Geographic profile on the way for Federal Enterprise Architecture

A GIS profile will make it easier to create and share geospatial data, the Federal Geographic Data Committee's Ivan DeLoatch says.

As the FEA matures, agencies work on fleshing it out and adding more tools

Ivan DeLoatch believes every piece of information has a geographic component. Whether it's data about military troops or financial audits or food processing, the staff director for the Federal Geographic Data Committee says geographic information cuts across every agency line of business.

To that end, DeLoatch is leading an effort to develop a Geographic Information Systems profile for the Federal Enterprise Architecture.

Much like the security and privacy profile, created last year by the Office of Management and Budget's FEA Program Management Office and the CIO Council, the GIS profile will illustrate where agencies are investing in geodata. That information will make it easier to create and share the data, DeLoatch said.

'You can take the geodata and overlay it on topography or hydrography or many other types of data, and it will help agencies address the challenges we have,' he said. 'The biggest benefit will be the ability to improve our knowledge of our lines of business.'

Richard Burk, OMB's chief architect, said at a recent conference on EA that he realized the benefits of standardizing geodata when he worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department. Using a GIS profile for HUD's EA, a program manager saw that putting a public housing site near a waste management site was a problem.

The Federal Geographic Data Committee is working with the CIO Council and at least five agencies'the departments of Agriculture and Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad-ministration'on the profile. State and local government groups such as the National Association of State CIOs also are taking part.

DeLoatch said the goal is to create a national GIS profile, not just a federal one.

DeLoatch and Karen Siderelis, associate director for geospatial information at the Geological Survey, presented their ideas to the CIO Council late last year and are now partnering with the council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee.

'GIS is a common thread through everything we are doing, much like security and privacy,' said Kim Nelson, chairwoman of the council committee and the EPA's CIO. 'We will use the Geospatial One-Stop architecture, which is a service-oriented architecture.'

DeLoatch said the GIS profile has a running start thanks to the work of the Geospatial One-Stop team. It has already done work on a search-and-discover component for finding geodata as well as drafted some basic profile philosophies.

'The principles are grounded in geospatial interoperability,' he said. 'The principles will get everyone to adhere to standard syntaxes, semantics, information discovery, information exchange interfaces and standard interfaces.'

DeLoatch said the GIS profile committee, which met last week for the first time, will create a profile that adheres to the set of principles and diagram an architecture that runs from collecting data to processing and disseminating it.

DeLoatch said he hopes the committee can complete this high-level profile within 12 months with help from contractors already working on such efforts in agencies.

'We will figure out which agencies will manage which parts of the profile,' he said.

OMB's Burk said this will be a busy year for the Federal Enterprise Architecture.

In addition to the work on the GIS profile, the CIO Council will release Version 2 of the Security and Privacy profile and test it within a line of business across government or within an agency this year. The council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee also will define processes to revise all five FEA reference models and the governance process, Nelson said.

Records now

The National Archives and Rec- ords Administration and the committee also will finish and launch a records management profile for the federal architecture, Burk said.

A team of more than 60 agencies is revising the Data Reference Model to make it more usable and understandable.

The goal of the DRM rewrite is to define the data and who has access to it.

Burk also said his office is improving Version 2 of the agency EA Assessment OMB released last year. The updated tool will assist agencies in showing how their modernization blueprints can improve mission performance, he said.

'We do not plan to move the goal posts for EA assessments,' Burk said. 'We will revise some categories and increase the focus of EA benefits.'

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