Note: All photos courtesy of the USDA Forest Service, unless otherwise noted. Moving Toward Enterprise GIS in the Forest Service Susan DeLost, Washington Office Engineering Staff The USDA Forest Service is continuing to improve the way it uses geospatial technologies throughout the agency in order to perform its mission of “Caring for the Land and Serving People.” The Geospatial Executive Board is sponsoring the development of a FS Geospatial Strategy that will be aligned with the FS Strategic Plan and coordinated among all staff areas. As a land management agency, the FS is committed to using GIS and geospatial data and information to make sound, land management decisions. Standard geospatial data and applications are vital to becoming more efficient and will increase our ability to work with a growing number of partners – federal, state, Tribal and local.
The Forest Service is is the largest forestry research organization in the world and is responsible for the management of more than 191 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands. We also provide support to State and Private landowners and to International Forestry organizations. – The Forest Service was established in 1905 by Congress who saw the need for forest conservation/management -- Initially 60 forest reserves covering 56 million acres -- Now 191+ million acres, with 155 National Forests, 20 Grasslands, Other Congressionally-Designated areas -- More than 30,000 employees, with a mix of occupations The Forest Service’s mandate and main concern is reflected in our motto, “Caring for the Land and Serving People”. Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the USDA Forest Service, established our responsibility to manage the forests “for the greatest good of the greatest number of people in the long run.” Forest Service employees work toward this goal on national forests, at research stations and in cooperative forestry offices.
30,000 employees across the nation
In the 1970’s, the Forest Service had a national database system called INFORMS. The agency saw the need to incorporate geospatially-referenced data in future database management systems. In the 1980’s, GIS was approved on a project-by-project basis, using various GIS software and several computing platforms. Several studies and reports were undertaken, including: Executive Briefing (1984) GIS ID Team Final Report and Recommendations Tomlinson Study (1985) National GIS Plan (1989) - mentions a “corporate structure” for GIS In the 1990’s, the Forest Service initiated Project 615 – the beginning of National Implementation of a corporate GIS. In February 1999, a joint Geometronics/GIS workshop was held in Baltimore, MD. Results of the February 1999 Baltimore Meeting included:, The Geospatial Executive Board (GEB) and Geospatial Advisory Committee (GAC) Charters were developed and were sponsored by the Ecosystem Sustainability Corporate Team (ESCT) The Geospatial Roles and Responsibilities Team was formed First Executive Board Meeting – November 1999 First Geospatial Advisory Committee (GAC) Meeting – February 2000 Today, I will talk about the progress that the agency has made toward Enterprise GIS, focusing on the work initiated by the Geospatial Advisory Committee and the Geospatial Executive Board.
As a result of the February 1999 Baltimore Meeting, the GEB and the GAC were chartered.
The purpose of the Executive Board is to provide the oversight and coordination for the agency’s Enterprise GIS The Executive Board is responsible for articulating a corporate vision for an enterprise-wide Forest Service geospatial environment, using an advisory committee (the GAC), representing a broad spectrum of FS units The Geospatial Advisory Committee provides technical advice and recommendations to the Executive Board. Membership of the GEB includes: National Office Staff Directors – 8 currently (Engineering/Ecosystem Management Coordination/Information Resources Management/State & Private Forestry/Forest & Rangeland Management/Lands/2 Research) An Executive Assistant to Board, who is the Chair of the Geospatial Advisory Committee
The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to identify, monitor, and address issues regarding the state of FS geospatial programs and activities The Charter of Geospatial Advisory Committee includes the following items: Communicate observations, findings, and recommendations Recommends working groups and meetings Invite representatives of other federal agencies, other governments, and non-governmental organizations to attend meetings and to participate in work groups when appropriate Maintain knowledge of, and contacts with, the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and other federal geospatial information entities Support the Geospatial Executive Board Charter and represent their functional areas (peers and colleagues), and their organizational units and staffs Propose teams to address specific geospatial issues and develop recommendations Define desired outcomes, timeframes and required resources Coordinate working group activity through Committee members Communicate observations, findings, and recommendations Projects identified by the GAC and approved by the GEB are submitted to the agency’s Information Resource Board for funding approval.
