September 11, 2007 Coordination Group Meeting


Updates and Action Items from Last Meeting – Alison Dishman, FGDC

[presentation] [URISA Update] [NDGPS Fed Register

Action 1:  Tony LaVoi will report back regarding his talk with Google regarding the government being classified as commercial. 

Suggestion:  For the annual report – the lead story could focus on the Geospatial Line of Business rather than climate change. 


USDA Google Earth for Emergency Ops - Dennis Crow / Yun Li


The USDA Emergency Operations Center has been using Google Earth because it is quick and easy for inexperienced GIS users.  They have produced real-time hurricane (NOAA data), fire (NASA data), and rainfall data visualization.

USDA Emergency Ops has also been using  - which allows you to take NOAA graphic data, covert to vector format, and add value.  The beta version has been free – it’s an effective way of using NOAA data in an updated fashion. 

In January 2008, will begin charging – they will only provide their files in Google Earth and shapefile format and won’t provide web services.  It would provide non-government folks the opportunity for quick turnaround NOAA data, but it is an outside source that government agencies may decide not to use.  It could be difficult to coordinate. 

Action 2:  Please contact Dennis Crow with questions regarding the use of Google Earth and for emergency operations. ( )  

USDA has had trouble compiling weather data and providing it to all staff.  There also have been difficulties compiling USDA facilities, so they now have two web services – one that covers the USDA real property sites reported to GSA, and the other that covers rural development.  

Comment:  KMZ was originally a proprietary format, but it is going through OGC process to and should be approved as an official open services standard by next spring. 


CAP Update – Gita Urban-Mathieux


The FY 06 CAP grants are wrapping up this month.

Over 100 people were trained in metadata – 13 workshops provided 

The FY2006 accomplishments are posted at   

The final reports are posted at    

Action 3: Gita Urban-Mathieux will notify the Coordination Group when the FY 08 CAP Grants are posted on 

Action 4:  Please contact Gita Urban-Mathieux with suggestions regarding where the FY 08 CAP grants should be advertised. (

FGDC Outreach and Conference Schedule – Alan Stevens 

The FGDC already has booths at large conferences like URISA, NSGIC, GITA but we would like to engage more counties, cities, and utilities at the local level.  

What meetings, orgs would you recommend that we try to include in outreach schedule for next year? 

FGDC members should also be engaged in outreach.  What of the meetings will you or your org attend where you or we can carry FGDC message for 2008?

Action 5:  Please send Alison Dishman a list of conferences where you think FGDC should have a presence / booth.  List the organization, its focus, meeting schedule and why we should engage them / what you can bring to the table (if you have a booth where you can display FGDC literature).  ( ) 

The FGDC message is broad – we want to engage people in using common standards and include their information in a broad based clearinghouse. 

We can give individual presentations and plenary sessions about why common standards are useful – saving money, reducing duplication. 

Comment:  In addition to a presentation we also need to give the participants tools.  We need to give them template for ROI to convince their cities there is a tangible result – we need to give them tools and tell them how to engage.  We could also let them know we are building a 50 states plan they can engage in. 


NILS Update - Leslie Cone


GeoCommunicator is the publication site for the Bureau of Land Management's National Integrated Land System (NILS) transaction applications (Survey Management, Measurement Management, and Parcel Management). GeoCommunicator provides searching, accessing and dynamic mapping of data for federal land stewardship, land and mineral use records from BLM's LR2000, and land survey information. 

BLM electronically creates geometries from survey descriptions and legal information.   

Legacy data wasn’t in standard file formats and had to be converted into geodata base.  Both the survey and land description fabric has been populated over the last few years – they have been improving the quality of the data. 

NILS has PLSS and alternate source data (from eastern states).  They are adding 42,000 townships from the east this year.  Other states, like TX are difficult to collect and require extra funding.  There is currently no strategy to collect from the 13 original colonies due to the paucity of land ownership data. 

Manual tools will have to do 10 – 15% of the parcel data, but the rest should be brought in digitally. 

For more information please contact


Imagery for the Nation Cost Benefit Analysis – Shirley Hall


The Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is posted here: 

Additional information (including a CBA fact sheet) is posted here: 

Q: What efforts are being made on the hill?
A: Various public sector entities have been advocating for the program on the Hill, NSGIC has been involved in this – gone forward with their various state folks and have met with Senators and staffers on House and Senate side to talk about the program.  

Bill Burgess:  NSGIC is getting the language they discussed in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, and hopes it gets to the conference committee.  They are trying to get support from both House and Senate.  Want to move on to the high resolution part as soon as they make progress here. 

