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 parties.

Background Information --
Standards Development
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

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Maintained by Dave Soller
last update: Oct. 22, 2003