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51 even the most sound technical efforts do not flourish with- Option 4: Establish a new independent nonprofit organi- out a dedicated marketing effort on behalf of the steward zation that relies on grants, memberships, and voluntary organization; and contributions from the stakeholder community. This is 7. Administrative Infrastructure--Availability of adminis- the OGC model. The success of this approach would be trative staff and IT support resources that can take on addi- very dependent on public agency grants (at least initially), tional incremental responsibilities. or the development of a business model that provides incentives for membership or revenue-generating products and services. 6.7 Recommended Model for The research team identified a number of factors or crite- TransXML Stewardship ria for evaluating the most appropriate stewardship option: Four options were developed for stewardship of TransXML: 1. The TransXML mission statement should be most closely Option 1: Manage within the AASHTOWare program. aligned with the mission statement of the coordinating This is the status quo "path of least resistance" approach. body. The premise is that current AASHTOWare subscribers would 2. Long-term, sustainable funding is essential for the success be willing to have a portion of their license fees go to sup- of TransXML. port incorporation of XML into the AASHTOWare prod- 3. The administrative structure and funding mechanism of ucts, and for continuing to support the collaborative schema the coordinating body must lend itself to the activities development process launched within NCHRP 20-64. It described in the TransXML mission statement: stakeholder is also possible that a separate TransXML Task Force within liaison, schema development, application of development, the AASHTOWare umbrella could be established to solicit and technical support. interest in a TransXML subscription. This would support 4. The coordinating body must have credibility and perceived continued schema development to provide interoperability neutrality among the stakeholders. across non-AASHTOWare applications. Further discussions 5. TransXML must be able to reach beyond the traditional are required to determine whether an appropriate package of boundaries of AASHTOWare applications. incentives could be provided to encourage a sufficient level 6. TransXML must have broad vendor support. of interest (since the premise of TransXML is that it is freely 7. Decisive, central leadership is required. The management distributed, unlike AASHTOWare product licenses). structure must be efficient and able to make decisions and Option 2: Establish a cooperative agreement including achieve consensus quickly. AASHTO, U.S. DOT, and others to support TransXML. This could take the form of a new joint task force (e.g., like 6.8 Work Plan for the the AASHTO/FHWA/TRB Task Force on Asset Manage- TransXML Project ment), or depending on interest, it could be a more ambi- tious new partnership entity with an executive director and The recommended work plan for the TransXML Project is a board of directors (e.g., like the National Partnership for divided into two phases. The initial phase covers the transi- Highway Quality, which involves AASHTO, FHWA, APWA, tion to the new steward organization. The second phase covers and several industry groups). Member agencies would pro- the ongoing operation of the project under its new stewardship vide funding and in-kind services. Technical work would be arrangement. accomplished through contracts and/or volunteer working groups. These working groups could pursue collaborative Transition Phase schema development via established mechanisms provided by OGC, OASIS, and others. There will inevitably be a gap between the end of NCHRP Option 3: U.S. DOT-funded competitively awarded multi- Project 20-64 and the full transition of TransXML to its year contract with a university research center, nonprofit, or future home. In order to ensure a smooth transition and commercial organization (or team) to house TransXML. maintain momentum, the researchers recommend that a This option presumes that one or more agencies within U.S. temporary home be established for the project. Specifically, DOT would provide a multiyear commitment of funding they recommend that AASHTO take on responsibility for the for TransXML (analogous to the U.S. DOJ's commitment to TransXML project's transition period. The Subcommittee on JusticeXML). The contract would be written to include all Information Systems could take the lead, with participation of the desired functions of TransXML, including stake- from the Special Committee on Joint Development (SCOJD). holder liaison, schema development, application develop- The objectives of this transition period are (1) to maintain ment, and technical support functions. momentum for TransXML implementation and (2) to obtain

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52 commitment by a unit within U.S. DOT to take on steward- DOT implementation of the initial TransXML schemas ship of the project. would demonstrate technical commitment by the par- The transition phase should begin as early as possible ties most affected by the project. This in turn would and end when a commitment for longer-term project stew- present a more persuasive case to potential stewardship ardship has been secured. After a total of 12 months have organizations and funding agencies of TransXML. One elapsed, if no workable stewardship arrangement has been of the NCHRP 20-64 panel member states (Florida) has identified, then the temporary stewards may conclude that already begun implementation of the TransXML con- the time is not right for the project to continue in its cur- struction and materials schemas. This state DOT should rent form. be encouraged to share its experience with peer agencies The following activities are recommended for the transi- to establish a base of credibility and support. In addition tion phase: to offering assistance and encouragement to states tak- ing the initiative to implement TransXML, a pooled 1. Appoint an AASHTO staff person to coordinate the effort. fund project (e.g., using State Planning Research 2. Form a task force for the TransXML transition project. This (SPR) funds) should be pursued to demonstrate im- project task force should include some NCHRP 20-64 panel plementation of the TransXML schema, and prepare members to provide continuity. Other desirable members additional web-accessible demonstrations of how these include representatives of state DOTs that have expressed schemas can be used, and what their benefits are. an active interest in TransXML (Nebraska, Idaho, Florida, Liaison with Other Related XML and Data Standards Minnesota, New York), and representatives from one or Efforts--Establish relationships with external groups in more of the following units of U.S. DOT that have an inter- order to ensure that the work done by TransXML is con- est in transportation data interoperability: the Intelligent sidered (i.e., not duplicated) by similar efforts, and also to Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, the FHWA stay abreast of developments which may be incorporated Office of Asset Management, and the Office of the Chief into future TransXML schema. These groups include the Information Officer (CIO). Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC); the U.S. DOT ITS 3. Ensure that the members of the task force are familiar with Standards Program; the Geotechnical Management the results of the TransXML project. The NCHRP Project System (GMS) effort (see FHWA Pooled Fund Project 20-64 Final Report and project briefing can be used as a TPF-5 [111]); and the Department of Justice/Department resource for this. of Homeland Security National Information Exchange 4. Agree on and implement an action plan for continuity Model effort. Other important stakeholder groups within and continued progress during the transition period. This each business area were listed in Section 5 of this report. agenda should consider the following elements: TransXML Website Hosting--Identify an agency or 5. Pursue discussions with units within U.S. DOT that could potentially take on stewardship responsibility (primary or organization willing to take on temporary hosting of the TransXML project website. This will ideally be either shared) for TransXML: the office of the CIO, the ITS Joint AASHTO or a member of the TransXML Transition task Program Office, the Volpe Transportation Center, and the force. Website hosting is not likely to require much effort; FHWA Office of Asset Management. Use the materials the goal would be to maintain the project's presence on provided below (under Ongoing Operation) to structure the web, including access to the UML models and schema these discussions and provide a starting point for identifi- developed as part of the project. The TransXML domain cation of resource requirements. names should be transferred from the NCHRP Project 20-64 contractor to the new host. The new host will be Ongoing Operation able to obtain all of the website files from the CD- ROM provided to NCHRP at the close of NCHRP Given the proposed mission statement (see Section 6.4) Project 20-64. and functions (see Section 6.5) for the TransXML steward- Conferences--Ensure that the work conducted as part ship organization, the following staff roles and activities are of TransXML is promoted at key conferences, including recommended for consideration. They provide the basis for international HEEP, the Traffic Records Forum, the establishing a rough estimate of resource requirements for annual TRB conference, and the annual AASHTO Infor- the effort. It should be kept in mind, however, that there are mation Systems conference. The sample applications many possible variations on how this effort can be accom- developed as part of NCHRP Project 20-64 can be used plished. Other XML efforts have been able to successfully to communicate what can be done with the new XML leverage external resources (most notably voluntary labor). schema. Support for Early Adoption Projects--Early adoption Project Lead--Provides overall project direction, advo- of TransXML schemas by state DOTs is critical. State cates for continued flow of resources to support the

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53 project, manages the contractor, and provides project state DOTs, MPOs, and software vendors. Manages liaison and communication functions. stakeholder forums on the TransXML website. Develops Project Manager--Manages and coordinates all work in and delivers conference presentations on TransXML coordination with the Project Lead. With input from schema, applications, and value added. Identifies oppor- the technical architect and the evangelist (see below) tunities for collaboration with external schema devel- develops a recommended work plan on a semiannual opment efforts. Promotes and provides assistance for basis. This work plan includes an appropriate mix of TransXML implementation. Develops and disseminates promotional/educational activities, liaison activities, case studies of TransXML implementation. Identifies new schema development work (both to broaden the needs for new schema or schema extensions based on base of schemas and to extend existing schemas to better stakeholder input. serve user needs), and implementation assistance work. Administrative Assistant--Provides clerical and produc- Technical Architect--Provides a technical focal point for tion support to the project. schema development and liaison with other XML and standards efforts. Works to ensure reuse of existing Table 4 presents a rough estimate for the minimum level of TransXML components. Continues to extend the base funding necessary to support the above positions. This esti- of shared components that span all TransXML schemas. mate does not include the Project Manager position, and it Works with external standards efforts to minimize assumes that all of the other positions are full-time and pro- duplication of effort and to foster consistency in defini- vided by a contractor. An additional $150,000 is added to tion of data concepts. Identifies externally developed fund a grant program that could be administered by the Proj- schema for incorporation into the TransXML umbrella. ect Manager in coordination with the Contractor. The idea Manages modifications to existing schema with consid- behind this grant program would be to provide seed funds for eration of backward compatibility issues. Coordinates projects to develop additional sample applications, and import/ with the Open Geospatial Consortium on GML issues export routines for existing systems in order to help imple- and evolution. Provides technical assistance to Trans- ment existing TransXML schema. XML schema developers to ensure consistency and While it is certainly possible to define a "minimalist" compatibility across new schema efforts. Maintains a approach for TransXML that would cost less, it is the research consolidated set of UML models for TransXML schema. team's view that to credibly address the mission statement Programmer/Analyst--Supports the technical architect in that has been defined above, there needs to be a critical mass maintenance and development of the TransXML code of visibility and effort and the resources to support that. base, consisting of UML models, schema (.XSD), sample A scaled-down version of a continued TransXML project instance files (.XML), and sample applications. Develops would need to operate under a more modest mission state- utilities as needed for XML validation and sample appli- ment that emphasized either maintenance and support for cations. Maintains the TransXML website. the existing schemas or a single coordinator/architect posi- Evangelist--Serves as primary liaison with various stake- tion combined with matching or grant funds to continue holder communities, including AASHTO committees, schema development in specific areas. Table 4. TransXML contract budget estimate. Budget Item Cost Estimate (Annual) TransXML Project Manager $200,000 TransXML Architect $200,000 Evangelist $120,000 Programmer/Analyst $100,000 Administrative Assistant $50,000 Direct Costs (including travel for 5-10 conferences per year) $50,000 Demonstration Project Funding $150,000 Total $870,000