February 4, 1997 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary
Win Lyday (NACo); Hank Garie (NSGIC): Dan Webb (Cadastral); Millington Lockwood (Bathymetric); Charles Roswell (NIMA); Mark DeMulder (Base Cartographic); Fred Broome, Leslie Godwin (Cultural and Demographic); Bruce Speer (Ground Transportation); Jack Fischer (USGS); M K Miles, Nancy Blyler (Facilities); Gene Thorley (Chair, Coordination Group); Gale TeSelle (Earth Cover); Gyde Lund (Vegetation); Bruce Ambacher (Archives); Bill Wilen (Wetlands); Gerry Barton (NOAA); Tatuso Okamoto (FEMA); Jan Morton (Geologic); Dave Catlin (EPA); Richard Hogan, Denise Perreca (Standards); John Moeller, Barbara Poore, Kathy Covert, Billy Tolar (FGDC Secretariat)
Welcome to NACo and NSGIC Participants
John Moeller welcomed Win Lyday and Hank Garie to the FGDC Coordination Group. At the Steering Committee meeting on December 17, 1997 it was agreed that Mark Schaefer, John Moeller and Kathy Covert would meet with NACo and NSGIC to determine how these local and state government organizations could effectively participate in the FGDC activities. At that meeting with NACo and NSGIC it was determined that NACo and NSGIC would be invited to participate with the Coordination Group in all meetings and that two Steering Committee meetings per year would be targeted for participation by NSGIC and NACo. This Coordination Group meeting is the first meeting of NSGIC and NACo participation.
Planning for a Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Conference
John Moeller and Gene Thorley reported that a GSDI Conference is being planned to take place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina as a follow on to a Conference held last September in Bonn Germany. The FGDC along with NSGIC and NACo will be participating in the planning of the meeting. Since this meeting is in the US, there will be more opportunity for NSDI related activities and the involvement of NSDI partners. The Planning Group will have a Steering Committee and several other working groups. Gene Thorley will participate on the Steering Committee. John Moeller, Win Lyday and Hank Garie will be on the Program Group and Gale TeSelle will also continue to participate as he represented FGDC in the Bonn meeting.
John Moeller reported that Bruce McKenzie has received about 29 names for the CCAP review process. However there are a number of agencies which have participated in the past and have not yet submitted names. Mr Moeller distributed a memo extending the deadline for submitting names from January 31 until February 14, 1997.
NSDI Benefits Program
John Moeller and Barbara Poore discussed a new initiative to support projects that demonstrate the benefits of interorganizational cooperation and data sharing to address important issues or solve problems over a particular geographic area. The focus on this program will be sponsorship by a federal agency, broad cross sector participation, community/geographic area based solutions, the use of NSDI principles and practices and matching funds by federal agencies participating. Action: FGDC Secretariat will complete this program announcement and distribute in about 2 weeks. Agencies should seek wide dissemination and encourage field level project proposals.
Text Based Metadata Instructions
Billy Tolar handed out and discussed the draft instructions for collecting text based metadata. This has been a topic discussed at several previous meeting. The Coordination Group is requested to review the material and provide any comment to Mr Tolar by February 28. After receiving and addressing any comments the FGDC Secretariat plans to issue the instructions in early March. Action: Respond to Billy Tolar with comments by Feb 28.
Standards Working Group
Denise Perreca handed out a status listing of FGDC Standards as of the end of January 1997. The report shows that we are making significant progress with two data standards recently approved and five beginning the Public Review Stage. However, there are several standards on the list for which proposals have not yet been developed. Denise reminded the Subcommittees and Working Groups that a proposal for development of a Standard must be prepared for the Standards Working Group in order to begin the development process. Action: Subcommittee and Working Group Chairs ensure that Proposals are developed and concurred in by the Standards Working Group to start the development of a Standard.
Win Lyday and Hank Garie reported that they will be willing to serve as links to their organizations for input and involvement of state and local representatives in standards development and implementation activities. Chairs of Subcommittees and Working Groups should contact Ms Lyday and Mr Garie (contact information is provided at the end of this meeting report). Ms Lyday reminded the Group that the NACo winter conference is being held in Washington DC from February 27 to March 3, 1997. Ms Lyday requested Chairs to also contact her by February 11 about possible opportunities for coordination with NACo Affiliate Organizations at this meeting. Action: Chairs contact either Ms Lyday or Mr Garie to discuss opportunities for state and local input in standards activities.
