Utilities Data Content Standard

Proposal for a National Spatial Data Infrastructure Standards Project

11 October 1996


Development of a Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Utilities Geospatial Data Content Standard


FGDC Facilities Working Group (FWG)


To develop a nationally focused Utilities Geospatial Data Content Standard (hereafter called Utilities Standard).


This activity will first focus on developing a utilities standard that supports intracity applications such as large-scale engineering and life-cycle maintenance of utility systems. The topics in this data content standard include these systems and their components: electric monitoring and control; electrical distribution; fuel distribution; industrial waste collection; natural gas distribution; storm drainage collection; wastewater collection; water; and heating and cooling. The scope of this project currently does not consider (but could in the future be extended to include): communications; alarm systems; and the intercity utility networks that stretch over long distances and between cities. This Standard will consist of an entity/attribute/domain catalog and will use a logical data model that is consistent with the Spatial Data Transfer Standard/Federal Information Processing Standard (SDTS/FIPS 173). This Utilities Standard will not include the standardization of a physical data model or implementation schemata but it will be available for those interested.


There is currently no national geospatial data content standard for utility systems. There has been considerable interest from facilities engineers, public works offices, and utility companies in a comprehensive data content standard that support engineering and life-cycle maintenance of utilities. Development of this Utilities Standard through the FGDC will ensure broad participation including national, state, and local governments, municipalities, professional associations, and private industry. This Utilities Standard will benefit Federal, state, and local governments, municipalities and utility companies that require a utilities data content standard. This Utilities Standard may also be used to support the FGDC's integrated feature registry project. This Utilities Standards will provide new data sharing opportunities for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).


The FWG will organize a Utilities project team to develop a draft of this Utilities Standard. The Utilities project team may populate this Utilities data content standard using many of the utilities' entity types from the Tri-Services Spatial Data Standards (TSSDS). The FWG will package this utilities information as an FGDC standard. The FWG will also maintain a Utilities database containing the entity/attribute/domain information that can be used to support the integrated feature registry project. The FWG will consider addition intra-city utilities and communication information if available for incorporation into this Utilities standard. The FWG will survey member organization including Federal organizations and professional societies to determine if this additional data content information is readily available.


A related standard that encompasses large-scale utilities information is the TSSDS. As mention in the approach paragraph, the project team may use much of the utilities entity/attribute/domain contents from the TSSDS while developing this FGDC Utilities Standards. Therefore, the contents of the FGDC Utilities Standard will be closely coordinated with the TSSDS. The Utilities Standard project will also be coordinated with other FWG standards development activities such as the facilities ID project.


The FWG will form a Utilities project team and begin work on the development of this standard as soon as this project is approved by the FGDC Standards Working Group (SWG). The development of a working draft Utilities Standard is expected to take 3-6 months. Once the FWG is satisfied with the content of this Utilities Standard it will be forwarded to the SWG for consideration to go out for public review. The FWG expects to accomplish the development of this standard in one year.


The FWG has adequate resources to accomplish most of the development of this Utilities Standard. If there is considerable review and comment from the non-Federal sector, additional resources may be required.


The primary participants will be the members of the FWG which includes representatives from federal agencies, municipalities, professional associations, and private industry.


The FWG proposes pursuing the development of this Utilities Standard as an FGDC standard. The FWG may consider pursuing (at a later date) the development of this Utilities standard as an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard within ANSI's technical committee for GIS, X3L1. FGDC would serve as the Target Authorization Body until this Utilities Standard becomes an ANSI Standard.