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Background Definition of a Spatial Data Transfer Standard
Purpose and Benefit Contents of the Cultural Resource Spatial Data Standards
Who the Cultural Resource Standards Apply to Getting Help
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OMB Circular A-16 (revised in 2002) defines the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) as an interagency organization promoting the coordinated development, use and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. Organized into subcommittees based on individual data themes and cross-cutting working groups, the FGDC creates the framework within which all federal agencies operate to generate and share their geospatial data.

The same OMB Circular designates the NPS as the primary agency to steward the cultural resource spatial data theme, which includes the responsibility for the establishment of data standards. Within the NPS, the Cultural Resource GIS Facility (CRGIS) has been given the lead in this effort both inside the NPS and throughout the federal community with the FGDC.

  • CRGIS has participated in multi-agency cultural resource data standard creation efforts since 1999 and created a cultural resource work group with the FGDC to facilitate such efforts
  • CRGIS initiated efforts within the NPS through a cultural resource database managers workshop in October 2003
  • CRGIS held a second NPS cultural resource database managers workshop in October 2005 to discuss new developments, trends and progress made
  • FEMA cultural resource specialists survey buildings in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans following KatrinaCRGIS developed a first draft of the standards reflecting the needs outlined by the NPS data managers in October 2005
  • CRGIS partnered with FEMA in response to hurricane Katrina, field testing the draft standards, in November 2005
  • Based on the field testing, continued to follow the established NPS GIS Council data standard creation process, developing a second draft of the standards in October 2006
  • Complying with the standard creation process, CRGIS posted the draft standards on the NPS Data Store website and notified all NPS employees in October 2006
  • Based on comments received and further refinements, CRGIS posted and announced two subsequent versions of the standards through 2008 and 2009, resulting in a final draft posted in January 2010

Throughout the entire NPS standard creation process, the Cultural Resource Subcommittee of the NPS GIS Council served as the body through which testing of the standards were coordinated and comments vetted to reach the final version

  • The Cultural Resource Subcommittee is chartered by the NPS GIS Council
  • The subcommittee is co-chaired by CRGIS and the Midwest Archaeological Center
  • The subcommittee has 16 voting members representing each NPS region, the major NPS cultural resource databases, the NPS programs and park cultural resource GIS programs
  • The subcommittee is tasked with developing cultural resource spatial data standards, developing implementation models for those standards, tools for the use of these standards and in providing guidance to the NPS cultural resource community in utilizing GIS and GPS technologies to better manage and steward our resources