|This Web site contains information on activities of the National Geologic Map Database Project (NGMDB). The NGMDB is a collaborative effort primarily involving the USGS and the Association of American State Geologists. This Web site contains informal, generally time-sensitive material intended for project members, cooperators, and interested
Background Information --
under the NGMDB
To create, manage, and disseminate digital earth-science information, it is increasingly clear to data producers and users that certain widely-accepted standards are essential. In the past, many organizational units (e.g., projects or programs) have of necessity developed their own standard practices for creating and managing digital map data. Because the resources needed to develop widely-accepted standards are difficult for a single organizational unit to justify, many of these standard practices developed in an ad hoc fashion, with scant input from other groups.
Three notable mechanisms now exist in the United States to promote the coordination of widely-accepted standards: 1) the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 stipulates that necessary standards be developed to support the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB); 2) the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), through its Geologic Data Subcommittee, is responsible for development of standards to support geologic data management at the Federal level; and 3) the Association of American State Geologists has formed the Digital Geologic Mapping Committee to work with the NGMDB and the FGDC to develop standards applicable to the State Geological Surveys as well.
The NGMDB Project Chief also serves as Executive Secretary of the Geologic Data Subcommittee and as principal liason to the AASG Digital Geologic Mapping Committee. In so doing, the NGMDB Project coordinates a standards development effort staffed by the Nation's major data producers.
Early (1996-1997) standards development efforts
This document lists early (1996-1997) meetings that identified the need for standards development in support of the National Geologic Map Database and an effort in Canada, the Canadian Geoscience Knowledge Network. Subsequent information and progress reports on standards development are available at http://ncgmp.usgs.gov/ngmdbproject/standards/.
- On April 22, 1996, a meeting to discuss development of digital geologic map standards was held at the GSA regional meeting in Portland, OR. Gary Raines (USGS Mineral Resource Surveys Program) organized the meeting. A summary of the meeting was provided to interested parties. The outcome was a plan for a GSA-sponsored Penrose conference on digital geologic map standards, sometime in 1997. This conference will not be a working session, but rather a forum to present and discuss the various alternative standards developed by different groups.
- On May 2, 1996, a meeting was held in Lexington, Kentucky to discuss joint USGS/AASG (Association of American State Geologists) development of digital geologic mapping standards. It was resolved that the NGMDB project work closely with the AASG Data and Standards Committee, chaired by Tom Berg (State Geologist, Ohio), to begin work on geologic map standards this summer. This was expected and desirable, as Mr. Berg and the NGMDB Project Chief had worked together throughout the development of the Database concept and its introduction to the AASG. The meeting organizer, Jim Cobb (KY Geol. Survey) provided a summary of the meeting.
- At the June, 1996, AASG annual meeting, the Data and Standards Committee was renamed and redefined. Now called the Digital Geologic Mapping Committee, its primary mission is to support the goals of the NGMDB and to support development of standards through the NGMDB and the FGDC. Tom Berg remains the Chair.
- On August 14-15, 1996, the USGS and AASG met in St. Louis, MO., to expand the discussions held at the May 2 meeting in Kentucky. The NGMDB was discussed further, and standards working groups were formed to address the needs of the NGMDB and the geoscience community in general. These Working Groups are:
Tom Berg and Jim McDonald (Ohio Geol. Survey) provided a summary of the meeting.
- Digital cartographic standards (this is not actually a formal working group, but rather a long-standing USGS/Federal Geographic Data Committee effort)
- Data exchange (i.e., guidelines for digital map publications)
- Data capture (methods of data capture and digital mapping)
- Spatial accuracy
- Data model (content and file structure)
- On October 29, 1996, the standards working groups held a working session during the GSA annual meeting. A summary is provided.
- On May 22, 1997, the Geological Association of Canada's GIS Division met to discuss the need for standards for digital geologic maps. The meeting, hosted by John Broome (Geol. Survey of Canada), was attended by 42 persons from Canadian government agencies and private companies and the USGS. Concerns about the lack of standards for storing, publishing, and exchanging map information were similar to those expressed at meetings described above. The GAC decided to form a metadata and a geologic data model committee, to propose standards as needed and to work with the USGS on their standards-development activities. A meeting summary is provided.
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This page is <URL:http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Info/standards/general.html>
Maintained by Dave Soller
last update: Oct. 22, 2003