2009 FGDC Annual Report now available

Highlights 2009 (visit site for more information)

1. Geospatial Line of Business

During fiscal year 2009, Geospatial Line of Business (Geospatial LoB) moved from early concepts and ideas to a more robust programmatic approach. Such projects as geospatial SmartBUY, which was created in partnership with the General Services Administration, have lowered the cost of doing business and improved access to geospatial software technologies. Other stakeholder needs are being met through defining, optimizing, and standardizing the use and management of geospatial information, which is helping to make Federal performance reporting easier and more transparent. Each of the five Geospatial LoB work groups are contributing to the development of quality geospatial information and applying it to the needs of taxpayers and Federal, State, and local government stakeholders.

2. National Geospatial Advisory Committee

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) was chartered by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2008 to provide external advice and recommendations to the FGDC. During the past year, the NGAC has analyzed and provided recommendations on Imagery for the Nation, Geospatial LoB, the coordination of national land parcel data, activities related to the transition to the new Administration, and FGDC governance. In fiscal year 2010, the NGAC plans to work with the FGDC to decide on an approach for developing a new national geospatial policy and strategy.

3. National Policy and Strategy for Geospatial Information

In fiscal year 2009, the FGDC initiated planning for the development of a new national policy and strategy for geospatial information. To this end, the FGDC Executive Committee outlined a plan for development of the new policy and strategy, and the FGDC sought feedback from the NGAC to help refine the approach to this complex undertaking. The FGDC plans to initiate development of the new policy in fiscal year 2010, in part by hosting a national geospatial open forum that will employ social media techniques to gather input and suggestions from a broader audience.

4. Fifty States Initiative

The Fifty States Initiative completed its fourth year in partnership with the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). Eight new awards were made to support strategic and business plan development, and another highly successful awardees kickoff meeting was held in February 2009. Forty-one States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have received more than $2 million in funding during the past 4 years. A Federal stakeholder workshop was held in February as one of several activities to help develop guidance for the future of the initiative. Preliminary findings suggest that the initiative should be continued, with a focus on business planning.

5. International Activities

The FGDC helped organize and conduct the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) world conference, which was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in June 2009. Approximately 1,200 delegates from more than 80 countries attended. The FGDC continues to support the GSDI Association’s small grants program and the GSDI Association’s regional spatial data infrastructure (SDI) newsletters. In addition, the FGDC is hosting Mr. Wonkug Baek, a visiting scientist from the Republic of Korea, who is supporting GSDI activities.

The FGDC continued to collaborate with its counterparts in Canada. The FGDC and GeoConnections, Canada, organized the “First Nations and Native Tribal Government Geographic Information System Workshop” in June 2009. The workshop was held in Niagara Falls, N.Y., as part of midyear events at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The workshop was effective in advancing cross-border SDI collaboration among aboriginal peoples.

6. Geospatial One-Stop

The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) portal (www.geodata.gov) continued its steady growth in fiscal year 2009. The portal saw a 25 percent increase in records with the addition of about 50,000 individual metadata records contributed by 418 publishers. A significant impetus behind this large increase was the integration of GOS with Data.gov. A new GEODATA catalog tab on the Data.gov Web site was the result of this collaboration. A search of the GEODATA catalog on Data.gov is actually a search of agency-selected Federal records from the GOS catalog. GOS will continue to work with Federal agency collections to promote records for discovery in Data.gov.

Cooperative efforts with the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping and the State GIS Inventory System continued to make significant contributions to increasing the content of GOS. Outreach related to GOS focused on increasing participation with State and local governments.

Several improved methods of accessing the GOS data were implemented in fiscal year 2009 to make the data more easily accessible outside of the portal interface. The GOS Search Widget, for example, is a new tool that can be embedded in any Web site to search the GOS data holdings. The search widget has been implemented by the governments of the State of Delaware and Westchester County, N.Y.

The GOS Marketplace provides a means for organizations to advertise their interest in collecting geospatial data and to seek partners for cost-sharing. An estimated 240 contacts were made regarding possible partnerships for data acquisition.

7. Standards

In fiscal year 2009, the FGDC Standards Working Group (SWG) recommended endorsement of the Wetlands Mapping Standard. The FGDC Steering Committee subsequently endorsed the Wetlands Mapping Standard in July 2009.

The North American Profile (NAP) of the ISO metadata standard (ISO 19115: 2003, Geographic Information—Metadata) was published in 2009. Subject matter experts from the United States and Canada developed content to tailor the ISO metadata standard to meet the requirements of both countries.

8. Imagery for the Nation

The Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) Phase 1 Project was initiated late in fiscal year 2008 to explore development of a comprehensive national imagery program, which would require an unprecedented level of cross-agency and cross-sector coordination and executive oversight. In fiscal year 2009, the Phase 1 Project ramped up to address these challenges and will conclude with publication of a report in late fiscal year 2009 or early fiscal year 2010. The report will establish a foundation and outline a set of next steps for implementing IFTN. Several significant accomplishments have been made toward achieving project goals, including the development of a draft plan and the completion of a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior to help institutionalize funding for the 1-meter component of IFTN.

9. National Land Parcel Data

In addition to the activities related to the mortgage crisis (see page 4) the FGDC Subcommittee for Cadastral Data provided updates to the existing national inventory of cadastral data (primarily in the West) and made a number of additions to this inventory in eastern locations. Updated sets of parcel data were provided to the wildland fire community for a number of western and eastern counties, and efforts were initiated to establish sustainable standardized parcel datasets at the State level. Significant progress was made toward the development of sustainable standardized datasets in New Mexico and Washington. Similar efforts have been initiated in California and Nevada. The development of standardized Public Land Survey System (PLSS) datasets was supported in a number of States in accordance with the FGDC cadastral data content standards and publication guidelines. The subcommittee assisted States with the development of cadastral data management plans and the adoption of standards for data stewardship. In addition, minor modifications to the FGDC Cadastral Data Content Standard were proposed, reviewed, and adopted by the cadastral data subcommittee and approved and posted by the SWG.

10. Homeland Security and Emergency Management

During 2009, members of the Homeland Security Working Group (HSWG) contributed to several initiatives of the FGDC, the Geospatial LoB, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). HSWG members supported the Geospatial LoB Lifecycle Management Work Group in drafting FGDC’s supplemental guidance document for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–16 supplemental guidance document, which included consideration of the homeland security and homeland defense data themes. HSWG members were invited to participate in a DHS-funded Symbology Standardization Project to expand standardized mapping symbols for emergency management. The HSWG continued to provide support to the DHS-sponsored and FGDC-supported Geospatial Data Model, a new revision of which was issued during fiscal year 2009. HSWG members also contributed to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Cooperative Agreements Program, which was focused on a cross-border critical infrastructure and data interoperability project.