Issue Lesson
[didn’t work] We are severely lacking in field-based observation data for about 10,000 plant and animal species in the U.S. that are of conservation concern. With these observations and a foundation, habitat models can be developed to apply to many forms of environmental decision making processes.

[not worked well] Data content standards and schemas have not been widely adopted for key base data sets. This makes the exchange and co-development of data, at least in the US, more difficult.
Metadata [what works] State and local grants for data creation and metadata training.

[what did not work well] Difficult metadata standards – It is such a challenge to generate FGDC-compliant data that many individuals, programs, and agencies, do not even try, and instead have their own internal systems. The head of a geoscience division in a large federal agency told us that, yes, the USGS standards are nice, but they could not invest the time and resources to meet them, so they developed their own in-house way of doing things, because they had to get things done. The chief scientist for one of the world’s largest multinational oil company described to me how they were scraping their fourth internal attempt to create a company-wide data base, after spending millions on it. Before they could make significant progress, various offices and branches had gone off in other directions because they could not wait, and they had their own needs to address.

[What has not worked?] It has been too hard to develop metadata [for water data], and the process is usually left to the end of a project and then not done. Management bears much of the blame for this, as they have not enforced the requirement to publish metadata, even though it has been required by executive order since 1994. Although much of our work is supported by geospatial data, much of the data supporting that work is never published because of this.

[What has worked?] Publishing metadata through the NSDI node, when it is done, does work fairly well. I can find datasets I published in the past easier with Google than I can find them on my hard drive or backup media.

[not worked well] Outside the Federal government: metadata collection and dissemination are often non-existent.
Distribution, Serving [what works] The National Map accepting state data and using it on … servers

Having the National Map portal at EDC is very useful

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