December 4, 2007 FGDC Coordination Group Meeting Minutes


Welcome and Introductions – Al Stevens, FGDC

Business Update – Al Stevens, FGDC

Alan Stevens welcomed all and introduced Pat Phillips who is serving on a 90 day detail as FGDC Interagency Liaison. Alison Dishman is on detail in the USGS Congressional Affairs Office.

The next  Coordination Group meeting will be held on January 15, 2008.

Al will retire next month;  this is his last CG meeting. 

Al stated that Scott Cameron is now onboard and the LoB presentation and October’s Steering Committee went well and they received good feedback. The tasks for the contract with Grant Thorton have been resolved and the contract has been modified.

The FGDC Deputy job closed, there were 12 candidates and we hope the selection will be announced soon.

LoB Update / National Geospatial Advisory Committee Update – John Mahoney, FGDC


Lynn Scarlett is issuing a memo to the SAOGIS regarding sunsetting the LoB Task Force and transferring LoB oversight to the CG.

The LoB working groups Chairs are:

  • Michael Thieme (DoD-Census) Joint Business Case
  • John Mahoney (DOI- USGS) Performance Management Work Group
  • Doug Nebert (DOI-USGS) Enterprise Architecture
  • Wendy Blake Coleman (EPA) Lifecycle Management
  • David Paschane (VA) Geo-enable Business
  • Matt Leopard (EPA) Common Services
  • Lew Sanford (DOJ) Grants and Contracts

Q. Will the Lynn Scarlett letter contain an amount of time that’s potentially required for folks wanting to join these working groups and will the letter ask for qualifications?
A. There won’t be that much detail in the letter.

Action:* All – Please contact John Mahoney at or Roxanne Lamb at  to participate in the Line of Business Working group. Participants are needed.

Vegetation Classification Subcommittee Update - Ralph Crawford, (USFS)


Dr. Crawford recognized and introduced the many partners in the room.

Q. What agency heads up the implementation plan?
A. Forest Service has the lead.

Q. What agency will monitor the standards?
A. This will go through a conventional participatory review panel as with all standards. Comment: The Forest Service will also provide tools kits etc. to be compliant.

Q. Have you considered  submitting the vegetation classification as a national standard through the U.S. National Standards Committee?
A. It will  go through the ANSII review process, and it will  likely be approved
Comment: The goal is to promulgate it through both the ANSII and ISO processes.

Action: vote to place the ‘approval’ of the Vegetation Standard on the agenda of the Steering Committee and recommend approval.

Q. to vote do we need to know how many agencies are here and on the phone?
A. We only recommend ‘approval’ to the Steering Committee. Voting is only done by the Steering Committee.

Action: The Coordination Group indicated consensus to recommend that the standard be put on the agenda of the Steering Committee for ‘approval.’

Annual Report Update – Pat Phillips

Pat thanked those that had submitted their annual reports and said she would post the status report on-line.  She strongly encouraged those that had not contributed, to do so.
[Report Submission & Membership Status]

Geospatial One Stop (GOS) Update – Rob Dollison, Geospatial One-Stop Project


Presentation briefly discussed the evolving NSDI, outside IT and web influences and possible impacts on metadata.   The presentation also highlighted new features on the portal including better visualization of search results, new search filters, improvements to the marketplace, and the ability to visualize map services on 3D globes.
The GOS website content has grown to over 150,000 records and the site averages about 60,000 hits per month. Content is now approximately 55 % federal and 45% nonfederal, showing an increase in nonfederal participation.

One feature that will be implemented over the next 4-6 months is a symbol in the search results that indicates how well a given published map service is working.   Published map services are harvested out of the portal and then tests are run against them. A diagnostic report will be available through the FGDC website and the portal then consumes the outcome of the tests and represents it as a symbol next to the record.  We have set up this testing and diagnostic report set up as a service that can be used by other systems taking advantage of these live services.  The service can be used to support GEOSS and other NSDI activities.  This is an important service because up 50% of the map service links currently published may not load a map and we can now start diagnosing and improving this statistic.

