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December 16, 2008 Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

PDF version of meeting minutes


Location: American Institute of Architects, 1735 New York Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.


10:30 – 10:40

Welcome and Introductions

Jim Cason, Chair

Karen Evans, Vice Chair

10:40 – 10:50

Executive Committee Report

   · Imagery for the Nation update

Jim Cason, Chair

Vicki Lucas, USGS

10:50 – 11:15

USGS Involvement in National LIDAR

Mark Myers, USGS

11:15 – 11:25

FGDC Business Update

Ken Shaffer, FGDC

11:25 – 11:40

Geospatial Line of Business Update

   · A-16 Supplemental Guidance Documentation

   · Endorsement Vote

Lew Sanford, FGDC

11:40 – 11:50

Transition Planning

Karen Siderelis, DOI

11:50 – 12:10

National Land Parcel Discussion

   · Stakeholder meeting update

   · Update on NRC Report Actions

Don Buhler, BLM

12:10 – 12:25

National Integrated Land System (NILS) Presentation

Mike Nedd, BLM

12:25 – 12:30

Summary of Action Items/ Discussion Wrap-Up

Jim Cason, Chair



Action Items

Action #: 121608-1


FGDC Executive Committee


Mr. Cason tasks the FGDC Executive Committee to look at connectivity between federal initiatives (IFTN, TNM, LiDAR, etc.). With the National map as the umbrella, how do the initiatives fit together. What priorities should be set? There is a limitation on resources; how do we get the biggest bang for the buck. Look at a national strategy.


FGDC Secretariat – Path Phillips at


Added to next Executive Committee agenda.

Action #: 121608-2


FGDC Secretariat


Draft an e-vote to the Steering Committee SAOGI’s for concurrence on eliminating the 6 inch requirement from the IFTN initiative and for the endorsement on the A-16 Supplemental Guidance Document.


FGDC Secretariat – Pat Phillips at


Sent ballot out December 17, 2009 with a response due by December 23. Results of vote will be added to the website.

Action #: 121608-3


FGDC Secretariat


FGDC Secretariat will reach out to politically appointed SAOGI’s to have them name a career successor to participate on the FGDC Steering and Executive Committees.


FGDC Secretariat – Pat Phillips at


Memo to SAOGIs to appoint an acting SAOGI for their agency until permanent replacements are in place is being drafted for Mr. Cason’s signature.

Action #: 121608-4


FGDC Executive Committee


Task the FGDC Executive Committee to create a process/ strategy to move the National Land Parcel data initiative forward. Review NILS and examine the feasibility to create a database, starting by developing a standard for drawing the polygon of a parcel. The attributes can be added later by the participating agencies. One idea is to have a standardized framework in place and delegate the attribution to stakeholders.


FGDC Secretariat – Pat Phillips at


Added to Executive Committee agenda

Meeting Minutes

Welcome and Introductions:

Jim Cason, Chair, Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee welcomed the members to the last FGDC Steering Committee meeting of the calendar year and the last meeting for this Administration. Attendees were asked to introduce themselves and who they represented.

Mr. Cason announced that Karen Siderelis, Department of the Interior (DOI), will take on the responsibilities of Chairing the Steering Committee and Mike Howell, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will take on the responsibility as Vice-Chair as this Administration comes to a close.

Dr. Myers, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, our special guest today will present the USGS involvement in National LiDAR.  The FGDC Executive Committee, along with Vicki Lukas and the seven Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) Work Groups have made significant progress in the planning of IFTN and moving the initiative forward. The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) was established this year. Mr. Cason expresses his appreciation to Anne Miligrase, NGAC Chair and Steve Wallach, Vice-Chair. The National Land Parcel data initiative, thanks to Don Buhler is moving forward.

Ms. Evans recognized the progress made with the Geospatial Line of Business initiative, specifically the A-16 Supplemental Guidance Document and SmartBUY. OMB is completely engaged in the Geospatial Line of Business. It has been an honor for OMB to work with Jim Cason and the Steering Committee members.

Executive Committee Report: Vicki Lukas, USGS
IFTN update:
Vicki Lukas reports that there has been great progress on the IFTN initiative thanks to the Executive Committee championship and the seven IFTN Work Groups. Requirements are an issue that still needs to be pinned down. The Requirements Work Group has looked at both existing federal imagery requirements and had developed an imagery requirements survey that was circulated throughout the agencies. The recommendation is to offer both 1 meter and 1 foot national coverage and to offer the 6 inch imagery as a buy-up option only. The incentive to offer the 6 inch buy up from the 1 foot brings the initial cost of acquisition down. The Executive Committee had asked for clarification on what the buy-up option entails and would like additional work to be done prioritizing the footprint for the acquisition of the one foot imagery.

The Governance Work Groups recommends that IFTN remains with the National Digital Ortho Photography Program (NDOP) under an FGDC umbrella. These discussions are currently underway with NDOP. An IFTN Executive Summary will be available by the end of January 2009.

