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Committee on Spatial Data Enabling USGS Strategic Science in the 21st Century Mapping Science Committee Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Award No. 08HQ4G0145 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Geological Survey. The opinions, findings, conclusions, or recom- mendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. government. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26457-0 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26457-X Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2010921862 Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334- 3313; http://www.nap.edu/. Cover: Cover design by Anne Rogers. Image courtesy of Michael Hitoshi/Stone/Getty Images. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examina- tion of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON SPATIAL DATA ENABLING USGS STRATEGIC SCIENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY ROBERT DENARO (Chair), Nokia Corporation, Chicago, Illinois GEORGE BRIMHALL, University of California, Berkeley, California ROBERT CHEN, Columbia University, Palisades, New York ANDREA DONNELLAN, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California MICHAEL EMCH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina IAN JACKSON, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham JOHN KELMELIS, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania XAVIER LOPEZ, Oracle Corporation, Nashua, New Hampshire DENNIS OJIMA, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado BRIDGET SCANLON, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas National Research Council Staff MARK D. LANGE, Study Director PEGGY TSAI, Program Officer NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate JASON R. ORTEGO, Research Associate (until June 2012) ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant (from September, 2010) TONYA FONG YEE, Senior Program Assistant (until September, 2010) NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor iv
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MAPPING SCIENCE COMMITTEE DAVID R. MAIDMENT (Chair),The University of Texas, Austin, Texas LUC E. ANSELIN, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona CECILIA R. ARAGON, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California BUDHENDRA L. BHADURI, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee SUSAN CARSON LAMBERT, EarthWorks, LLC, Frankfort, Kentucky LEWIS A. LAPINE, South Carolina Geodetic Survey, Columbia, South Carolina CAROLYN J. MERRY, Ohio State University, Columbus JAYANT SHARMA, Oracle Spatial, Nashua, New Hampshire DANIEL Z. SUI, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio MICHAEL F. WORBOYS, University of Maine, Orono, Maine MAY YUAN, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma National Research Council Staff ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant v
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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES CORALE BRIERLEY (Chair), Brierley Consultancy, LLC, Denver, Colorado WILLIAM E. DIETRICH, University of California, Berkeley WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Calcott RUSSELL J. HEMLEY, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden EDWARD KAVAZANJIAN, JR., Arizona State University, Tempe DAVID R. MAIDMENT,The University of Texas, Austin, Texas ROBERT McMASTER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis M. MEGHAN MILLER, UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, Colorado ISABEL P. MONTAÑEZ, University of California, Davis CLAUDIA INÉS MORA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico BRIJ M. MOUDGIL, University of Florida, Gainesville CLAYTON R. NICHOLS, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (retired), Sandpoint HENRY N. POLLACK, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor DAVID T. SANDWELL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California PETER M. SHEARER, University of California, San Diego REGINAL SPILLER, Allied Energy, Houston, Texas TERRY C. WALLACE, JR., Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico National Research Council Staff ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director (until April 2012) ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Director (from April 2012) ANNE M. LINN, Senior Program Officer SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer MARK D. LANGE, Program Officer NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate COURTNEY GIBBS, Program Associate ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant CHANDA IJAMES, Program Assistant vi
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Preface T his report summarizes the findings and recommendations of the Com- mittee on Spatial Data Enabling USGS Strategic Science in the 21st Century. The National Research Council (NRC) has published several reports that have helped to guide the development of the spatial data infrastruc- ture (SDI) both in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and nationally (1993, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2007). Those reports envisioned an SDI for the USGS and the nation and suggested the research needed to achieve that vision. Over the last decade, the USGS has conducted breakthrough research that has over- come some of the challenges associated with implementing a large SDI. This report is intended to ground those efforts by providing a practical roadmap to full implementation of an SDI to enable the USGS to conduct strategic science. The committee was charged by the USGS to examine progress made in establishing spatial data infrastructures and the challenges faced by them in the context of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The committee examined the role that the USGS can play in continuing to ensure access to high-quality geospatial data and in supporting their use in scientific analyses and decision- making through an SDI construct. The committee was charged with three main tasks: identify existing knowledge and document lessons learned during previous efforts to develop SDIs and their support of scientific endeavors; develop a vision for optimizing an SDI to organize, integrate, access, and use scientific data; and create a roadmap to guide the USGS in accomplishing the vision within the scope of the USGS Science Strategy. To address its charge, the committee examined SDI development in local, state, national, and international contexts and solicited advice from a variety of sources. Program managers and scientists in federal agencies, state organizations, vii
