review, federal capital improvements budgeting, plan and project implementation, and planning technology application. The Chairman is appointed by the President and there are 12 members on the Commission. NCPC went to digital data in 1995 which was last updated in 1999. NCPC is planning their next update for 2006. USGS will partner with NCPC in this activity and the data will be incorporated into The National Map. They hope to cover complete counties – partnering with the local counties will help leverage funds.

Action 5: Please contact Michael Sherman if you would like to partner on the aerial photography, planimetrics and attribute data capture for the National Capital Region (michael.sherman@ncpc.gov).

NCPC requested $100k, USGS requested $200K. They will be collecting 1 foot accuracy aerial or satellite imagery for cadastral/vector map graphics and federal facility attribute data. They hope to start flying in March 06 and have the Final Deliverables by June 06.
There is the potential to partner with DHS, GSA, PS, USGS, DC OCTO, and local jurisdictions

Q: What is your relationship to DC Map?
A: NCPC helped create all the data you see on their website now.

Q: Have you used the Geodata.gov marketplace helpful in finding partners?
A: Haven’t posted there yet. But will upload information after the timeline and requirements are more firm.

Demo of the Status of Geodata.gov 2 Portal – Rob Dollison (GOS) and Marten Hogeweg (ESRI)

Team members – ESRI, Google, IBM, Safe Software, Image Matters, Northrup Grumman, SNVC, Dataline, UC San Diego Supercomputer Center

The Geodata.gov 2 Portal will go online in early May 2005 and has a redesigned homepage and you can now search directly from the homepage using a map. You can even set your geography to your State as your default on your homepage. The homepage has “My Maps” “My Searches” “My Alerts” – so the user can be alerted when someone publishes something in their area of interest.

The Geodata.gov 2 Portal is using a Google search engine to improve the performance of the site – makes the search more effective without having to zoom in on the map. It has the capabilities of adding Web Mapping Services, Web Feature Services, Web Coverage Services without needing a plug in. There is now the added ability to download data directly to your desktop.

There are community channels on the homepage. When you join a community you can share documents and get alerts. You can add a calendar of events within your community – conferences, webcasts, etc. There is a marketplace in “My Geography” that shows data requests and planned data acquisitions within the same area. This will help people collaborate to acquire data and leverage their funds.

Q: Future level metadata – when we post a new feature in NHD will that alert the GOS site of a change?
A: We will wrestle with those issues as we go. Those will be big issues especially with imagery collection.

Rick Pearsall announced that Alaska has an initiative to get statewide coverage, transportation and pipeline corridors and shoreline coverage with 5 m imagery for the entire State and 1 m for urban areas, corridors and shoreline. The 07 Hazards Initiative will help support this – we don’t know how much this will cost yet. They will look for partners as soon as the costs and specs are determined. For more information please visit: http://geodatacontracts.er.usgs.gov/alaska_rfi.html

NCPC has an ESRI certified trainer that you are welcome to use for training your employees. Contact Michael Sherman if you are interested (michael.sherman@ncpc.gov)

Next Coordination Group meeting:

May 3, 2005
Hosted by: Brett Abrams, NARA in Washington, D.C. (Please arrive early to give yourself enough time to get through security.)

The agenda with location information will be sent out in the next week or so.