May 1, 2007 FGDC Coordination Group Meeting



[Action Items From This Meeting]

Action Items from Last meeting – Alison Dishman, FGDC


The Draft Vegetation and Shoreline Data Standards were both approved by the Coordination Group (CG) in March to go forward for 90 day Public Review period.  After the comments are adjudicated the standards will come back to the CG for Final Review.  They will then go on to the Steering Committee for a vote. 

(Note:  This was incorrectly stated during this May 1 CG meeting – the standards will NOT be voted on by the Steering Committee at the May 23 Steering Committee meeting, or in an e-ballot beforehand) 


Annual Report Update – Alison Dishman, FGDC



Sea Level Rise Action Item – Bill Burgess for Bill Wilen, FWS


Bill Wilen asked the developers of the SLAMM model which FGDC framework data they desired but were unable to attain.  They said there isn’t any existing digital data they haven’t been able to obtain.  That’s good. 

The SLAMM developers’ wish list:

  • Information about existing seawalls, levees and dikes.
  • Improvement to the vertical resolution of national elevation dataset - particularly shorelines.
  • Access to the original NWI data. 

Action 1:  The developers of the next Annual Report will include information and possibly a lead story regarding non-Framework data layers that include the NLCD.  

Action 2:   Bill Burgess will ask Bill Wilen the degree of vertical resolution needed by the SLAMM developers. 

Nancy Doyle (NOAA) has been working with USACE to provide them data collected via GPS. 


Business Update – Leslie Armstrong, FGDC

Data Calls: 

The investment data call went out March 27 and was due last Friday.  So far we have a great response, appreciate people digging through their program budget offices. 

The qualitative online survey is now underway and is due May 15.  Agencies should decide what level they would like the POC to be.  There can be several points of contact or you can send out a word version and aggregate your response.  

Action 3:  Please provide Lee Farhner a point of contact for the qualitative online to set up a password.  

The A-16 data call went out on April 23 and is due May 25.  It will highlight agency plans for developing data standards or populating their data theme per A-16.  If you are responsible for a data theme, please respond. 

These data calls will all help us develop the FY 09 Joint Business Case.  They will also assist in the development of performance management and the common solutions target architecture document. 

Action 4:  The FY 09 JBC 300 workgroup is looking for volunteers.  If you’d like to participate please provide your  name and contact information to Deb Dworanczyk ( ) and she will send you the non-disclosure materials. 

Leslie is working on a draft FY 09 JBC for the performance management workshop 

Q:  What are the desired results from the qualitative survey?
A:  It is geared towards 09 priorities for data, enterprise licensing, and services.  It will help us determine who needs what and will help us develop the 09 business case. 

Q: Did you say that if you are not the lead or co-lead of data theme you are not responsible for replying to the A-16 report?
A:  Yes. Only the theme leads need reply to the A-16 data call. 

Q:  Even if we are not a theme lead, can we respond to the A-16 data call if it makes sense?  Earth Cover theme has partnership to do MRLC.  USGS, NOAA and EPA all involved.  Can NOAA and EPA collaborate with USGS on the response if we feel it’s advantageous?
A:  Yes, feel free to coordinate with the lead agencies -- get in touch with those folks to make sure they are representing you. 

Comment:  The National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) is not on the A-16 list, but would like to be to call attention to our work and need for resources.  We have made a case to get it on the list.  It might be advantageous for us to turn something on the NLCD in to the A-16 survey. 

Action 5:  The CG will discuss adding the NLCD to the Circular A-16 list of data themes at a future meeting. 

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the portfolio program management office will go out in the next few weeks.  We will try to get that office stood up as soon as possible. 


FACA Activities – John Mahoney, USGS

The creation of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) is still a work in progress.  It has taken longer than we had hoped.  The call for nominations will be on the street prior to the Steering Committee meeting.  The draft charter and call for nominations have gone through the comment and review process.  There are new faces in the Secretary of the Interior’s office that have had to be brought up to speed on the creation of the NGAC. 

The content for the call for nominations has not changed, but it has been reformatted from the original open letter from Lynn Scarlett, to a Federal Register notice and press release.  