Request from Bill Burgess:  FGDC Steering Cmte needs to appoint an executive team to take ownership of IFTN.  Need to take both approaches – we have asked the Steering Committee for year and a half to put an executive group together.  We would like to push that as part of Oct 24 Steering Committee meeting – creative solutions for using existing money that is not being used now.  Would like CG member to talk about this issue when they go back and brief their steering committee members 


NDOP and NDEP Relationship to the CG – Alan Stevens


National Digital Orthophoto Program (NDOP), National Digital Elevation Program (NDEP) and IADWG (Information Architecture Domain Working Group) are all espousing the same kinds of things that FGDC does – should there be a formal liaison? 

Action 6:  Please give feedback to Al Stevens ( ) by mid-October regarding NDOP, NDEP and the IADWG having a formal liaison with FGDC. 

Q:  The three groups are going after the same goal with different data sets.  Are their same people across groups?  Could it be one group with a larger mandate?
A:  No – there are a lot of things that go on in the meetings – like NDOP is very operational.  And NDEP is probably the same.  There is some interaction between NDOP and NDEP – and the IADWG was started to look at digital sensor standards.  The members aren’t all the same.  NDOP meets twice a year for a very focused three day meeting. 

Request:  We were told a team would come up with a transition plan for merging the LoB TF and the CG within the next two months. That transition plan needs to be put on the next CG agenda. 

Comment:  The structure of the subcommittees and working groups are going to have to change if the CG is going to become more operational, aligning with the Geospatial Line of Business. 

Q:  Is there any advantage to both the NDOP and NDEP and IADWG and NSDI having a more formal relationship than already exists?
A:  These groups are already looking at some of the lowest levels of leveraging funding from states.  We can gain knowledge from that and also information about the level of information needed by locals and also utility data.  There are advantages going both ways. 

NDOP has a website where a list of activities and members is posted.  NDOP is open membership. 

Action 7:  Please contact Shirley Hall if you would like information regarding the October NDOP meeting.  (

Comment:  If it seems to be working, why fiddle with it?  Both NDOP and NDEP have a long history and have been able to execute their programs effectively and have kept the FGDC apprised of the work but there doesn’t need to be a stronger tie.  Since there are many of the same people you have that communication mechanism already in place. 

Comment:  Things are institutionally going to get interesting between the role of LoB, how A-16 gets revised, and then the general business of FGDC and the activities by ad hoc groups like NDOP and NDEP that have yet to fit into this framework.  How does the LoB and FGDC receive and structure a relationship to keep ad hoc groups from sprouting? 

Comment:  It seems that down the line depending on the reconfiguration we may need to revisit how NDOP, NDEP and other groups fit into the FGDC. 

Comment:  In regards to rolling the LoB into the existing mechanisms – in Jan 08 there will be a new administration – who knows what the priorities of the new administration’s OMB will be. 


FACA and Geospatial Line of Business Update – John Mahoney 

Over 100 nominations were submitted for the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). 

The interagency review panel reviewed nominations and reached consensus on recommendations, which were then provided to the Secretary of the Interior’s office both formally and informally.  The nominations are being vetted through the DOI Solicitor’s Office.  Final decisions should be made later this month by the Secretary.  Hopefully we will have final decisions on appointment later this month – it should be a very effective set of people serving on the committee. 

The PMO support contract should be awarded this week. 

We will begin the effort to transition / sunset the Geo LoB Task Force (TF) and fold it into the CG.   We hope to take a proposal / plan to the Steering Committee meeting in October. 

Q:  At the last SC meeting there was a lively debate regarding Federal participation on the FACA, was it resolved?
A:  Review panel recommends a limited number of Federal reps on the FACA, serving as full members – but it is up to the Secretary. 

Comment:  The review committee didn’t decide that the Federal members should have a vote on the FACA– it was decided by DOI.  There was a question about Feds and then also voting rights.  DOI and OMB say that there should be Federal members.  MAPPS had strong objection to that – they have said that every seat occupied by a Fed on the FACA denies one to a private sector member.  That was a position that was raised and debated at the Steering Committee meeting, although it was overruled by OMB.

A large part of what the FACA will be doing is reaching consensus across the board – having Feds at the table is a way to facilitate that. 

Suggestion:  We need a full day meeting CG meeting regarding the LoB TF / CG transition and implementation of LoB tasks. 

The next CG meeting will be on Oct 2

The next Steering Cmte meeting will be held on Oct 24 from 9:45 – 11:45 am.


***Following the CG meeting there was a follow- on meeting of the Federal Coordination Group members and LoB task force to discuss next steps:***

  • Formalize a decision document to transition
  • Determine the agency primary and alternate CG members
  • Review and update LoB working groups and membership to accomplish LoB tasks