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viii PREFACE and academe provided programmatic information and user perspectives on future research directions. The committee also requested written feedback from leaders and data users in the geospatial community who generously provided guidance regarding what has and has not worked in SDI development; the major technical, organizational, cultural, policy, financial challenges still facing SDI development; and their own vision of an effective SDI at the USGS. The committee was struck by the similarity of challenges faced by other organizations in developing their SDIs; the experiences cited in Chapter 3 on lessons learned are rich with examples of approaches that may be particularly valuable to the USGS. But a recurrent theme in nearly all the case studies was the crucial role of leadership in implementing an SDI. A strong, energetic, and inspirational leader with senior-level authority who stays with the program for the long term is the cornerstone of a successful program. The leader will be instru- mental in executing the outside partnerships that are essential to the mission of the USGS and establishment of its SDI. The names of respondents and other persons consulted by the committee are listed in Appendix B. Many of the conclusions and recommendations reached by the committee reflect ideas articulated in their thoughtful contributions; however, any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the committee, not of the exter- nal contributors. Finally, the committee expresses its gratitude to the NRC study director, Mark Lange, for his efforts in managing the committee and editing its report and to NRC staff Peggy Tsai, Jason Ortego, Eric Edkin, and Tonya Fong Yee, who assisted the committee extensively with Web site development, docu- ment tracking and assembly, and logistics. Robert Denaro Chair References NRC (National Research Council). 1993. Toward a Coordinated Spatial Data Infrastruc- ture for the Nation. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. NRC 1994. Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. NRC. 1995. A Data Foundation For The National Spatial Data Infrastructure. Washing- ton, DC: National Academy Press. NRC. 2001. National Spatial Data Infrastructure Partnership Programs: Rethinking the Focus. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. NRC. 2003. Weaving a National Map: Review of the U.S. Geological Survey Concept of The National Map. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. NRC. 2007. A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at the United States Geological Survey Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical com- ments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following for their review of this report: Paul Birkel, The MITRE Corporation Virginia H. Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Ruth Duerr, National Snow and Ice Data Center John Moeller, JJ Moeller & Associates LLC Jay B. Parrish, Pennsylvania State University Cyrus Shahabi, University of Southern California David G. Tarboton, Utah State University Bastiaan van Loenen, Delft Technical University Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recom- mendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by William E. Easterling, Pennsylvania State University. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out ix
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x PREFACE Acknowledgments in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests with the author committee and the institution.
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Contents SUMMARY1 1INTRODUCTION 7 Study Scope, 7 Organization of the Report, 9 2BACKGROUND 11 Defining a Spatial Data Infrastructure, 11 Current Status of the USGS SDI: The National Map, 12 The USGS Science Strategy, 15 The Challenge of an SDI for Science and Decision-making, 24 3 KEY CHALLENGES AND LESSONS LEARNED 32 Organizations and Types of SDIs Examined, 32 U.S. Geological Survey's Spatial Data Infrastructure Initiatives, 50 Findings, 57 4 A VISION FOR OPTIMIZING THE USGS SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE62 Discover and Share for the Long Term, 62 Standards,63 Enterprise Data Management for an SDI, 65 Application Services to Engage and Support Scientific Questions, 67 Institutional Leadership and Culture, 69 xi
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xii External Service Integration, Partnerships, and Governance, 69 5 A ROADMAP FOR SPATIAL DATA INFRASTRUCTURE IMPLEMENTATION71 A Roadmap, 71 Organizational Considerations for Successful SDI Implementation, 74 Technical Considerations, 80 Closing Remarks, 86 APPENDIXES A Committee and Staff Biographies 89 B Presentations to the Committee 96 C On-line Questionnaire 98 D Questionnaire Responses 100
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Abbreviations AIP architecture implementation pilot API application programming interface BGS British Geological Survey BLM Bureau of Land Management CBP Containment Biology Program CEGIS Center of Excellence for Geographical Information Science CEO chief executive officer COP common operating picture CUAHSI Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science DAAC Data Analysis and Archiving Center DAMA Data Management Association DEM digital elevation model DOE Department of Energy DOI Department of the Interior DOQ digital orthophotograph quadrangle DRG digital raster graphic EPA Environmental Protection Agency EROS Earth Resources Observation Systems ETevapotranspiration EU European Union xiii
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xiv ABBREVIATIONS FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee FLIR forward-looking infrared FWS U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service GA Geoscience Australia GEO Group on Earth Observations GEOINT geospatial intelligence GeoSciML geoscience markup language GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems GIS geographic information system GRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment HHS Department of Health and Human Services HIS hydrologic information system ICT information and communications technology IFSAR interferometric synthetic aperture radar IFTN Imagery for the Nation INSPIRE Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IT information technology IUGSCGI International Union of Geological Sciences Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information LIDAR light detection and ranging LULC land useland cover NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NAWQA National Water Quality Assessment Program NBII The National Biological Information Infrastructure NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research NCGIS National Center for Geospatial Intelligence Standards NDCDB National Digital Cartographic Database NED National Elevation Dataset NEON National Ecological Observatory Network NGA National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency NHD National Hydrography Dataset NHDPlus National Hydrography Dataset Plus NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NPS National Park Service NSDI National Spatial Data Infrastructure
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ABBREVIATIONS xv NSF National Science Foundation NSG National Systems for Geospatial Intelligence ODM observations data model OGC Open Geospatial Consortium OMB Office of Management and Budget OWS open web services PAGER Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response RGE research graded evaluation RMSE root mean square error SBA societal benefit areas SDI spatial data infrastructure TM Thematic Mapper TNM The National Map TNRIS Texas Natural Resources Information System UAVSAR unmanned air vehicle synthetic aperture radar UN United Nations UNSDI UN Spatial Data Infrastructure USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture USGS U.S. Geological Survey
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