Q. How should agency participation and progress measured?
A. Rob welcomes opinions and ideas on ways to report on participation and progress. Rob suggests that one way to measure is to supply a report to the Agency from the portal as part of the process.  We could summarize for an Agency the publishing, plans and community stewardship activity that has taken place over a quarter and then the Agency POC could see if any major program data activity or plans is missing and needs to get published.

Q. OMB and our management want to know how the site is being used and asks how many data sets are downloaded etc. and we are not able to provide this.
A. We are starting to gather these statistics on the new release.  We will be able to tabulate each time someone clicks on 'view metadata', 'add to map', or 'download'.  We will be developing reports on these statistics for publishers and that should provide the data you are looking for.

Comment: Scott Cameron congratulates Rob on the continued progress and expanded features on GOS.

Q. Is there metadata associated with the web services? Is there a way of cataloging web services doing just one layer?
A. You can catalog a single layer by publishing a record on a single layer referencing a 'get map request'.    Ideally a publisher will have their data documented in the catalog along with the map service. However, our first step is to at least get a record on the map service with a contact for the users or developers to call with questions and problem. I don’t have an easy answer on the best way to document each service layer yet  - this is a good topic on how our metadata tools should evolve

Authoritative Location Data for DoD Business Enterprise – Lora Muchmore, DoD


Q. How did you convince the DoD real property folks to embrace GIS? Do they see the value? 
A. Two years ago, our real property community did not see the value. After an educational process where we brought the real property community together with the GIS folks, we were able to show the GIS value and the results from this pilot project. Both communities had to learn the value of each others’ business processes and data requirements.
Comment: The geospatial folks first had to take the lead and demonstrate they understood the business needs. They had to be convincing.

Q. GSA and COE are developing a BIM standard. Your thoughts on this.
A. They (BIM folks) have not yet convinced the community of what GIS technology can do.
There is too much focus is on the visual capability and not enough on actually showing how it solves a business need or problem.
These are two communities that need to work harder on understanding what the business problems are. For now, BIM needs to be focused on developing the spirals or the first steps (described in my presentation). Until the data standards connect, you still only have the very cool visual tool.

Q. DoD, if you have exact coordinates, can you tell what floor someone is on?
We don’t have a standard business rule for defining building footprints, floors, etc. yet. However, the Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE) is our data model and contains these attributes. We are collecting the data but are not quite there yet.

Q. How frequently are data updated and are they in real time?
A. We expect by end of 2009 data will be real time. Until then, we are conducting annual updates and 5-year inventories.

Q. Vessels, how are vessels attributed?
A. Ships continuously move, if a ship is in port the ship is attributed to connect to the pier that it’s docked on. We track military equipment locations, but use tactical or strategic information systems to do that. Real property data systems don’t directly track their location as a rule, we track the “home base” or supporting infrastructure.

Comment: Langley Air Force Base is developing an interior space generic data model.

A-16 Data Theme Gaps for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense – Mike Lee (DOI/USGS)

Mike’s presentation was postponed.
Basically the WG is suggesting  13 new data themes and recommends that DHS  as the lead for ten of these.  The presentation will discuss who will be the team lead for the new themes.


  • Minerals Management Service (MMS)- On November 5, MMS announced in the Federal Register the authorization of the installation of offshore data collection and technology testing facilities in federal waters. The MMS is accepting comments and nominations involving the installation of meteorological or marine data collection facilities to access alternative energy resources, or to test for alternative energy technology. More information can be found at
  • Census - For the first time ever the Census Bureau is releasing the TIGER/Line files in Shapefile format with metradata for each file. The files will be released in January and they will be the 2007 First Edition Public TIGER/Line Shapefiles.
  • Everyone wishes Al a happy retirement. Al will donate some of his time as a GSDI volunteer.