FGDC Geologic Data Subcommittee
Minutes of Meeting,
December 8, 2009

Attending: Jerry Bernard (NRCS), John LaBrecque (NASA), Jay Parrish (PA Geol. Survey), Tim Connors (NPS), Andy Rorick (USFS), and Dave Soller (USGS).

This meeting was intended to reinitiate discussion among Subcommittee members on a range of issues including: 1) new opportunities for collaboration among Federal and State agencies; and 2) status of the FGDC Standard for Geologic Map Symbolization.

1. Introductory remarks by each Subcommittee member, focusing on agency accomplishments and possible opportunities for collaboration.

2. Development of a program for a national Lidar survey -- can this Subcommittee provide some measure of support?
Without question, Lidar data has become an important component of geologic and soils mapping and analysis. The lack of Lidar data has delayed mapping, or reduced the value of mapping, in certain areas. John LaBrecque provided background on previous discussions between NASA and USGS. It was resolved that the Subcommittee would voice support for a national Lidar survey, and especially for close coordination among the responsible agencies. Soller will discuss with the FGDC Secretariat how we might proceed. It is anticipated that at a minimum, a position paper will be written by LaBrecque, Parrish, and Soller in support of a national survey.

3. Convergence on a geologic map database design.
The Subcommittee's proposal for a standard database design was accepted in 2001. That proposal signaled the concern of various agencies that the numerous databases under development or planned should, if feasible, have common elements in order to promote interoperability. Since that time, collaboration on issues related to a common design has proceeded, and many good designs are in use. However, they differ in some important respects because specific missions and requirements of each agency necessarily take precedence. The Subcommittee resolved to examine the various database designs, and determine whether a common design could now be proposed. In particular, the National Geologic Map Database project (NGMDB) has collaborated on development of a simple database design for publication of geologic maps (named "NCGMP09"). Information about this design will be forwarded to the Subcommittee for consideration and review. This design and others will be evaluated this year. If deemed appropriate, the Subcommittee will discuss with FGDC a renewal of the database-design proposal.

4. Collaboration on design of databases for paleontologic information.
Several agencies (e.g., BLM, USFS, NPS, USGS) voiced interest in sharing information, and perhaps collaborating, on the various projects that are focusing on development of paleontologic databases. These databases serve different purposes (e.g., protection of fossil resources on public lands, public education, scientific research). To promote interoperability, it is anticipated that certain common elements to the various designs can be agreed upon. This Subcommittee will provide some coordination.

5. Status of the FGDC Geologic Map Symbolization Standard.
The Standard continues to be supported by the National Geologic Map Database project (NGMDB). Collaboration with ESRI has resulted in release of a set of FGDC symbols for use in ArcGIS 9.3; additions to this set are anticipated in early 2010. An update to the Standard will be considered in 2010, pending review of comments and suggestions received.