The Federal Register notice is awaiting approval from the Secretary’s office, and then there will be a few days waiting period before it is published in the Federal Register.  There will then be a 45 day response period before the nominations. 

Action 6:  Please contact John Mahoney if you would like to be a volunteer to serve on the selection committee (only Federal gov't employees may sit on the selection committee).  We also need recommendations of who should serve as chair. 

Q:  Have changes been made to the requirements for the nominees?
A:  The content is the same, the format is different – it will be specified in the Federal Register. 

Q:  Is the review committee limited to federal employees? 
A:  Yes, because there could be a conflict of interest if outside parties have a nominees from their organizations. 


HUD Draft Proposal – Jon Sperling, HUD


[comments and discussion

A new housing theme was added to the 2002 revision of OMB Circular A-16.  Because HUD covers a small segment of the housing market (low-income and disadvantaged areas) the A-16 Housing theme definition may present privacy issues and cause confusion.  To avoid duplication HUD proposes moving the housing theme to be a subtheme in either the Cultural and Demographic theme or the Cadastral Data theme. 

The general response from the CG members to Jon’s proposal was that there were many data themes that could and should be reexamined or added to OMB Circular A-16.  They agreed that a process needs to be developed to determine needed changes to the data themes and then quickly receive OMB approval to make the proposed changes. 

Action 7:  Jon Sperling will contact David Stage (BLM) to participate in the BLM / EPA parcel database initiative. 

Action 8:  We will continue to discuss this issue of data themes and responsibility at future CG meetings to better synch these areas. 

Request for action: CG members would like to develop a process to expedite the addition of data themes to Circular A-16.  Adding, deleting, consolidating data themes benefits everyone and should be regularly discussed.  

Action 9:  Jon Sperling will include the housing theme issues in his A-16 survey response. 

Action 10:  Alison Dishman will invite a National Academy of Science Mapping Science Committee representative to update the CG on their recent Cadastral report. 

Action 11:  Mike Lee will give a presentation at the August CG meeting that highlights the data gaps FGDC should address – the cross theme coordination needed for HS purposes. 

Action 12:  Wendy Blake-Coleman requests that Lee Fahrner align the HSIP with the A-16 themes to ensure we are not duplicating data, if he has not already done so. 


Imagery for the Nation Return on Investment (IFTN ROI) – Shirley Hall, FSA

IFTN cost benefit analysis is still underway, looking at a national multi-resolution collection program set schedule different components – cost share, buy ups.  Information about this activity is available on the NSGIC website: 

USGS and USDA are partnering to conduct a cost benefit analysis for IFTN.  Scope of work is a comprehensive report that details financial aspects, distribution and accrual rates for the benefits.  Perot Systems has interviewed federal, state, industry groups – across the spectrum – verbal interviews and then written questionnaires to collect cost information.  The study will determine the government and societal benefits from standardized products as well as the impact to industry.  They are being extremely cautious to ensure that the final product that is bullet-proof.  They are eliminating duplicate responses – validating that each person gave same responses to both NSGIC and the in-person surveys.  Bill Burgess is also gathering information on the smaller imagery programs being run by counties. 

Comment:  You can expect incremental buy-in from the western states as well as eastern local, fed, and state agencies – they will want to see success before they get on board. 

The contract with Perot Systems will be extended one month (through mid-July) to examine alternatives – the western states are concerned about their lands getting only 1 m coverage as opposed to high resolution coverage.  

Action 13:  Shirley Hall or Bill Burgess will present the results of the IFTN ROI report to the CG in September.  

The Western Governor’s Association (WGA) sent the FGDC Steering Committee chairs, Tom Weimer and Karen Evans, a letter regarding their concerns about the IFTN program’s inequity between western and eastern states coverage.  WGA should receive a response before the Steering Committee meeting. The alternatives are being taken to account in the cost benefit analysis.  

Action 14:  Bill Burgess will provide a copy of the letter the Western Governor’s Association (WGA) letter sent the FGDC Steering Committee Chairs, so the FGDC Secretariat can provide a response. 

