National Park Service § Bureau of Land Management § US Fish & Wildlife Service § USDA Forest Service

 

Interagency Trail Data Standards (ITDS)

Chronology of the Project

 

Washington, DC §  October 15, 2004

 

 

Key Steps in the Development of the Interagency Trail Data Standards

A chronological listing of the primary steps taken, since July 2001, in the development of the Interagency Trail Data Standards, Version 1 (ITDS v1)

 

 

1.      The Genesis of the Interagency Trail Data Standards:  May 2001

At a meeting of federal National Trails System administrators in Denver, Colorado, participants affirm a collective need to inventory, assess and map trail locations and trail resources across multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States was affirmed.  They also recognize that consistent standards would facilitate the exchange of trail data.  The administrators launch an interagency team to address the identified needs.

2.      GPS Data Dictionary Team:  May 2001 to December 2001

A team of agency representatives discuss the challenge and decide to pursue the production of two GPS (Global Positioning System) data dictionaries.  One would be for National Scenic Trails and the other for National Historic Trails.  Drafts of both data dictionaries are created.

3.      Evolution of the GPS Data Dictionary Team into the Interagency Trail Data Standards Team:  December 2001

The GPS Data Dictionary Team realizes that the scope of the work needs to expand in order to fully address the needs first identified by the federal National Trails System administrators.  The Federal Interagency Council on Trails concurs and calls for the formation of an interagency team of trail, data, and subject-matter specialists who would develop national-level interagency trail data standards.  The authority to form the team is based on a provision in the January, 2001, Memorandum of Understanding for the Administration and Management of National Historic and National Scenic Trails.

4.      Interagency Core Trail Data Standards Charter and Action Plan:  February 2002

Agency representatives meet in Phoenix, Arizona to draft a charter for the Interagency Trail Data Standards Team.  The charter calls for the establishment of a Core Trail Data Set to be used by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and US Forest Service in the collection, recording and retrieval of trails data for National Scenic Trails, National Historic Trails and other agency trails.  Two potential action plans are outlined.

5.      Interagency Core Trail Data Identification Meeting:  July 2002

At a meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, Interagency Core Trail Data needs are identified, the objectives and expectations of the Interagency Draft Charter and Action Plan are reviewed, Core Data Review Criteria are established, the Interagency Definition of a “Trail” is crafted, and Interagency Core Trail Questions (Desired Data Outputs) are identified.

The Interagency Trail Data Standards Team begins the identification of data attributes, definitions and lists of values. Two interagency work groups are created to follow-up on identifying and defining the remaining attributes. 

6.      Completion of Draft Interagency Trail Data Standards:  August 2002 to April 2003

The two work groups meet several times via conference calls and/or meetings to complete discussion, review and development of the Draft Interagency Trail Data Standards.  The Interagency Trail Data Work Group focuses on the draft standards applicable to all system trails, while the Interagency National Historic Trails (NHT) Data Work Group focuses on an additional subset of unique draft standards applicable only to National Historic Trails. 

7.      Internal Agency Review of Draft Interagency Trail Data Standard:  May 1 to May 30, 2003

The draft standards are circulated within the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the US Forest Service for review and comment.

8.      Refinement of Draft ITDS Based on Comments Received from the Internal Agency Review:   June 2003 to April 2004

The Interagency Trail Data Standards Team meets in Phoenix, Arizona in July 2003 to review the comments received from the internal agency review.  Over the next several months, the team meets via conference calls to complete the crafting of a disposition document and the editing of the data standards files.

9.      External Review of Draft Interagency Trail Data Standards:  May 1 to June 30, 2004

The Draft Interagency Trail Data Standards are posted on a web site (http://www.nps.gov/gis/trails/ ) for review by agency partners, state trail coordinators, and other interested trail groups and individuals. 

10.  Refinement of Draft ITDS Based on Comments Received from the External Review:   July, 2004 to present

The Interagency Trail Data Standards Team meets in Denver, Colorado in July 2004 to review the comments received from the external review.  The team is currently crafting a disposition document and editing the data standards files.

11.  US Fish and Wildlife Service Joins the Team:  October, 2004

12.  Interagency Trail Data Standards Team Work Plan for FY 2005

The Interagency Trail Data Standards, Version 1, will be posted to the web site upon completion of edits to the draft standards files.  Members of the team will continue to advance the incorporation and implementation of the Interagency Trail Data Standards within the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  The standards are being implemented within the USDA Forest Service.

A task team has begun the process of refining the geospatial component of the data standards and another task team has been created to explore a potential proof of concept pilot project.