Richard Hogan reported on the recent International Standards Organization meeting which he and Ms Perreca as well as several other FGDC participants attended. Mr Hogan recommended that FGDC increase its international presence along with other actions to enhance links with standards activities of ANSI and ISO. Discussion indicated support for increased FGDC activities in international standards but also questions about what this would require. Richard Hogan will gather additional information for discussion at the March Coordination Group meeting. Information requested is: description of what is required for CEN representation; description or organization chart of international standards bodies; and a snapshot of activities currently going on. Action: Richard Hogan will provide the information requested to Coordination Group and will be prepared for further discussion on international standards at the March meeting.
Bill Wilen raised a concern that there was a need for better documentation of the approval of an FGDC Standard. The concern was raised by field personnel that those not familiar with the standards process needed a memo or decision document signed at the Steering Committee level in order to have assurance that they are to use an approved standard. It was agreed that further documentation would be obtained for the standards already approved as well as those approved in the future. Action: FGDC Secretariat develop several approval documents, a Certificate of Approval and a memo from the Steering Committee Chair to the Director OMB.
Privacy of Data
Gale TeSelle, as an action from the previous meeting, prepared a draft discussion paper to identify some issues related to privacy protection and geospatial data. After discussion about the issues in the paper, the group agreed that this was a topic that would need further analysis and attention. The group generally agreed that we should identify the legal and administrative framework common to all federal agencies as well as identify relationships to state and local government issues. Before initiating further work several members requested time to re-read the issue paper and possibly discuss the issues within their agency. Action: Coordination Group members familiarize themselves with the issues raised by the draft paper and be prepared for a short discussion at the next meeting as to how to proceed on this task.
Dave Catlin provided a status report that The Nature Conservancy and EPA are completing work on a proposal for increased interagency participation in the Heritage Data Program. The proposal is expected to be ready for presentation at the next Coordination Group meeting. Action: EPA prepare a briefing for the March meeting. This is a follow-up to the presentation made at the November meeting.
Environmental Data Issues
The Coordination Group has periodically discussed issues related to environmental data whether it is for ecosystem management, inventory and monitoring, or natural resource sustainability matters. Several thematic Subcommittees and Working Groups address categories of environmental data. The Coordination Group however has not specifically addressed fauna, taxonomy and systematics, or ecosystem management data that is not part of current Subcommittee or Working Group responsibilities. John Moeller reported that the Interagency Ecosystem Management Implementation Committee believes that rather than inventing something new, the FGDC is the appropriate body to handle nationwide ecosystem management data issues. The Coordination Group agreed it is appropriate for the FGDC to address data coordination issues and concurred with Mr Moeller preparing an affirmative response to the Ecosystem Management committee. The Coordination Group also agreed that as needs are identified, we should determine whether existing Subcommittees or Working Groups covered the needs or if an added group would be required. Action: John Moeller send a response to the Ecosystem Management Committee before Feb 27, 1997.
Proposal for a NSDI Public Information Seminar Series
Millington Lockwood briefly discussed the proposal he drafted as an action from the previous meeting. After a short discussion there appeared to be support for the idea but concern about the who, how and target audience of a Seminar Series. Coordination Group members were asked to submit any comments to Millington Lockwood. Action: Submit comments to Mr Lockwood prior to next meeting.
Directory of Cooperating Partnership Groups
Kathy Covert distributed an updated list of organizations recognized by the FGDC as Cooperating Groups in the development of the NSDI. Ms Covert also reported that the Kansas GIS Policy Board has recently been approved as a Cooperating Group.
Millington Lockwood raised concerns about the draft Framework Handbook sent out for review. All Subcommittees and Working Groups with Framework interests along with a number of non-federal persons have received a copy to review. A general concern was the extent to which the Handbook as currently drafted provides or does not provide specific guidance to implementors. Reviewers were encouraged to do a careful review and provide suggestions for improvement. The intent of the Handbook is to provide the best guidance possible regarding Framework implementation for use by anyone engaged in Framework development. Action: All reviewers provide comments to as requested in the transmittal memo for the review.
Contact Information for Ms Lyday and Mr Garie
Winifred M Lyday
Director, Information Technology Services
Department of Enterprise Services
National Association of Counties
440 First Street NW
Washington DC 20001
Phone: 202 393-6226
Fax: 202 737-0480
Henry L. Garie
Office of Information Resources Management
State Of New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection
Trenton, NJ 08625-0428
Phone: 609 984-6639
Fax: 609 292-7900