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Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia


FGDC endorses Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes Standard

July 11, 2013

The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Steering Committee has endorsed the Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes (GENC) Standard Edition 1. The GENC Standard specifies a profile of ISO 3166, Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions; this profile addresses unique U.S. Government requirements for: restrictions in recognition of the national sovereignty of a country; identification and recognition of geopolitical entities not included in ISO 3166; and the use of names of countries and country subdivisions that have been approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. For more information visit GENC Standard Edition 1 to download the Standard.

FGDC endorses the OGC® WaterML 2.0 Part 1

June 20, 2013

The FGDC Steering Committee has endorsed the OGC® WaterML 2.0: Part 1- Timeseries Encoding Standard OGC® WaterML 2.0: Part 1- Time series is an OGC® Encoding Standard for the representation of hydrological observations data with a specific focus on time series structures. WaterML2.0 is implemented as an application schema of the Geography Markup Language version 3.2.1, making use of the OGC® Observations & Measurements standards.

WaterML2.0 is designed as an extensible schema to allow encoding of data to be used in a variety of exchange scenarios. Example areas of usage are:

  • Exchange of data for operational hydrological monitoring programs;
  • Supporting operation of infrastructure (e.g. dams, supply systems);
  • Cross-border exchange of observational data;
  • Release of data for public dissemination;
  • Enhancing disaster management through data exchange;
  • Exchange in support of national reporting.

This standard provides the framework under which time series can be exchanged with appropriate metadata to allow correct machine interpretation and thus correct use for further analysis. Existing systems should be able to use this model as a conceptual ‘bridge’ between existing schema or systems, allowing consistency of the data to be maintained.

FGDC member agencies NOAA and the USGS were among the organizations that submitted WaterML 2.0 to the Open Geospatial Consortium Inc.   WaterML 2.0 was developed and approved through OGC®’s rigorous voluntary consensus standard development and review process.  The FGDC Standards Working Group recommended OGC® WaterML 2.0: Part 1- Time series for FGDC endorsement.  The FGDC Coordination Group subsequently approve the standard for FGDC endorsement, and the FGDC Steering Committee took the final action of endorsing OGC® WaterML 2.0: Part 1- Time series.

For more information go to opengeospatial.org/standards/waterml, which provides links for accessing the standard and official schemas.

FGDC endorses ISO 19156-2011, Geographic information Observations and Measurements

June 20, 2013

ISO 19156:2011 defines a conceptual schema for observations and for features involved in sampling when making observations. It provides models for the exchange of information describing observation acts and their results, both within and between different scientific and technical communities.

Observations commonly involve sampling of an ultimate feature-of-interest. ISO 19156:2011 defines a common set of sampling feature types classified primarily by topological dimension, as well as samples for ex-situ observations.

The schema includes relationships between sampling features (sub-sampling, derived samples).

ISO 19156:2011 concerns only externally visible interfaces and places no restriction on the underlying implementations other than what is needed to satisfy the interface specifications in the actual situation. It is equivalent to the OGC® Topic 20: Observations and Measurements abstract specification.

The FGDC Standards Working Group recommended ISO 19156:2011 for FGDC endorsement. The FGDC Coordination Group subsequently approved ISO 19156:2011 for FGDC endorsement, and the FGDC Steering Committee took the final action of endorsing ISO 19156:2011, Geographic information - Observations and Measurements.

For more information:

  • The OGC® Topic 20: Observations and Measurements abstract specification may be downloaded from opengeospatial.org/standards/as.
  • OGC® has also published an Observations and Measurements - XML Implementation standard: links for downloading the standard and accessing schemata may be found at opengeospatial.org/standards/om.
  • ISO 19156:2011 may be purchased from the eStandards Store.

FGDC Seeks Nominations for National Geospatial Advisory Committee

July 8, 2013

The Department of Interior and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) announced on July 8 that they are seeking nominations for appointment to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC).  

Nominations for appointment to the NGAC should be submitted electronically to ngacnominations@fgdc.gov  by August 12, 2013.  Nominations may come from employers, associations, professional organizations, or other geospatial organizations. Nominations should include a resume providing an adequate description of the nominee’s qualifications, including information that would enable the Department of the Interior to make an informed decision regarding meeting the membership requirements of the Committee and permit the Department of the Interior to contact a potential member.  Nominees are strongly encouraged to include supporting letters from constituents, trade associations, alliances, and/or other organizations that indicate the support by a meaningful constituency for the nominee. 

The NGAC provides advice and recommendations on Federal geospatial policy and management issues and provides a forum to convey views representative of partners in the geospatial community.  The NGAC was established by the Department of the Interior on behalf of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).  

