North American Data Model Steering Committee

Twelfth meeting, May 20, 2004, Portland, Oregon


Participating guests:


  1. Data Model Design Team:

    In preparation for Open-file release of NADM C1, editorial changes recommended at the Fall, 2003, Committee meeting and at the International Data Model Collaboration Meeting (Edinburgh, Nov., 2003) have been incorporated. The relatively minor issues that have arisen since then are being addressed, but will not be included in time for release of the Open-file Report (OFR). The OFR will be published simultaneously by USGS and GSC; the USGS release will be Web-only whereas the GSC release will be print-on-demand and Web. The GSC requires one reviewer – Peter Davenport was selected, and his review has been completed. The USGS requires two reviewers – Dave will determine whether Peter can serve as one reviewer and whether the second reviewer must be a USGS scientist. Dave will notify the Committee of this finding, and the Committee then will recommend a second reviewer. Simon Cox (CSIRO) will be asked to serve as an unofficial, third reviewer. After Peter’s comments are incorporated, Boyan will send Dave the corrected version to attach to the USGS manuscript routing sheet.

    Regarding how to respond to comments after release of the OFR, and how to revise C1, the Committee decided to address these questions after gauging the response to its public release. Worthy of note, the Victoria GS already is test-implementing C1 and providing comments, which will be considered by the Team at some time after release of C1.

    The international meeting on data model collaboration (Edinburgh, late 2003; final report at ) already has led to some actions that should benefit data model development and NADM goals in general. For example, the data model and other working groups formed at that meeting include NADM Committee members; these groups have been endorsed and are supported as an activity of the IUGS Committee for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information. The data model working group has defined its objectives and begun work; those interested in participating should contact Boyan.

  2. Data Interchange Technical Team:

    Bruce and Eric remain as the only members, after Peter Schweitzer and Martin Anctil resigned. Additional members are welcome, if they can immediately provide technical contributions to Bruce and Eric. Because C1 is now relatively stable, the DITT is building an interchange implementation. Initial drafts of the implementation were written in XML. However, after the Edinburgh meeting, discussions with Simon Cox indicated that GML (Geography Markup Language) might be appropriate. GML serves as a protocol to permit WFS servers to communicate. A recent meeting with Cox in Ottawa advanced the DITT’s preference for GML, and they are now making progress on a GML-compliant logical model; after this is developed they will build a XML schema for encoding geologic map information. The DITT should have its draft implementation ready for the IGC meeting, and could fulfill its charge in time for the late-2004 Committee meeting.

    To assist in building the GML code, the DITT accepted Simon Cox’s offer to host a Twiki discussion at the CSIRO Web site. Twiki offers an editable Web page, for posting comments and for deleting or modifying existing comments made by others (original versions of comments are archived). The Committee approves of this discussion site.

  3. Science Language Technical Team:

    The objective is to prepare all Science Language group reports for OFR release in late June. The volcanic, metamorphic (“compound genesis”), and sedimentary groups will be ready by that time. The surficial group’s report will be incorporated into the sedimentary group report. The plutonic group will not be ready to provide a report, so the Chair will discuss the predicament with the group chairs and then might ask Committee members (Steve and Bruce?) to cobble together a report by late June. The executive summary (Chapter A) also will be ready by late June. The SLTT reports will be published by GSC and USGS, as per NADM C1. Because of the size of these documents, the Committee Web site will offer each group report (and, perhaps, chapters as well) as separate, downloadable files.

    Regarding stewardship of the SLTT documents, the Committee decided that it was premature to discuss this. It will likely be a major responsibility and, given the difficulty in preparing the first drafts, the Committee and especially the SLTT Chair are not ready to develop a plan for reviewing comments and preparing a revised set of documents. This is a serious issue and will be discussed at the next Committee meeting.

  4. NADMSC Web site

    The content and design of the Committee Web site has been discussed at previous meetings, and it was decided to address these issues by responding to Jon’s strawman Web site. All Committee members should give comments to Jon by mid-June. It was further resolved that we should approach the University of Tucson / USGS Earth Surface Processes Research Institute (ESPRI), regarding their interest in hosting the site in order to give the Committee more flexibility in page design and content (e.g., a Twiki application could be hosted). Responses to Jon’s strawman will be incorporated, and (provided ESPRI agrees to host the site) a prototype site will be developed for Committee comment. At the appropriate time, the ESPRI-hosted site would replace the current Committee Web site. To better-identify the NADMSC as an entity, two domains were purchased – and . These domains are now directed to the Committee site, and would be redirected to the ESPRI-hosted site if the plan outlined above is followed.

    Once again, the Committee resolved that a NADM logo was needed. Any design suggestions should be circulated among the Committee within the coming weeks.

  5. General issues:

    Throughout the meeting, the Committee evaluated whether it was reaching, or had reached, its initial goals, and whether its mission should be redefined. Difficult questions about the review of C1 and the SLTT documents were discussed, and the Committee concluded that the future is too difficult to predict; therefore the Committee tabled these issues for discussion via email and at the next Committee meeting, following a period of public comment on these documents.