Mr. Cason: because there is not a quorum of members present at the meeting today, these recommended proposals will be sent to the SAOGI’s by an e-ballot.

USGS involvement in National LiDAR: Mark Myers, USGS

[presentation] (19.5MB)

Dr. Myers spoke about the USGS- lead involvement in National LiDAR and the capabilities and applications of the technology. Most every agency that has mapping data needs, and LiDAR is the tool to use for this. Partners initially contacted the USGS to coordinate the LiDAR initiative because of the applicability with The National Map as it is critical for many of the data layers. Lidar is a higher resolution than the National Elevation Data (NED). USGS NED is dated and inconsistent and too coarse to accurately map change.

National LiDAR coverage is critical – with national standards.  LiDAR can be flown at night and with partial cloud coverage.  Applications for national LiDAR include:

●Emergency response, public safety, risk assessment and critical infrastructure
● Urban infrastructure planning and development
● Ecosystem structure, function and health; habitat assessment
● Climate change strategies and adaptive change
● Water management
● Environmental assessments, management and modeling
● Leading source for high resolution topography

Two national LiDAR stakeholders meetings have been held to date and the next step is to start a dialog with FGDC to see how best to move forward. A USGS LiDAR advisory Committee has been formed in order to develop a response to internal and external stakeholder interest and to advance the availability of consistent, accurate, timely and contiguous national LiDAR data needed to support national applications related to resources, the environment, natural hazards and the economy.

Mr. Cason would like to ensure that the Steering Committee feels appropriate coordination is occurring on this effort. USGS has taken the lead, has any agency been excluded or sees a different paradigm?

Alan Foulcner:
suggests providing LiDAR meetings in each State and including the Universities. This paradigm would be very effective communication for the initiative.

National Geospatial Information Agency: is a proponent of LiDAR and looks forward to working with USGS. There is a need to manage and maintain this data properly and to know what are each agency’s real requirements.

Department of Homeland Security: USGS has the preferred methodology for developing elevation data. LiDAR can be flown day or night and we have not found any other data source that gives this good of a resolution. Lidar is cost effective and consistently captured.  We will be happy to take this technology to supplement our own. You have talked about the applications with LiDAR to the USGS Science Strategy and The National Map, what about with emergency response?

Dr. Myers: The challenge is that NED is old data. We look forward to giving the FGDC Steering Committee a briefing on The National Map as it progresses.

NSGIC: encourages and supports this communication. NSGIC has offered 6 recommendations on full lifecycle for the LiDAR Advisory Committee to consider.
MAPPS: thanks Dr. Myers for providing this presentation. LiDAR was an initiative initially developed by NASA for LiDAR of Mars.

Dr. Myers: LiDAR is being flown by many agencies and USGS does not have a dog in this fight. USGS and DOI needs this technology and needs the standardization.

Action 121608-1: Mr. Cason tasks the FGDC Executive Committee to look at connectivity between federal initiatives (IFTN, TNM, LiDAR, etc.)  With the National map as the umbrella, to see how they fit together and to set priorities. There is a limitation on resources; how do we get the biggest bang for the buck. Look at a national strategy.

FGDC Business Update: Ken Shaffer, FGDC


Ken provides the following points on the FGDC Business Update:

Transition Work Group The FGDC Coordination Group is establishing an ad-hoc Transition Work Group which will support designated SAOGI’s during the Administration’s transition;  will work with the FGDC Secretariat to develop ideas and strategies for ensuring continuity with the Coordination Group.
2008 FGDC Annual Report  Ken thanked all agencies and stakeholders that contributed to the Annual Report. Hardcopy is available from FGDC Secretariat at

   • 2009 Cooperative Agreements Program is open for solicitation and will close on January 6. 26 proposals will be awarded for the 6 categories with total funds available at $1,310,000
   • 50 States Initiative is starting the fourth year. 33 States, DC and the VI have received funding to date.  22 have strategic or business plans completed
    Next step workshop planned for February 3, 2009 following the FGDC Coordination Group meeting at the National Capitol Planning Commission
   7 grants planned in 2009 via CAP
   • Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization – the FGDC Geologic Data Subcommittee has published the FGDC Digital Cartographic Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization. The pdf version for browsing is available at
   • FGDC Standard Working Group made recommendations on a way forward for County Codes based on the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 10-4 (2-letter codes).

Mr. Cason thanked the members of the Geologic Work Group for their efforts in producing the Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization publication.