The NGAC includes up to 30 members, selected to generally achieve a balanced representation of the viewpoints of the various types of entities involved in national geospatial activities, including all levels of government, nonprofits, academia and the private sector.  NGAC members are appointed for staggered terms, and approximately one-half of the positions on the committee will be appointed during this round of appointments.  Final decisions on appointments to the committee will be made by the Secretary of the Interior.  Individuals who are currently federally registered lobbyists are ineligible to serve on all FACA and non-FACA boards, committees or councils.

The NGAC Charter includes additional information about the NGAC’s roles and responsibilities.



For additional information or questions, please contact John Mahoney (jmahoney [at] usgs.gov, 206-220-2621).

2010 West Virginia GIS Conference in Huntington June 7-10,
Gov. Joe Manchin III to speak

June 4, 2010

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than 200 of West Virginia’s geospatial leaders, managers and technology leaders will meet at Marshall University in Huntington the week of June 7-10 for the next state Geographic Information System (GIS) conference. GIS technology is used in many different fields such as public health, natural resource management, economic development, homeland security, and many others.

The conference will bring together representatives from government agencies, academia, nonprofits, and businesses that have an interest in geospatial research, development application and news in West Virginia and the Appalachian region. Events will be held at the Marshall University Memorial Student Center at the corner of 5th Avenue and John Marshall Drive.

The theme for this bi-annual conference is “Partnering Together, a Strategy for GIS in the Mountain State,” which refers to the implementation of new GIS-based strategic and business plans focused on cost and data sharing partnerships. Previous conferences have been held in Charleston and Morgantown. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III is scheduled to speak to the group at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 8.

“Governor Manchin has built a reputation as a leader in the use of GIS in government operations and interaction with the public,” said State GIS Coordinator Tony Simental. “Although GIS now permeates most levels of government, the Governor has seen other possibilities for its use. For example, he was instrumental in the state’s acquisition of a statewide license of GIS software for use in West Virginia schools. He also was responsible for the revival of the West Virginia GIS Policy Council and the GIS Steering Committee that bring federal, state, and local agencies together for continued GIS development in the state and provide the right foundation for partnering.”

Simental added, “This conference brings together geospatial professionals from state, private and local entities. During this meeting, we will exchange ideas and will encourage GIS professionals to collaborate more in GIS development. We think that partnering is the best solution to GIS development in these trying times.”

The conference will be hosted by Marshall University's Geography Department, the State GIS Coordinator, and the WV Association of Geospatial Professionals. More information about the conference and GIS technology can be found online at www.wvagp.org/conference/2010/.


J. Antonio ''Tony'' Simental Selected as State GIS Coordinator

January 1, 2009

J. Antonio ''Tony'' Simental has been selected as the State GIS Coordinator. Tony previously worked for the Property Tax Division where he managed and administered the Mined Minerals GIS unit for several years. Mr. Simental is a graduate of Marshall University where he obtained an MS in Geography in 1999. He is a resident of Huntington WV and is married to Maria E. Simental and has four children.

Tony will bring to this position a combination of academic training, GIS skills, research interests, and work experience in private, governmental, and educational organizations. Previously, Tony also served as Interim Public Works Director and as engineering technician for the City of Huntington. Mr. Simental is looking forward to collaborating with both the public and private sectors in his new role as State GIS Coordinator, and applying the latest GIS technologies, ideas, and theories for the benefit of the State of West Virginia.

WV IT Council Recognizes GIS Steering Committee

August 28, 2008

The West Virginia Information Technology Council (ITC), consisting of CIO representatives from WV state departments, the Office of Technology, and the WV GIS Coordinator among others, moved on August 27, 2008 to recognize the state agency members of the State GIS Steering Committee (state agency subcommittee) as an official GIS Workgroup. The GIS Workgroup will provide a formal path for communication and collaboration between state agency GIS users, the WV Office of Technology, and other state IT entities, to ensure that the use of geospatial technology is optimized in state agencies.

State GIS Steering Committee Re-activated

August 15, 2008

The WV GIS Policy Council moved on July 28, 2008 to re-activate and formalize the State GIS Steering Committee, charged directly with the development and implementation of a new State Strategic Plan for GIS in collaboration with the WV Office of GIS Coordinator and the WV geospatial community. Committee members were formally appointed by the Policy Council to promote the enhancement of geospatial technology in government in collaboration and to the benefit of the larger GIS community. The Council further moved to formally recognize the non-profit organization West Virginia Association of Geospatial Professionals (WVAGP) as fulfilling a User Group representing the GIS professional community.

West Virginia is one of many states to undergo the process of modernizing, strengthening and enhancing the role and management of geospatial technology in serving its citizens. The first 2008 meeting of the State GIS Steering Committee is set for September 18.

WV GIS Coordinator Featured in NSGIC Newsletter

August 14, 2008

As the new State Representative for West Virginia in the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), WV's GIS Coordinator Katherine Kapo was interviewed in their national newsletter.

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