Information about the Advisory Committee will be provided covering the following areas: Membership, Roles and Responsibilities, Business Operations, Communications, Working Groups There are several types of membership on the Advisory Committee: Rotating Membership, 3-year term, with representation from: The field: 11 representatives from regions, stations, area reflecting a mix of technical, managerial, and line WO: 5 staff representatives Standing membership 10 representative from the following areas: Forest Service National Applications; Forest Inventory and Analysis; the managers of the Geospatial Service and Technology Center (GSTC) and the Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) – both located in Salt Lake City; the Washington (National) Office , Engineering Staff - Geospatial Services Group Leader; the WO, Information Resource Management (IRM) Staff GIS Program Manager; the National FIRE GIS coordinator; and the Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET)
Currently, there are 7 focus areas that the GAC is actively working on as shown on the slide. I will discuss each focus area in more detail, starting with the Geospatial Vision and Strategy. Each focus area has a team leader. Each FAT is comprised of GAC and other FS employees who are interested and knowledgeable about the particular subject area. Each Focus Area is led (usually) by an Advisory Committee member. The Focus Area Team Leader solicits participation on the Team and its working groups from the Advisory Committee and from the FS Geospatial Community (in addition to our “formal” organizational channels for solicitation of interest, the Forest Service has an e-mail “geospatial interest” list of over 1,200 employees that can be used). Each Focus Area operates as a self-directed team, reporting back to the whole Advisory Committee during monthly conference calls and twice yearly meetings .
The Technology Architecture Coordination Focus Area is working in the following areas, as seen on the slide. An e-GIS meeting is scheduled for the 1 st week of February in Denver, similar to BLM’s efforts last year. The purpose of the meeting is to determine how GIS/geospatial fits into the overall Forest Service Enterprise Architecture. The Forest Service Enterprise Architecture, tiers from the overall USDA EA, which in turn, tiers off of the overall Federal EA as outlined in the Presidential Management Agenda and the (24) e-Gov Initiatives.
The Training and Awareness Focus Area has on-going work in the following areas, shown on the slide. The Advisory Committee has the responsibility for planning a bi-annual Geospatial Workshop. There was a Geospatial Workshop in April of 2001 and April of 2003. The next Geospatial Workshop, to be held in April of 2005, is being planned jointly with the Bureau of Land Management. We expect to have 600-800 participants in that workshop. The Agency has a centralized approach to geospatial training. The Geospatial Service and Technology Center (GSTC) and the Remote Sensing Application Center (RSAC), co-located in Salt Lake City, Utah have the responsibility for geospatial training in the agency. The Training Focus area team members included GSTC and RSAC employees as well as other employees from across the agency who are interested in helping with this focus area. Training: Includes on-line ESRI courses as well as instructor-led ESRI courses. Training is available for all Forest Service employees --- when there are openings in a course, attendance from our federal and state partners are solicited.
The Standardized Geospatial Data Focus Area has been working on several areas as shown on this slide and the next 4 or 5 slides. The Forest Service National Resource Applications (or FSNRA for short) play an active role in helping to develop and maintain standards in the FS GIS Data Dictionary (also known as the Geospatial Standards). The Data Dictionary has been in existence since 1998 or 1999 and is updated on a yearly basis through a formalized change management process. Deputy Area GIS Data Administrators (DAGDA) are a key element in the success of getting the Data Dictionary updated on a timely basis. For the past year and a half, we have only had one full-time DAGDA. Efforts have been made to get more DAGDAs --- Bill Wettengel, who is our next presenter, is currently on a detail as a DAGDA --- we expect a lot of good things to come, with Bill’s help! In 2001-2002 timeframe, we pilot-tested our GIS Data Dictionary standards. We initially called the GIS Data Dictionary the GIS Core Data Dictionary, but dropped that term on the recommendation of the Pilot Projects (there were 9 pilot projects, one in each Forest Service Region). The FS GIS Data Dictionary now includes additional data themes than the original “Core” Data Dictionary. Another project that this focus area has initiated is the development of the Resource Mapping Evaluation Toolset, or RMET. The RMET tools can be downloaded by individuals forests and districts (a sub-unit within a National Forest) and run against their GIS datasets. RMET does an audit of the GIS datasets to check for compliance to the FS Geospatial Standards and for completion. It will measure number of features, etc. Data from RMET is used to help the agency determine where there are data gaps and/or maintenance needs.