Geospatial Line of Business Update- Lew Sanford, FGDC


Lew recognized Wendy Blake –Coleman for work done on the A-16 Supplemental Guidance Document and gave an overview of the document. The A-16 is a foundation document to:
  ● clarify the intent of OMB Circular A-16 and Executive Order 12906
  ● Promotes systematic portfolio management for Circular A-16 themes and associated data set.
  ●Improves the ability to coordinate and collaborate on completion of Circular A-16 themes and associated data sets
  ●Develops a process to modify Circular A-16 Appendix E themes and associated data sets to reflect the current business of federal agencies and partners
The document has gone through a fairly aggressive review cycle. The next step is to obtain the Steering Committees endorsement and share the outcomes with federal, state and local governments and begin implementation.

Mr. Cason - Can you give the Steering Committee a sense of the amount of comments that were accommodated.
80-85 percent of comments were incorporated into the final document.

Comment: Wendy Blake Coleman–  This document enables one to look at the entire portfolio and to help set priorities. At the start, the team did not know how many data sets existed under the 34 themes.

Mr. Cason thanked all that put so much time and energy into this document. Since there is not a quorum of members present at today’s meeting, an e-vote will be sent to the SAOGI’s.

Action 121608-2: Draft an e-vote to the Steering Committee SAOGI’s for concurrence on eliminating the 6 inch requirement from the IFTN initiative and for the endorsement on the A-16 Supplemental Guidance Document.

Transition Planning: Karen Siderelis, DOI

The Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information (SAOGI) role was first established in 2006. Many of the current SAOGI’s are on political appointment and we are at risk for loosing our momentum. We would like to continue to have quarterly Steering Committees and monthly FGDC Executive Committee meetings. Politically appointed SAOGI’s will soon receive a letter from the FGDC Chair and Vice-Chair to name a career term employee in the SAOGI position.

National Land Parcel Discussion- Don Buhler, BLM; David Downe, DOI


Update on the NRC actions:
David Downe addressed the issue of BLM providing national coordination for Federal parcel data. DOI was tasked by the NRC, recommendation #1, to examine the statutory and policy authorities of BLM to serve as the National Coordinater for Land Parcel data.

A-16 gives BLM the clear lead as coordinator; however,  BLM has no authority to enforse compliance on participating agencies. BLM has limited authority to transfer funds; funds would need to be appropriated.

NILS capacity is under review by both BLM and DOI and additional users may demand additional functions that would add substantial resource needs. BLM recommends looking towards other agencies to help coordinate National Land Parcels.
Stakeholder meeting Update:
Don Buhler presented a Mortgage Crisis and Economic Recovery presentation.
The Work Group identified categories of stakeholder by 1. being a source for data and 2. stakeholders that are consumers. In this way they were able to identify participants:
International Association of Assessment Officers (IAAO), FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Thrift Supervision, Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Department of the Treasury, and Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Work Group will develop a demonstration of solutions for the consuming agencies including the Department of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development as a beginning point to reach an understanding among all stakeholders on what is needed.

Activities from the Work Group to date include:
  ● Completed approach and strategies document
  ● Developed and established partnership with IAAO and NSGIC
  ● Assembled a Work Group Obtained and reviewed applicable standards business processes for
   valuation and analysis
  ● Identified pilot counties in Florida and Minnesota where there is complete coverage

The funding request in the presentation is immature at this point and the team will have something more concrete in 2-3 months.

Action 121608-4: Task the FGDC Executive Committee to create a process/ strategy to move the National Land Parcel data initiative forward. Review NILS and examine the feasibility to create a database, starting by developing a standard for drawing the polygon of a parcel.  The attributes can be added later by the participating agencies. One idea is to have a standardized framework in place and delegate the attribution to stakeholders.

National Integrated Land System (NILS): Michael Nedd, BLM


Michael Nedd presented an update on NILS:

The National Integrated Land System provides:
  ● Solutions for the management of cadastral records and land parcel information in a GIS
  ● a process to collect, maintain and store parcel-based land and survey information

NILS has been in development for 10 years. The new NILS release 5, has an interagency team to examine this latest release and to evaluate the projects scope. NILS 5 can now support pipelines, wells, historic data and other attributions.
Mr. Cason: During the last Steering Committee meeting, it was decided that there is a need for some type of nation land parcel data base. Mr. Cason reiterates the need for the Executive Committee to put a framework in place and to develop a national strategy to move the Land Parcel data initiative forward.

NOAA - Meets and bounds do not seem to work in NILS.

Ms. Evans: This is a starting place. Let’s work to put the framework in place.

GSA: The General Service Administration has a public access standard for real property. Let’s not reinvent the wheel; these are open standards that can be used.

“Wrap –up”

Ivan Deloatch presented the Chair and Vice Chair a token of appreciation from the management of FGDC. Because of your leadership, the structure of FGDC is in a much better place that is has been in the past.

Anne Miglarese, on behalf of the NGAC, thanked the Chair and Vice Chair for their leadership, we are all very excited to keep the tempo up. She expressed thanks from all members of NGAC thank you for the vision of the Chair’s and Vice Chair’s efforts.

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2009 05:02 PM
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