August 12, 2008 FGDC Coordination Group Meeting - Minutes

[Agenda] [Attendees]

Summary of Actions:

Action: The testing period for the Geospatial Applications Registry (GEAR) is August 18 - September 5. Submit GEAR Nominators and Super Users names to Vaishal Sheth at or Matt Leopard at

Action: The next Coordination Group meeting will be a WebEx - only meeting on September 4.

Action: Ivan DeLoatch and Milo Robinson will work to clarify the level of recognition and support needed from FGDC to provide to the State of Florida for their efforts in developing the ”Strategic Planning for Florida GIS Coordination”.

Announcement: Fed -only Coordination Group members: Comments and suggestions on the FY 2010 Geo LoB Joint Business Case Work Group are due to Michael Thieme at and Roxanne Lamb at by August 18. Concurrence from participating agency SAOGI’s is due August 29, 2008.

Welcome and Introductions – Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC

Ivan welcomed the Coordination Group, provided an overview of the meeting, and took roll call.


ESRI User Conference
Ivan provided an update of the ESRI User Conference that was held on August 4 – 8, 2008 in San Diego, California. There was significant DOI attendance. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne provided a keynote address and a plenary briefing [attach plenary here] The Secretary announced that by September 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey will make 35 years of Landsat satellite imagery available over the internet free of charge [ attach technical release]  The Secretary also announced that the Department of the Interior has created a Geospatial Information Officer position to be housed in the Office of the Secretary to ensure communication and to coordinate geospatial activities in all eight Interior bureaus. The Secretary’s speech touched on the fact that the DOI will continue to guide the FGDC in its leadership role in coordinating federal  geospatial activities and mentioned his support for Imagery for the Nation.

FGDC Annual Reporting Process
FGDC is continuing to work on improving the annual reporting process in order to make it functional and useful for its audience. During the last FGDC Steering Committee meeting, the annual report process was reinvigorated and although there is value in this new approach, FGDC is looking to the CG to provide comments and lessons learned. Each agency has an individual process in providing financial data; we are trying to narrow in on the most effective approach.

Demo – Geospatial Application Repository (GEAR) – Matt Leopard, Vaishal Sheth, Doug Nebert

[ GEAR presentation ]

Matt Leopard and Vaishal Sheth provided an update from the GeoLoB Common Services Workgroup and introduced the new test version of the GEospatial Applications Registry (GEAR). GEAR provides government geospatial users the ability to nominate, share, and discuss reusable geospatial software products and associated geo-enabling best practices. The SmartBuy vision is to establish common access to a wide portfolio of software, data etc. and to establish an enterprise network at the agency level so that this does not remain a burden on individuals.

In Mid- July the SmartBuy announcement was handed off to GSA. The wording in the announcement extended the SmartBuy out to states and tribes and has the potential to being of a much larger scale than initially envisioned. The statement of work is due to OMB by early September.

GEAR stresses simple, centralized access to information. The benefits to the users are that it saves time, provides insightful commentary and access to information. Users nominate geospatial applications for listing on the registry. After review, the applications are published to the website and the public can post comments.

The Common Services work group is asking agencies to test the GEAR software and to identify individuals to serve as Nominators or Super Users. The GEAR test version is available at

Nominators are ideally individuals in a position to nominate software for inclusion on GEAR. This would most likely be a senior staff or manager working on behalf of the Chief Information Officer or Geographic Information Officer. However, the Nominator could be anyone in your agency who is knowledgeable about the application including the original application developer or main POC for the application.

Super Users will receive and process nomination forms by looking at the technical merits of the nominated application. Ideally this would be a senior level staffer who has expertise in one of the following areas:

   - Geospatial Metadata (creation, management, stewardship)
   - Geocoding Services (including coordinate transformation services)
   - Visualization/Analytical Software and WebBrowser Applications or Services
     (e.g. NASA Worldwind, Google Earth, etc)
   - Geospatial Web Services (for accessing information through web services)

It is helpful to have 1-2 names from each organization. The testing will take place over a three week window, during which time testers will be asked to spend no more than 1 to 2 hours of time a week using GEAR to either nominate or adjudicate nominations.

