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NYS ITS GIS Program Office

Geographic Information Systems Clearinghouse

Standards and Data Coordination Work Group
Meeting Notes
August 28, 2008

Albany, NY: Cheryl Benjamin (NYS CSCIC), Ed Freeborn (NLECTC-NE), Tom Henderson (NYS CSCIC), Mark Giddings (NYS DOH), Frank Kenney (USGS), Gwen LaSelva (NYS DOH), Michael Martel (NYS DA&M)
By Teleconference: Dan O’Brien (NYS SEMO), David Stolarz (Nassau County)

Upcoming Meetings - October 28 & January 6

News Items
May GIS Coordinating Body Meeting - Cheryl Benjamin highlighted the following items:

Outreach Activities – Cheryl Benjamin, on behalf of John Borst, noted that due to the State budget situation there will be no GIS workshop offered this year and CSCIC will scale back on their conference presence.

NYSDOP Update - Cheryl Benjamin, on behalf of Ray Faught (, provided the following update:

NYS Streets & Address Data Update – Cheryl Benjamin announced that a contractor had been selected but has not yet been notified due to pending approval of the budget (expected within the next week).

USGS-Federal Data/Coordination Activities – Frank Kenney distributed a report highlighting the numerous projects he has been coordinating:

Special Discussion – Sharing of GIS Data for Activities Related to Homeland Security, Emergency Response, Disaster Preparedness
This discussion provided a high-level overview of the paths chosen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the NYS NYS Office of Cyber Security & Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC) for sharing of geospatial data and the data models each utilizes.

Ed Freeborn discussed the federal model for data sharing.  The federal group promoting data coordination is the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Database (HIFLD) Working Group whose goal is to "promote domestic infrastructure geospatial information gathering, sharing and protection, visualization, and spatial knowledge management." The DHS Geospatial Data Model [GDM] is the federal data sharing model - HUGE - that requires users to walk their data into the GDM.  The federal Homeland Security Infrastructure Protection [HSIP] Gold Dataset is a collection of the best available Federal government and commercial proprietary data sets.  Originally intended for federal use, it has since been extended to States and local governments, but only during emergency events.

Tom Henderson discussed New York State's model for data sharing - Critical Infrastructure Response Information System (CIRIS). Unlike the federal model, CIRIS does not require data to be normalized but instead uses a generic structure (logical data model).  Data is incorporated as is and searched using a text-based search engine with a thesaurus that acts as a language filter. CIRIS has several layers of security where access is set to individual data layers is based on a users identified security level. Currently NYS agencies have access to CIRIS.  Rollout to County and local governments is being piloted with the emergency management centers and the law enforcement community. The process for federal agency access has not yet been established but plans are underway.

Given unanswered policy questions on how and if the Work Group should participate in future discussions between the federal government and New York State on geospatial data sharing, it was decided to invite Bill Johnson, chair of the NYS GIS Coordinating Body, and Alan Leidner, who has been involved in HIFLD, to the next Work Group meeting for a more in-depth discussion.

On-Going Work Group Activities
Spatial Data Reference Codes – The Work Group began reviewing the Spatial Data Reference Codes page (  The group decided that the order and grouping of the codes should be changed to match the GIS Clearinghouse's GIS DATA search categories. The group also discussed the relevancy of existing codes, assigned people to provide updates for broken links, and identified additional spatial reference codes to add to the list.

Next Meeting:  October 28, 2008
Location:  CSCIC, 30 South Pearl Street, 11th Floor, Albany, NY