January 29, 2008 FGDC Steering Committee minutes

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Opening Remarks: Jim Cason, DOI Chair

 In his opening remarks, Mr. Cason announced the National Geospatial
 Advisory Committee’s 28 members are now official. Of the 28 members, fourteen represent Non-Government Organizations (private sector, non-profits, and academia) and fourteen represent Government Organizations (state, local, regional, federal, and tribes). Anne Hale Milglarese, Furo EarthData, Inc., will serve as Committee Chair and Steve Wallach, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, will serve as Vice-Chair.

The Lynn Scarlett memo regarding the “Next Phase of Geospatial Line of Business” sunsets the Lob Task Force and transitions the responsibility for interagency oversight to the FGDC Coordination Group. A new executive Committee will be created from several of the members from the Steering Committee and will include those Senior Agency Officials for Geospatial Information (SAOGIs) from agencies that have the broadest geospatial components in their mission. Their task will be to facilitate the recommendations of the LoB. The Executive Committee will be comprised of the SAOGIS from the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency and NASA.

Q. We want to make sure that all agencies that should be included are. Have any agencies been left out? I’d like a show of hands if this is reasonable to form an Executive Committee.

Comment: NDOP would like to brief the Executive Committee on Imagery for the Nation.

Comment: Tim Young - The transition from LoB to FGDC is institutionalizing the function. These are necessary steps to make sure it endures through the next Administration. OMB thanks Commerce, Justice, Interior, EPA and more for taking on the leadership role.

FGDC Business Update- Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC Staff Director


Acknowledgment of Dr. Alan Stevens, retired.
Ivan recognized Al for moving the FGDC forward and for being a champion of the NSDI, International collaboration and taking active participation in ASPRS and GSDI.
Roy Teal with TVA presents Al with a Landsat mosaic of the Tennessee Valley Watershed, a project Al worked on in 1972.
Al enjoyed his time with the FGDC, USGS and TVA and will continue to work with the FGDC as Scientist Emeritus.

Annual Report
The FY 07 Annual Report will build on last years successes. The report is organized around the theme “Spatially Understanding our Changing World”. The writing teams have been assigned, we are still in need of addition graphics to supplement the report.

Action: Please send graphics that support your agencies success stories for the Annual Report to Pat Phillips at pphillips@fgdc.gov.

2008 NSDI Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP)
The CAP solicitation closed on December 18.  Awards will be announced in February. A total of twenty six proposals may be awarded for the six funding categories. See http://www.fgdc.gov/grants for additional information.

The 50 States Initiative

  • Nine grants from 2006 have plans completed
  • Grants awarded to 12 States for Strategic and Business plans in 2007
  • 10 grant planned in 2008- currently under review
  • Kick-off meeting and training scheduled for NSGIC Mid-year, March 9, 2008

NSDI On-Line Training Program
There are now 12 lessons available on the FGDC website. The newly developed lessons are:                

  • Geospatial One-stop
  • ISO Metadata
  • CAP program

The training programs are available for review and download at: http://www.fgdc.gov/training/nsdi-training-program/online-lessons

FGDC Newsletter
A copy of the FGDC Newsletter, 2007 Winter Edition is included in the meeting packets and available on-line in the publications section of the FGDC website.

National Geospatial Advisory Committee Update – John Mahoney, USGS

[presentation] [NGAC press release]

John was pleased to be able to announce the members of the NGAC. The NGAC package was approved and signed by Secretary of the Interior, Kempthorne, in December, 2007. The Federal Register notice announcing the establishment of the Committee was posted on January 11 and the comment period closed on January 28. The Committee Charter filed at GSA today officially established the Committee per FACA rules. The press release and the Committee appointment letters were issued. The NGAC review process was very difficult, last year there were over 100 nominations of very qualified candidates.  An interagency review panel reviewed the candidates and gave their recommendations to the Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary. The appointed twenty eight members will have staggered terms, 14 have three year terms and fourteen have two year terms. All subsequent appointments will be for two years. An initial NGAC organizational committee meeting will be held to develop bylaws and procedures. Public meetings will follow the initial organizational meeting in the Spring of 2008. Updates will be posted at www.fgdc.gov/ngac.

Geospatial Line of Business (LoB) – Ivan DeLoatch, FGDC Staff Director

[presentation] [Lynn Scarlett memo]

Recent LoB activities provide tangible benefits and a set of plans that enable us to measure progress and successes. The development of the FY09 Joint Business Case was easier to implement this year; we achieved a high degree of consensus with partner agencies regarding common solutions, goals and visualization. The Program Management Office established in September, 2007 was awarded to Grant Thornton and helps to support managing partner and interagency work groups. The workgroups, now in place are staffed with outstanding agency support and have completed the process for developing the work plans through 2009. Recent products from the work groups includes; drafting of the Performance Management Plan, a draft Communications Strategy and a draft Integrated Project Plan.