The Forest Service uses several tracking and planning tools to help formulate budget needs. RMET, which was developed as a result of this working team, is now part of that tracking and planning process. As mentioned earlier, RMET does an audit of GIS data layers at each district and forest. The Tool looks at compliance to FS GIS Data Standards and completion (audits number of features, etc.). Summary results are viewable by Forest and Region through the FS web. The results of RMET are used in the IMPP and BFES to help us in determining budget needs, which are then reported to the Department and to OMB.
Another Advisory Committee Focus Area Team was formed to address coordination and sharing of our geospatial data holdings, both internally and externally. The ready availability of standardized data is critical to this effort.
The Forest Service participates in the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and its sub-committees. This helps to keep us up-to-date on various federal initiatives (NSDI, Presidential Management Agenda E-gov GOS), directives (OMB Circular A-16, EO 12906) and guidelines related to the collection, maintenance and dissemination of geospatial data. The FS has the lead on the FGDC vegetation standard The FS has an internal FS-FGDC committee – Betsy Kanalley is responsible for getting this committee established. She also serves on the FGDC Coordination Committee. The FS recognizes the need to create and maintain FGDC-compliant metadata for all geospatial datasets. To this end, we have created an on-line metadata user’s guide and are working on the issue of feature-level metadata This Focus Area working group has been working with FS FOIA staff to help us clarify the policy on eFOIA as it relates to the release of geospatial data and products.
This Advisory Committee working group has compiled a document, “Serving Geospatial Data Over the Internet”, for use by all FS employees as a guide to help improve access to the agency’s geospatial data holdings. The guide includes topics related to: What geospatial data not to post and recommendation for serving other select data sets (e.g. Homeland Security considerations) Metadata requirements Data quality (Related to GAO’s Information Quality Guidelines) Data standards (Related to FGDC, National Data Standards, and Local Stds.) Responsibilities and Process (process for posting) An Internet Access Point was established in SLC by way of USDA NRCS webfarm in Ft. Collins in January, 2003 This will help the agency satisfy its obligation to make data available, as directed in OMB Circular A-16, E.O. 12906, etc. The agency is working to become certified as an NSDI node serving FGDC-compliant metadata For now, GSTC/RSAC data holdings are available, in the future the clearinghouse will be able to host other datasets An example screen from the FS Geodata Clearinghouse is shown on the slide along with the internet URL.
The Forest Service is participating in the development and testing of the USGS-led e-gov initiative, “The National Map”. Work is underway in 2 Forest Service regions (2 and 3 – the Intermountain and Southwest Regions, respectively) and work will begin soon in Region 6 (the Pacific Northwest Region). Currently completed: Cibola National Forest (NF), Carson NF, Kiowa National Grasslands (NG), Rita Blanca NG, Black Kettle NG, Lake Mc Clellan NG, Bankhead NF (all in Region 3) Future work: Finish: Pike-San Isabel NF test site (R2), FS holdings in New Mexico and Arizona (R3), and Delta NF Begin: Region 6 and the Wenatchee NF In the example of TNM shown on the slide, the Zoom to Partner option was selected. In this example, New Mexico and the Cibola National Forest, Sandia Ranger District were selected; then the Zoom option was selected to show the town of Tijeras (‘T’-Heras). Structures from the Forest Service’s Cartographic Feature Files (CFFs) are shown --- can see a trailhead and some buildings The FS is also a participant in the Recreation.gov initiative. See the website….
The GAC helped to establish an MOU between the Forest Service Natural Resource Applications (FSNRA) and the Geospatial Executive Board/Advisory Committee. Each FSNRA is national in scope. The FSNRA include the following, some of which are interagency efforts: Automated Lands Project (ALP) ties into the National Integrated Land System (NILS) – FS/BLM Infrastructure (Infra) and Timber Information Manager (TIM) Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) – in the example of NRIS, the agency was able to consolidate several hundred individual databases into the NRIS. Fire Applications – various intra- and interagency applications related to wildland firefighting Forest Service Activity Tracking System (FACTS) - supports timber sales in conjunction with TIM contracts and permits modules; tracks and monitors NEPA decisions; tracks KV and other trust fund plans at the timber sale level reporting at the National level; and, it generates National, Regional, Forest and/or District Reports. Bill Wettengel, our next presenter, will give you more information on the work being done to coordinate the FSNRA.
