Users/Historical Data Working Group Charter

I. Purpose

The Users/Historical Data Working Group is established under the auspices of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to promote and coordinate activities among Federal agencies who are primarily users of, not generators of geospatial data. The intent is to provide a vehicle for those agencies who may not have a significant Geospatial Infrastructure to collectively share their experiences and needs with the larger Geospatial community. It is recognized that topic areas of interest to the Data Working Group, in many instances, will be of importance to the entire community, e.g. promoting an awareness of the historical dimension of geospatial data. A part of the duties of the Users/Historical Data Working Group is established to promote an awareness among Federal agencies of the historical dimension to geospatial data; to facilitate the long-term retention, storage, preservation and accessibility of selected geospatial data; and to establish a mechanism for the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of historically valuable geospatial data which have been financed in whole or part by Federal funds.

II. Membership

The Working Group shall consist of representatives designated by the Federal agencies or FGDC subcommittees and working groups that are primarily user of, not generators of geospatial data, to create or collect, or finance the creation or collection of, geospatial data determined to have continuing value. Each member agency of the Users/Historical Data Working Group shall designate its representative, an alternate if necessary, and changes thereto, and communicate that information to the Working Group Chairperson. Other Federal organizations may be added with the concurrence of the Working Group Chairperson.

The Working Group shall be chaired by a member of the Working Group on a rotating basis.

The Working Group also may invite non-Federal participation, to assist in fulfilling the charter of the Working Group.

III. Responsibility

Responsibilities of the Working Group include the following:

  • Facilitate the coordination of Federal agencies' activities regarding the exchange and preservation of valuable geospatial data, by formal and informal means.
  • Participate in the development and evaluation of data definitions and standards used by the United Nations' and other international organizations and make recommendations for their inclusion and applicability to valuable geospatial data.
  • Determine ways in which geospatial data from any sources may be included in the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
  • Assist in establishing and publishing standards, specifications, and priorities for the identification, preservation and retention of geospatial data.
  • Assist in the development and adoption of common standards of content, format, and accuracy for geospatial data for use by all Federal agencies and to encourage use by non-Federal organizations to increase its interchangeability and enhance its potential for multiple use.
  • Promote government-wide use of defined and published spatial data transfer standards for geospatial data.
  • Promote government-wide of geospatial data through training, sharing experiences and coordinating data user events.
  • Encourage agencies to schedule the disposition of geospatial data in coordination with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress in order to provide for the permanent preservation of valuable geospatial data and to make this data available to other Federal Agencies and patrons of these institutions.

IV. Procedures

Working Group meetings shall be held at the call of the Working Group Chairperson, and shall be held at least quarterly. Normally, notification of meetings and an agenda will be distributed to members of the Working Group and to the Executive Secretary 10 days in advance of the meeting.

All decisions shall be on the basis of consensus agreement. When agreement is not reached, the issue will be referred promptly to the FGDC Executive Secretary to be scheduled for resolution.

The Working Group Chairperson shall consult with the Chairperson of the Coordination Group to determine the need for further coordination prior to implementing Working Group decisions that impact the FGDC or its other subcommittees or working groups.

The Working Group may establish additional rules and procedures for conducting business.

V. Subgroups

The Working Group may create work groups or task groups or further subdivisions, at the discretion of the Working Group Chairperson, as appropriate to carry out its activities and meet its responsibilities. The establishment of subgroups of more than 12 months duration that are in addition to any specified in this exhibit and the abolishment of any such subgroup requires the approval of the FGDC. Participation in these groups may be drawn from its member organizations and from other organizations, as appropriate.

VI. Coordinating Mechanisms

The Working Group Chairperson will coordinate the Working Group's activities with other FGDC subcommittees, working groups, and other FGDC components by participating in the FGDC Coordination Group.

VII. Reports

The Working Group shall report to the FGDC Steering Committee annually, by December 31, describing the activities of the User/Historical Data Working Group. The annual status report shall be submitted to the Executive Secretary, and shall contain:

  • accomplishments of the past calendar year,
  • an operating plan for activities planned for the upcoming year,
  • photographs, diagrams, and other materials that may be of value for inclusion in FGDC report,
  • a brief discussion of problems encountered and other matters of interest.

The Working Group shall submit the operating plan for the upcoming year for FGDC review and concurrence.

Special reports and technical papers also may be requested by the FGDC during the reporting period describing special projects, coordination with other subcommittees, and the development of status graphics or catalogs and informational or educational brochures on the use and availability of historically valuable geospatial data.

The Working Group Chairperson shall provide a draft report of Working Group meetings, including Working Group recommendations and action items, to all Working Group members for review prior to approval.

The Working Group Chairperson shall provide the final report of Working Group meetings to all Working Group members and the Standards Working Group.

VIII. Termination

The Working Group shall remain in existence until terminated by the FGDC Steering Committee.