The “Next Phase of Geospatial Line of Business” transition memo issued by Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Lynn Scarlett, describes next phases of the LoB and how we govern ourselves. The memo sunsets the LoB Task Force and transfers the oversight responsibilities to the FGDC Coordination Group. The memo requests each agency to confirm the designation of your primary and alternate members of the FGDC Coordination Group to Ivan DeLoatch at (703) 648-5752 or ideloatch@fgdc.gov by January 31. The memo also describes continuing agency participation in the LoB workgroups and describes the new FGDC Executive Committee.

The LoB working groups themes Chairs are:

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

The level of agency participation of these work groups varies, some agencies have good participation and others could provide more.

The establishment of the Executive Committee is moving quickly; its establishment will help to expedite decisions and will used to provide guidance on issues before they are addressed at the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will continue to make all final decisions.

Action: Ivan strongly encourages agencies not currently participating in a LoB Work Group, to do so.

Announcement: the next FGDC Coordination Group meeting will be held on February 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the National Capitol Planning Commission.

Authoritative Source for Location – Lora Muchmore, DoD and David LaBranche, DoD

This presentation examines one specific case study of geo-enabling DoD’s assets, using geospatial data to overcome the business challenge of location of real property. The challenge at DoD was the association of people and equipment to location.  It was difficult to have authoritative sources that move. People places and things are all assets which had many definitions but nothing firm and authoritative. By getting the GIS and the Real Property folks together to understand each others needs and by giving real property unique identifiers, it has shown us the value in geo-enabling. We have a Real Property Inventory Mapping Pilot with the goal to create an authoritative geospatial database for Real Property and parcel data. This has raised the level of accountability at DoD.

Q. Is this a pilot project or applied across DoD?
A.  The spatial data portion is a pilot; we are collecting tablature data in 500,000 DoD properties. We are in the process of applying DoD wide. DoD business enterprize architecture has an initiative called geo-enabling location and is now a plan to standardize across DoD.  The pilot was to show DoD the value and benefits of GIS.

Q. Will you do a cost benefit analysis?
A.  It is too difficult to get folks to understand the costs associated with this.

Q. Real property is a high risk activity. Is this DoD’s response to GAO’s criticism to the Executive Order?
A. The pilot began in 1997 through 2001 before the Executive Order, but we paid attention to the GAO criticism. Lora Muchmore Chairs a Technical Working group related to the Executive Order, they linked the two and partnered with the Real Property Council. The Federal Real Property Council has been very sucsesseful.

Q. Is there a need for an inventory of inventories to quantify or catalogue this?
A. DoD stood up a governance board to look across the whole of the organization and decided to maintain four authoritative sources, Army, Navy, Air force, and Marines, only these four owners have accountability. We are building an asset warehouse so others can go there for information. The FGDC helped us in the documentation of linear structures.

Mapping for Successful Responses– Dennis Crow, USDA- Rural Development


Dennis thanked Lora Muchmore and David LaBranche on the progress they have made in their efforts at DoD.
Rural development is more people oriented rather than place based geography oriented. Dennis came to USDA in 2002 and there were no mapping applications. He integrated maps into the process through education. Using Clearview Management System software, and geospatially enabling administrative data, GIS applications now show where areas across the country are eligible or not for loans.

Vote to Endorse the National Vegetation Standard

[ standard] [one page brief]

According to the Steering Committee Charter, a 2/3 quorum of voting members must be present to cast a vote. An electronic ballot will be distributed to Steering Committee members.

 Dr. Ralph Crawford, USDA, Forest Service, gave brief summary on the National Vegetation Standard.

Action: talk to your SAOGI, provide them with a copy of the National Vegetation Standard and inform them about the electronic vote. The deadline for the vote is February 5.

Wrap-up - Jim Cason, DOI Chair

Statement: On behalf of Steve Wallach, NGA, Mark DeMulder, NGA shares his appreciation on Steve’s appointment as Vice Chair of NGAC.
Statement: Tim Young, these presentations are a great example of how to leverage geospatial technology and to enable the business processes.

Q. Mr. Cason – are there any thoughts for future Steering Committee agenda items?

Action:  Contact Ivan if you have agenda items or ideas on how to make the Steering Committee meetings as dynamic and productive as possible. Also, if you have any additional case studies to share, please contact Ivan at ideloatch@fgdc.gov or (703)648-5752 to get on the agenda.

 I appreciate the effort of the presenters today.