FSNRA = Forest Service Natural Resource Applications This Advisory Committee Focus Area is working on the following items as listed on the slide. The FSNRA Geospatial Strategy and Tactical Plan is being developed with input from the participating FSNRA. The ArcGIS Implementation Plan is being developed in conjunction with the Technology Architecture Coordination Focus Area. The Geospatial Interface or GI, provides a common look and feel no matter what FSNRA you access. It also provides several levels of access depending on the user’s GIS skills. Standard map templates will be developed --- this work is being done in cooperation with another Advisory Committee Focus Area. You will hear more about the Geospatial Interface in Bill’s presentation.
This Advisory Committee Focus Area is working on bridging the gap between our traditional methods of producing maps and other hardcopy geospatial products and using the newer methods that ESRI products support. One of the areas that this Focus Area team is working on is “Carto Tools”. As mentioned earlier, additional work is being done on integrating the functionality of the Carto Tools and the Geospatial Interface. Carto Tools development: FY02/03 – contract with ESRI ArcGIS 8.3 platform used Map templates produced – map symbology Pilot sites – GSTC and 4 National Forests Use of standard GIS datasets Beta testing completed June 2003 FY04 – develop field usable set of map templates COM Wizards and CORE ArcGIS PLTS (Production Line Tool Set) functionality PLTS will become an extension of ArcGIS 9.X
There are many pieces to the Geospatial puzzle that the GEB and GAC, and the overall Geospatial community are involved in. All of these pieces fit into the the Vision and Strategy and further our progress on the journey to a Forest Service Enterprise GIS. They also fit into the larger picture of supporting the business needs of the Forest Service in many areas.
The various geospatial activities combine to meet FS business needs and is helping to complete our move toward Enterprise GIS.
Any questions? Thank you for your attention.
The Journey to Enterprise GIS in the USDA Forest Service
Moving Toward Enterprise GIS in the USDA Forest Service Susan J. DeLost USDA Forest Service Washington, D.C. Image Courtesy of NGA
USDA Forest Service History <ul><li>Established by Congress in 1905 as an agency in the Department of Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>60 Forest Reserves covering 56 million acres </li></ul>“ Caring for the Land and Serving People” “ To provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.” http://www.fs.fed.us
Forest Service Organization <ul><li>National Headquarters in Washington, DC </li></ul><ul><li>National Forest System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9 Regional Offices, 155 National Forests (600 Ranger Districts) and 20 Grasslands in 41 states and Puerto Rico </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manages 191 million acres of public land </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7 stations, 50 field offices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>State and Private Forestry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire & Aviation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forest Health Protection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>International Programs </li></ul>30,000 employees nationwide No NF lands in MA, CT, RI, NJ, DE, MD, IA, HI or DC
Geospatial information is used every day across the Forest Service… <ul><li>Forest planning </li></ul><ul><li>Forest heath protection </li></ul><ul><li>Watershed restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Fire </li></ul><ul><li>Disturbance processes </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Recreation </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul>
History of Enterprise GIS in the Forest Service <ul><li>1980’s, Pre-eGIS era: GIS on a project-by-project basis, studies and reports (e.g. National GIS Plan) </li></ul><ul><li>1990’s, eGIS First Steps: Project 615, 1999 Baltimore workshop </li></ul><ul><li>2000’s, eGIS Progress: Vision and Strategy, Implementation, Focus Areas </li></ul>
Geospatial Executive Board Established in 1999 Charter “ Ensure that Forest Service geospatial policies, programs, and related activities are coordinated, compatible, integrated, and responsive to FS business needs”
<ul><li>HQ Staff Directors </li></ul><ul><li>Oversight and Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate vision for an enterprise-wide FS geospatial environment </li></ul><ul><li>Geospatial Advisory Committee </li></ul>Geospatial Executive Board
Charter “ Identify, monitor, and address issues regarding the state of FS geospatial programs and activities” Geospatial Advisory Committee
<ul><li>28 Members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chairperson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotating Members, 3-year term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standing Members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secretary (non-voting member) </li></ul></ul>Geospatial Advisory Committee
