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National Spatial Data Infrastructure: Concepts and Components

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1 National Spatial Data Infrastructure: Concepts and Components
Douglas Nebert U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat September 2004

2 What is a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)?
“The SDI provides a basis for spatial data discovery, evaluation, and application for users and providers within all levels of government, the commercial sector, the non-profit sector, academia and by citizens in general.” --The SDI Cookbook

3 Who needs access to coordinated geographic information?
Land Records Adjudication Disaster Response Transportation Management Water, gas & electric planning Public Protection Defense Natural Resource Management Telecommunications Infrastructure Economic Development Civic Entrepreneurs Regional Stewards

4 Components of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI)
Policies & Institutional Arrangements (governance, data privacy & security, data sharing, cost recovery) People (training, professional development, cooperation, outreach) Data (digital base map, thematic, statistical, place names) Technology (hardware, software, networks, databases, technical implementation plans)

5 Why build an SDI? Build data once and use it many times for many applications Integrate distributed providers of data: Cooperative governance “Place-based management” Share costs of data creation and maintenance Support sustainable economic, social, and environmental development

6 The outcomes of an NSDI The participant members (contributors and users) are known and can interact Core and specialized map and data services are easily discoverable and accessible Decision-makers and analysts have ready access to the right geo-information for input to analytical and visual models – indicators, models, trends, patterns

7 Benefits of an NSDI Development of a private sector involved with data sales and added value A chance for communities of all sizes and capabilities to participate in the knowledge economy A more informed voter/citizen Increased access to distributed geo-information through standards

8 Creating the motivation
Development of an SDI should be a voluntary and have long-term vision Government roles may require both incentives and directives Commercial and non-commercial participants should find SDI appealing as a market The correct solution for NSDI must be defined by the community

9 Government Role in Infrastructure
National Interstate Highway system built for defense logistics, now baseline for commerce DARPA/ARPA advanced Internet infrastructure design, establishing the backbone Promotes standards to enable compatible solutions We cannot imagine the fullest extent of how the NSDI will be populated or what applications will live upon it!

10 Here’s one overview of the pieces of the NSDI

11 The first task is to inventory who has what data of what type and quality
A standardized form of metadata was published in June 1994 by the FGDC. An international standard now exists and will be adopted by the US beginning in 2005 Metadata

12 Metadata... Provides documentation of existing internal geospatial data resources within an organisation (inventory) Permits structured search and comparison of held spatial data by others (catalog) Provides end-users with adequate information to take the data and use it in an appropriate context (documentation)

13 Metadata Formats The FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM, 1998) is expressed in XML for exchange and text and HTML for presentation Participants in the Geospatial Data Clearinghouse offer other metadata formats, including Dublin Core, ANZLIC, and expressions of ISO 19115 Any metadata format can be presented by requesting the HTML format

14 Metadata Geospatial Data
Metadata describes existing data holdings for order, retrieval, or local use Metadata should be used to describe all types of data, emphasis on ‘truth in labeling’ Metadata Geospatial Data

15 Metadata Framework GEOdata
Special-use thematic layers are built and described as available geospatial data Common data layers are being defined in the Framework activity Framework Metadata GEOdata

16 Framework supports... Community development of sets of spatial features, feature representation, and attribution to a lowest common denominator Participant collecting, converting, or associating information to common Framework data standards with an encoding format to facilitate exchange Multiple representations of real-world features at different scales and times by feature identifier and generalization

17 Framework Data Standards
Eleven abstract data content standards are being promulgated through the ANSI process to become American National Standards in 2005 Each thematic content standard has an informative annex describing its implementation as XML/GML Application Schemas using OGC Web Feature Services

18 Services Metadata Framework GEOdata
The NSDI includes the services to help discover and interact with data Services Framework Metadata GEOdata

19 Metadata Framework GEOdata
An important common service in SDI is that of discovering resources through metadata Discovery Access Processing Services Framework Metadata GEOdata This Discovery Service is the core function of the NSDI Clearinghouse for geospatial information and the GOS portal

20 NSDI Clearinghouse Network and portal
Supports uniform, distributed search through a single user interface to all domestic metadata collections to find data and maps A free advertising mechanism to provide world access to your holdings under the principle of “truth-in-labeling” Search for spatial data through fields and full-text in the metadata and categorical browsing Links through to full data access and online web mapping services, where available

21 Geospatial Data Clearinghouse
The Geospatial Data Clearinghouse Network includes nearly 300 distributed collections of metadata searched via the Z39.50 protocol, “GEO” Profile harvests XML forms of domestic metadata from Z39.50 and browseable Web directories into a searchable cache

22 Metadata Framework GEOdata
A second class of services provides standardised access to geospatial information Discovery Access Processing Services Framework Metadata GEOdata This may be made via static files on ftp or via online data streaming services. These services deliver ‘raw’ data, not maps.

