FGDC Geologic Data Subcommittee
Minutes of Meeting,
November 30, 2005

Attending (in person): Mark Crowell (FEMA), Jim Gauthier-Warinner (USFS), John LaBrecque (NASA), Lindsay McClelland (NPS), Jay Parrish (PA Geol. Survey), Dave Soller (USGS), and Dave Zinzer (MMS). Absent, but voting in favor of symbolization standard: Jerry Bernard (NRCS) and George Sharman (NOAA).

This meeting was called primarily to discuss: 1) the Public Review of the proposed draft standard for geologic map symbolization; 2) the resolution of all review comments; and 3) to vote whether to approve the document for release as a FGDC standard.

1. Introductory remarks, including discussion of past history of the Geologic Data Subcommittee (GDS).

2. Vote on whether to forward the Geologic Map Symbolization standard to the FGDC for final approval -- the vote was unanimous, for approval.

3. What are the next steps for obtaining approval of the standard, and facilitating its adoption?

  • Dave Soller and Taryn Lindquist (USGS) will: a) make the document revisions found necessary by the just-completed GDS review; b) generate a revised PDF, for FGDC Standards Working Group (SWG) review; and c) prepare for the GDS website the list of Public Review Draft comments and our responses and revisions to the draft standard.
  • at the December meeting of the SWG, Soller will ask them to review the revised docuument.
  • Lindquist and Soller will prepare the Postscript implementation of the standard, for publication by USGS.
  • Lindquist and Soller will continue discussions with ESRI, regarding an ArcGIS implementation of the standard.
  • when the standard is approved by FGDC, the GDS will promote the document via some or all of the following mechanisms: a) links from FGDC and Federal agency websites; b) announcements on listserves (e.g, the state/USGS "Digital Mapping Techniques"); and c) announcements and/or summary publications in: Digital Mapping Techniques '06 workshop and Proceedings; Geotimes, GSA; and AIPG.
  • the GDS website for the standard will include: a) the PDF version of the Introductory text, the symbols, ancillary elements (e.g., magnetic declination arrows), and color and pattern plates; b) a link to the Postscript implementation (and, eventually, to the ArcGIS implementation); c) supporting documentation (e.g., publications summarizing the standard); and d) a mechanism to solicit from U.S. and International users any comments and suggested revisions.

4. It was agreed that the GDS could play a valuable role in coordinating among Federal agencies engaged in geologic studies and data-management. Although the GDS has, and will continue to, serve to facilitate standards development, it also should serve as a means for sharing information among agencies.

5. Regarding the GDS proposal for a Geologic Data Model standard, the GDS resolved to move forward and propose a Federal standard. As noted in the existing proposal, the beginning point for this standard will be the draft standard data model that has been developed by various agencies in North America. This draft standard, known as the North American Data Model ("NADM") Conceptual model v.1.0, is an outgrowth of work begun under the aegis of the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB) project, which is a cooperative project managed by the State Geological Surveys and USGS. The following strategy will be addressed:

  • Dave Soller will confer with NADM colleagues, regarding whether the Conceptual model is sufficiently mature to be proposed as a Federal standard. - the NGMDB project has added numerous extensions to the NADM model, in order to make its implementation more comprehensive; this may serve as the implementation required by FGDC.
  • significant enhancements to the NADM model are being made by the data model working group of the IUGS Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information ("CGI"). Soller will confer with CGI regarding their progress and the degree of interaction between GDS and CGI that would prove beneficial.
  • following discussion with NADM and CGI, Soller will write a one-page summary of a proposed GDS plan for developing (or endorsing) a Federal standard geologic data model. The bulk of the work in developing the FGDC standard will be performed by the NGMDB project. The summary prepared by Soller will include a description of the expertise and level-of-effort that other Federal agencies can contribute to development of this standard; GDS members will circulate the summary for comment by agency experts, with the goal of developing a detailed plan and list of collaborators for preparing the standard.

6. Development of related standards or resources. The GDS also discussed the need for: a) standard science and related terminology lists that can be incorporated into the data model; and b) the capability to exchange data among agencies, preferably with GML-based encoding. Soller will provide more information to GDS members, regarding work that is already underway on these two topics. The GDS then will decide whether to develop a plans for Federal standards, or whether to simply endorse existing activities.

7. Availability of high-quality base maps. Base-category data (especially topography) are critical to geologic mapping and related studies, and there is significant concern that availability of such data, in an easily-used format, is inadequate. Should the GDS in some fashion promote the gathering of systematic, national coverage of high-quality topographic data (e.g., with LIDAR)? Through discussion with FGDC, Soller will identify whether this might be productive. If so, John LaBrecque and Jay Parrish are interested in preparing a recommendation to FGDC, to inquire about the status and plans for topographic and base-category mapping, and to encourage the collection of topographic data.