Action: The testing period for the GEAR is August 18 - September 5. Submit GEAR Nominators and Super Users names to Vaishal Sheth at or Matt Leopard at

Q. When using GEAR, does the user use the actual tool or is it paperwork?
A. Actual tools are used. Gear was modeled after Wikipedia and uses self management.

Q. Does the licensing indicate if it is in the public domain?
A. It is open source; we tried to keep it simple. If the Super User approves then the application is available to the public.

Q. How many Super Users do you envision?
A.  We envision ten or so Super Users but this depends on the interest of the agencies.

Geo LoB Update - Michael Thieme and Work Group Leads

[Michaels’s presentation] [Wendy’s presentation]

Michael Thieme gave an update on several of the Geo LoB activities and accomplishments and showed the Geo Lob poster that was used at the ESRI User Conference.

Lew Sanford, lead of the Grant and Contracts Work Group, completed a draft statement that will establish pilot programs through DHS that will test the Grants Policy Guidance.

Wendy Blake-Coleman, lead for the Lifecycle Management Work group, gave an update on her work group and discussed the purpose and progress in the following areas:

  • Lifecycle Stages
  • Theme Assessment Principles and Theme Criteria
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Geospatial Lexicon
  • Coordination Points for Reporting
  • Reporting Requirements

Comment: The integrated package dealing with Circular A -16 is a multipiece package. It is ready to discuss at the October Steering Committee meeting.

Q. Do stakeholder include non-federal?
A. John Mahoney is working on a process for working with NGAC.

Comment: First we must have a common understanding with the fed’s before taking issues to the NGAC. We are committed to give input but it is a timing issue. We will provide a preview at the NGAC in Oct.
Wendy thanked DOI for providing contacts for data producers. We want to make sure that the correct data collection managers are associated with the correct themes.

Update on FGDC Executive Committee/NGAC- John Mahoney


John Mahoney gave an update on the recent FGDC Executive Committee meeting and the upcoming National Geospatial Advisory Committee meeting.

The ExCom is meeting once a month and the recent discussions have focused on IFTN and the Land Parcel data study.

Vicki Lukas gave an update on the status of IFTN to the ExCom and the Charter has been approved by the group.
Upcoming Meetings:

  • FGDC ExCom meeting Aug. 19 at the Department of the Interior
  • FGDC CG September 4, WebEx only
  • IFTN Chair/Champions Meeting September 23
  • FGDC CG October 7
  • NGAC October 15-16 in Shepardstown, WV.
  • FGDC Steering Committee – October 17

Anne Miglarese held an NGAC information session at the ESRI conference. There were many questions from the audience and a good discussion of the role of the NGAC and future issues the committee may address.

Florida Statewide GIS Strategic Plan (WebEx) -Richard Butgereit, Lou Driber


The GIS Coordination, State Planning for Florida presentation was given by Richard Butgereit, GIS Administrator, Florida Division of Emergency Management; and Lou Driber, Geospatial Liaison to Florida, USGS.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, rising sea level, and, traffic congestion are some of the realities that face the State of Florida. Richard works with emergency response teams across all levels of government to help manage these challenges by optimizing the use of geographic information through communication, coordination and collaboration. Florida ranked very low nationally in its use of geospatial information as an enterprise resource according to NSGIC.

We are seeking endorsement from FGDC and stakeholders as part of the approval process and are looking for champions to carry this plan forward. We have a Florida GIS Council in place for approval but would like a higher level approval.

The second part of our plan is the development of the business plan. We will coordinated between the States and determine which each State plans to accomplish.

Q. Talk about the multidata workshop.
A. FGDC offered to provide four of these workshops. We have completed the first one.

Action: Ivan DeLoatch and Milo Robinson will work together to clarify the level of recognition and support needed from FGDC to provide to the State of Florida for their efforts in developing the ”Strategic Planning for Florida GIS Coordination”

Comment: As you continue to move forward, we would like to see your progress.