Road Data Model Workshop - In December 1997, representatives of road framework projects discussed the key elements of a road data model that supports framework activities. The data model should be simple, and support multiple, current linear referencing systems, including street addresses; aid data maintenance and use; identify the geographic features being represented; and provide means for users to attach application data to framework data. Participants compared their approaches, and identified the need for practical advice for implementing a model both in the field and in a GIS.  My responsibilities included workshop planning & facilitation, and preparation of both a pre-workshop web site and the final "Report." Point of contact: David Painter (Federal Geographic Data Committee).

New York State Metadata Training -- In March 1998 the State of New York issued a request for training assistance.  Highlighting the statewide sharing of geospatial metadata through the newly established NY State GIS Clearinghouse, the RFP said:

“The New York State Office for Information Technology is seeking a vendor to develop and conduct a training session on the development and maintenance of metadata for spatial data sets used in geographic information systems.  Target date for delivery of the workshop is mid March 1998.  Deliverables will include a workshop script, accompanying electronic slide presentation, appropriate handouts for workshop participants, and in-person presentation of one or two training sessions in Albany, New York for up to 15 participants each session.”
My responsibilities have included preparation of  paper and digital training products designed to meet the particular needs of the New York public agencies who participate in this training, relying heavily on web sites and materials developed by the FGDC and others.  I have conducted two half-day seminars for state and local officials in Albany, and am looking forward to conducting another session for New York City agencies this summer.  For further information, please contact me, or check out the New York State GIS Clearinghouse.  Point of contact: Bruce Oswald, New York State Office for Technology.

 NSDI Framework Transportation Identification Standard -- The FGDC Surface Transportation Subcommittee is developing for review by the national GIS community a new data standard to enable sharing of information about roadways across multiple databases.  The objectives of the proposed Standard are:

"To provide a logical data model for identifying unique road segments which are independent of cartographic or analytic network representation.  These road segments will form the basis for sharing and transactional updating of NSDI framework road databases.  In accordance with the FGDC Standards Reference Model, the NSDI Framework Road Data Model is being proposed under the classification of a data content standard.  It also includes mandatory standards for assigning and reporting identification codes as well as voluntary guidelines for data collection under the classification of a process standard."
You can review a summary of the proposed standard or download the new (May 1999) second draft.  The October 1998 first draft and information about updates, is available for review at the BTS Web site. My responsibilities include assembling source materials, drafting of the standard, consultation with a technical review committee, and delivery of briefings to interested constituent groups.  Point of contact: Bruce Spear (USDOT / Bureau of Transportation Statistics).

The "Framework" Area Integrator -- The initial (1995) vision of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure included the call for shared efforts to build a "Framework."  The NSDI Framework was characterized as "a basic, consistent set of digital geospatial data and supporting services;" in other words, the Framework concept includes institutional roles, relationships and functions as well as basic themes of shared data.  The most valuable source of current information about the Framework concept and its implementation can be found in the NSDI Framework: Introduction and Guide, published by the FGDC in 1997.

One of the key roles identified within the Framework is that of "Area Integrator," an organization which might take on responsibilities (within a specific geography) of implementing technical standards, coordinating data creation and maintenance, updating and providing access to Framework data themes.  The Area Integrator role is very much like the role assigned by Vermont statute to VCGI, and I've spent several years learning about the Framework and trying to operationalize these crucial functions in Vermont.

I believe that organizations face some important strategic choices in determining how they can best contribute to building the Framework, and would like to share my ideas with you.  Please download a brief presentation* "NSDI Area Integrator: Analysis & Implementation" and give me a call if I can help your organization come to grips with these important challenges.
* A single executable file (662kb) for Win95; please email or call for other formats.

WAGIC Strategic Planning Process -- The (State of) Washington Geographic Information Council has initiated a Strategic Business Planning Process under the leadership of WAGIC Chair Larry Sugarbaker and WAGIC Coordinator Jeff Holm.  The goals of the Council include:

"Taking an active leadership role in advising decision makers about the use and availability of geospatial information and in promoting geospatial information sharing.  In addition, the Council initiates activities to identify geospatial information needs, sponsors the exchange of educational information, ensures the development of consistent policies, standards, and guidelines, and assists in the establishment of geospatial information partnerships."
My responsibilities include leading the council's Strategic Planning Team and key stakeholders through an information gathering workshop and subsequent structured processes to identify strategies and tactical actions to address the objectives of the plan.  A final "Strategic Plan" document will be used to guide Council activities and interactions over the next several years.

Observations on Spatial Data Warehousing -- Throughout September and October I spent some time “surfing” the Internet, talking to numerous state GIS personnel, and others in the Federal and vendor communities.  My goal was to learn about the status of "Spatial Data Warehousing" approaches and practices, in part for a more complete report to a client.  I'd like to share a "Summary Report" of what I found.

12th Annual Geographic Information Systems Conference at Towson (MD) University -- The theme for this popular conference is "The Internet and GIS: Exploring New Mapping Opportunities."  The Conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center June 2-3; pre- and post-conference workshops offering classroom and laboratory instruction in various GIS topics will be held on June 1 and June 4.  I will be offering a workshop June 1 covering technical metadata topics, focused on the information management and policy needs of  spatial database administrators and public agency data policy / IRM officials.

Maintenance of the GIS Databases in Support of Vermont's Enhanced 9-1-1 Program -- The Vermont Enhanced 9-1-1 Board is soliciting proposals from organizations experienced in the development and maintenance of geographic information systems (GIS) in support of E911 programs.  Vermont's E911 GIS data needs to be kept in synchronization with the E911 system provider's ALI/DBMS.  Every address included in the ALI/DBMS must also exist as a discrete point in the site data (E911\ESITE) or within a valid range of a geo-coded arcs within the E911\RDS spatial database, and the location of each new building and road must be added.  In addition to its use in the PSAP map display and E911 atlas generation, the GIS data will be used as an independent data source validating the ALI/DBMS.  I will be acting as a consulting member of the technical proposal review team.  Point of contact: Evelyn Bailey, Executive Director: Vermont E-9-1-1 Board.

Don't Duck Metadata -- In early 1999 the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) made available a total of $1,400,000 to fund projects in its ‘Don't Duck Metadata’ cooperative agreement program. Funding was offered:

I have been provided FGDC support to offer training and other technical assistance to NSDI partners who articulate an interest in maintaining their metadata and clearinghouse efforts, but are not sure how to do so.  Organizations may experience a range of difficulties, including the need for a basic understanding of metadata content, tool selection, internal data management (inventory) practices, metadata discovery (clearinghouse setup) and data access systems.  I expect to use my experience and training materials to provide training workshops and follow-up support to other "Don't Duck Metadata" grantees.  Point of contact: David Painter (FGDC).

 Back to Bruce Westcott's Home Page