23 Data Access Concepts Standardisation of data access implies several things: Definition of model used for the data to be exchanged Adoption of an exchange or encoding format Agreement on data access protocol(s) Organisations should strive to identify the mode(s) of operation to simplify data exchange

24 Data Access Examples Administrative boundary data conforming to the GlobalMap data model, packaged as Vector Product Format (VPF), made accessible over ftp Panchromatic 10m, single-band, rectified imagery to a specific coordinate reference system, packaged as GEOTIFF with LZW compression, made accessible on CD-ROM

25 Metadata Framework GEOdata
A third class of services provides additional processing on geospatial information Discovery Access Processing Services Framework Metadata GEOdata

26 Processing Services These include capabilities that extend and enhance the delivery of data through processes applied to raw data: Web Mapping Services (OGC WMS) Symbolization (OGC SLD) Coordinate Transformation (OGC WCTS) Analysis or topologic overlay services Routing services

27 Geospatial Interoperability Reference Model (GIRM)
Voluntary technical participation in the NSDI is defined through the GIRM The GIRM includes data standards, formats, protocols, and interface specifications to maximize interoperability

28 Metadata Standards Framework GEOdata Standardization makes SDI work
Standards touch every SDI activity Discovery Access Processing Services Framework Metadata GEOdata Standards Standards include specifications, formal standards, and documented practices

29 FGDC Standards... Created by FGDC working groups and thematic subcommittees as national standards, representing community consensus view of data theme or common approach Submitted for 90-day public review Reviewed across disciplines for uniformity Published as US Federal Standards Standards by ISO, OGC, W3C and other standardization bodies are used FIRST, if they exist!

30 Roles of standards bodies
OpenGIS Consortium Software interfaces (Implementation Specifications) Endorsed practices and specifications NSDI Other NSDIs ISO TC 211 Foundations for implementation. (Abstract standards) National Standards Content standards, Authority for data

31 Metadata Standards Framework GEOdata
Partnerships extend our capabilities Partnerships Discovery Access Processing Services Framework Metadata GEOdata Standards

32 Partnerships are the glue...
FGDC has recognized 40+ geographic data councils across the country to establish 2-way coordination mechanisms FGDC has funded numerous agencies with “seed” funding to further existing efforts along common lines Partnerships extend local capabilities in technology, skills, logistics, and data The National Map is a partnership designed to serve Framework data themes from distributed participating organizations for multiple purposes

33 Regional consortia Locally formed, interdependent
Inclusive, voluntary, open State, local, federal, tribal, academic, private sector Expanded from existing collaborations

34 Best practices Treat data as strategic, capital assets and public goods Collaborate and Coordinate Align roles, responsibilities and resources for data stewardship Organize Effective and Efficient Production and Stewardship of Data Pool and Leverage Investments Steward means to oversee, take care of, foster, supervision, management

35 Clearinghouse (catalog)
Treated together this comprises the NSDI Partnerships Partnerships Discovery Access Processing Clearinghouse (catalog) Services Framework Metadata GEOdata Metadata Framework GEOdata Standards Standards

36 Initiatives and Future Directions
Geospatial One-Stop and the portal An Enterprise Architecture for the NSDI NSDI/FGDC Future Directions Initiative

37 Geospatial One-Stop One of 24 official E-Government initiatives started in late 2002 Focused on the use and re-use of data and services between government (G2G) and the citizen (G2C) Involves all sectors (federal, state, local government, academia, commercial)

38 How does OneStop support NSDI?
GOS has a timeline for implementation of NSDI components by all partners Deploys a “one-stop” portal ( for quick access to community data, services, and related resources Standards are being developed with multi-sectoral stakeholders as national (ANSI) standards, not FGDC ones Goals include measures of costs and savings through cost-sharing in data acquisition, processing, and service of geospatial data

39 Some operational features will speed and simplify search and browse of metadata as a replacement for the domestic NSDI Gateways Metadata are harvested from remote collections into a single metadata ‘cache’ to speed search and ranking Browsing for geospatial data is made possible through common ISO Topic Categories Current portal is an operational prototype based on research and development efforts, March-September 2004

40 Portal at Map services can be registered and visualized in viewer where links provided in metadata (Online_Linkage) Other resource types: Data, static maps, and applications can be registered through metadata Channels (thematic communities) post and arbitrate selected browseable content Operational portal is to be awarded by competitive procurement in Q1 2005

41 will speed and simplify search and browse of metadata as a replacement for the domestic NSDI Gateways Metadata are harvested from remote collections into a single metadata ‘cache’ to speed search and ranking Browsing for geospatial data is made possible through common ISO Topic Categories Map services can be registered and visualized in viewer where links provided in metadata (Online_Linkage) Other resource types: Data, static maps, and applications can be registered through metadata Channels (thematic communities) post and arbitrate selected browseable content

42 Enterprise Architecture: NSDI as the Enterprise
Develop an Enterprise Architecture for the NSDI to encourage the identification of geospatial data service producers and consumers, and optimize resourcing for relevant programs within and across agency lines Deliverables to include: Common terminology and scope to effort Business, Data and Technology Reference models Validation of Reference Models via active prototyping and demonstration A consensus process to evolve reference models via broad NSDI Stakeholder / Community involvement

43 NSDI Future Directions Initiative
Purpose: Draft a National Geospatial Strategy for the further development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Product: A Plan of Action for the FGDC and the geospatial community

44 Drivers Revised OMB Circular A-16 (2002)
E-Government Act 2002 (Section 216) President’s Management Agenda Proposed Legislation GAO Reports

45 Future Direction Actions
Making Framework Real Framework Standards Development Publishing Metadata Implementing Standards/Web Protocols Urban Areas Communicating The Message Business Case Strategic Communications Plan Training and Education Partnerships with Purpose Restructure FGDC Tribal Engagement State Councils Engaging Non-Geospatial Organizations

46 Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat
Douglas Nebert Federal Geographic Data Committee Secretariat (703)

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