Geospatial Advisory Committee Focus Areas <ul><li>Vision and Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Technology A rchitecture Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Training and Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized Geospatial Data </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate and Share Standardized Data </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination of National Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping Requirements, Generation and Delivery </li></ul>http://www.fs.fed.us/gac
Goals/Accomplishments Vision and Strategy <ul><li>Updating the Vision and Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Goals through 2008 </li></ul>“ Quality Forest Service geospatial information is routinely available to internal and external customers for efficient use”
Goals/Accomplishments Technology A rchitecture Coordination <ul><li>FS Enterprise Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Image Compression </li></ul><ul><li>ArcSDE implementation plan </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic ArcGIS Implementation Plan </li></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Training and Awareness <ul><li>Bi-annual Geospatial Workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FS/BLM, Phoenix, April 18-22, 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Centralized approach to Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New course development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-line course catalogue and registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>~1300 FS employees participate yearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized geospatial training website: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://fsweb.geotraining.fs.fed.us </li></ul></ul></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Standardized Geospatial Data <ul><li>FS GIS Data Dictionary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change management process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deputy Area GIS Data Administrators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilot-test GIS Data Standards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resource Mapping Evaluation Toolset (RMET) </li></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Standardized Geospatial Data Resource Mapping Evaluation Toolset (RMET) Inventory and Monitoring Program Plans (IMPP) Budget Formulation and Execution System (BFES) Performance Accountability System (PAS) Department OMB Budget Language Standards & Guidelines
Goals/Accomplishments Coordinate and Share Standardized Data There is a need to coordinate and share standardized data internally and externally with our partners
Goals/Accomplishments Coordinate and Share Standardized Data <ul><li>Interagency Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>FGDC-compliant Metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On-line Users Guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature-level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>eFOIA Clarification </li></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Coordinate and Share Standardized Data <ul><li>“ Serving Geospatial Data Over the Internet” (Draft Guidelines) </li></ul><ul><li>FS Geodata Clearinghouse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://fsgeodata.fs.fed.us </li></ul></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Coordinate and Share Standardized Data <ul><li>The National Map </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://nationalmap.usgs.gov/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recreation.gov </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://recreation.gov </li></ul></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Coordination of Natural Resource Applications
Goals/Accomplishments Coordination of Natural Resource Applications <ul><li>FSNRA* Geospatial Strategy and Tactical Plan </li></ul><ul><li>ArcGIS Implementation Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Geospatial Interface – “getting data out” </li></ul><ul><li>FSNRA Geodatabase Tactical Plan (draft) </li></ul><ul><li>* FSNRA = Forest Service Natural Resource Applications </li></ul>
Goals/Accomplishments Mapping requirements, generation and delivery <ul><li>Develop cartographic tools to produce standard maps from geographic datasets </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure GIS data and metadata will support cartographic requirements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard Symbology Team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mapping Migration Team </li></ul></ul>
Fitting all of the pieces together As we move toward Enterprise GIS Tied to Ground Geospatial Interface Geospatial ‘ 05 ArcGIS Awareness & Training Map Products Metadata Geospatial One-Stop Data Acquisition Standardized Data Geospatial Strategy Geospatial Vision National Applications Data Access Serving Data Remote Sensing ‘ 04 Geospatial ‘ 03 eGIS Location Location Location Remote Sensing ‘ 06 RMET
Standard Map Products Data Stewardship Fire, Mortality, Insect/Disease Invasive Species Forest Planning Geospatial Vision & Strategy Business Requirements FS Business Habitat Fragmentation Data Access Geospatial Activities Enterprise GIS To Meet FS Business Needs Unmanaged Recreation Urban Interface Tied to Ground eGIS Healthy Forests Homeland Security -Serving Data -Metadata -Training & Awareness -GI Getting Our Job Done -ArcGIS -FGDC Seamless National Applications -Carto Tools -Data Dictionary