Full text: Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring (Part 1)

(FICCDC) and naming the Department of the Interior as chair, which was delegated to the 
U.S. Geological Survey. The purpose of the FICCDC is to coordinate the digital carto 
graphic activities of Federal agencies and through this process avoid duplication in the 
development of digital cartographic data bases. Another duty of the committee is to 
develop and adopt, for use by all Federal agencies, common standards of content, format, 
and accuracy for digital cartographic data to increase their interchangeability and enhance 
their potential for multipurpose uses. The standards working group of the FICCDC selec 
ted as a priority task the development of a data exchange format and published a report 
titled "Federal Geographic Exchange Format." 
In March 1987, the Geological Survey established a task force to combine the proposed 
cartographic data standard with the geographic exchange format. This combined document, 
"The Proposed Standard for Digital Cartographic Data," was published as the January 1988 
issue of The American Cartographer. 
The responsibility for finalizing the standard rests with the Geological Survey. A mainte 
nance authority within the National Mapping Division was established in 1988 to test the 
proposed standard, conduct educational workshops, disseminate information, and in general 
coordinate activities surrounding the promotion of the standard to the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) as a Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS). A 
Technical Review Board, consisting of technical experts from the Federal Government, the 
private sector, and the university community was established to oversee the content of the 
standard as it was finalized and prepared for submission to the NIST. This Board is 
composed of experts who represent a diversity of viewpoints in the collection and use of 
digital spatial data. 
As stated in the DCDS Task Force report (1988), the objectives of the standard are: 
"1. to provide a mechanism for the transfer of digital spatial information between 
noncommunicating parties using dissimilar computer systems, preserving the 
meaning of the information, and reducing to a minimum the need for informa 
tion external to this standard concerning the transfer. 
2. to provide, for the purpose of transfer, a set of clearly specified spatial objects 
and relationships that can represent real world spatial entities, and to specify the 
ancillary information that may be necessary to accomplish the transfers required 
by the cartographic community. 
3. to provide a transfer model that will facilitate the conversion of user-oriented 
objects, relationships and information into the set of objects, relationships and 
information specified by this standard for the purposes of transfer such that 
their meaning will be preserved and can be discerned by the recipient of a 
conforming transfer. 
4. to insure that any implementation of this standard can have the following 

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