Q:  How are programs like NLCD, and the work of GEOSS factored into this ROI?
A:  GEOSS is very involved – and is helping fund this study.  As far as the national land cover – don’t know…

Action 15:  Shirley Hall will determine how the NLCD is being included in the IFTN ROI. 

Q:  Will NAPP continue during this transition period?
A:  Depends on the funding – there have been significant cuts.  NAPP sets up 20% of the nation in 1-m collection – partner with fed state local.  Since funds were so much smaller than anticipated – 1 m states will be covered, several states with partners at local levels covered at 2 m resolution.  Have had contact with folks on Hill, NSGIC folks were talking to House and Senate staffers – looking at funding NAPP as imagery for the nation through the Farm Bill – if there was some sustainable funding it would go on as considered.  The cost of gap in cost between 2 m and 1 m has gone down considerably – it would make sense to do 1 m because there is such a small difference in cost now.  

NDOP is looking to put a governance mechanism in place to manage this type of program – an acquisition section, technical group and project group. 


West-Wide Energy Corridors – Kate Winthrop, BLM



The 2005 Energy Policy Act required corridors to be designated for oil, gas and hydrogen pipelines, and electricity transmission facilities on Federal land in western states to enhance the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity.  An environmental impact statement defined the corridors and gave them a default width of 3500 feet.  After identifying corridors that would pass through Federal lands – they asked the non feds and industry for a wish list of the corridor placement.   That initial map was used to define corridors in a draft environmental impact statement – 6000 miles of corridors were addressed. 

Step 1: Created a schematic template of energy transmission pathways – capturing needs of the west

Step 2:  Removed state and tribal lands, wilderness, military, national parks, natural cultural resources were avoided

Step 3:  Webcasts with state and local field offices were held, and moved corridors to make them fit on their landscape and avoid important or sensitive areas – make them compatible with their existing land use plans 

Public reviews are underway and by end of calendar year the final corridor placement will be determined. 

Q:  Are the corridors restricted to particular types of industry – like pipelines
A:  Sometimes you may see corridors restricted to pipeline in certain areas but doesn’t preclude other types going in there. 

Q:  Do electricity producers have to follow these corridors?
A:  No, they are not mandatory, it is where we want people to put their energy transmission – it is possible that a utility may want to use the corridor, but they may encounter problems that cause them to look outside the corridor. 

Q:  Have you looked at the availability of communications – radio spectrum rework to control the pipelines – it may block it out, may have to go to fiber or something else
A:  DOE is lead agency with BLM, no one has come to the FCC for input. 

Action 16:  Don Campbell (FCC) will contact Kate Winthrop regarding the telecommunications implications of the corridors. 


Corridor Placement through National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) – Doug Vandegraft, FWS

The proposed corridor passes through 35 NWRs.  Because FWS was involved late in the process it was not possible to have them all rerouted to avoid the NWRs.  It is also difficult to request a corridor to be rerouted when a highway already runs through a refuge. 

This project is having a big impact on the west and will be moving east. 

This project is developing data layers solely along the corridors. 

Comment:  DoD appreciates the cooperative approach highlighting boundary issues during the corridor placement planning.  


North American Profile Update – Sharon Shin, FGDC


Please see presentation for all information 

What to do for now? 

•         Monitor the website for the NAP Public Review announcement. 

•         Join or monitor the FGDC Metadata Working Group Website for metadata activities.   If you are unable to attend the quarterly conference calls you may review the annotated conference call PowerPoint presentations accessible from the working group website:

•         Monitor the NSDI Training Project for training materials.

•         Until the adoption of the NAP:

•         Continue use of FGDC CSDGM

•         Post metadata to clearinghouses.

•         Register clearinghouses and geospatial web services to (Geospatial One Stop).  

It has not been determined whether all existing metadata will need to be converted when the profile is adopted.

Action 17:  Mike Lee and Mark Eustis will provide the CG a status update on DHS geospatial data model at the June 5 CG meeting.   

*** No CG meeting will be held in July.  The next meeting date is August 7. ***