Washington Cadastral Framework, Phase 2

Cooperative Agreement No. 98HQAG2162

1998-1999 Framework Demonstration Project

Final Report



May 30, 2000











































Prepared by:



Gregory S. Tudor, PLS

Project Manager

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Information Technology Division

PO BOX 47020

Olympia, WA 98504-7020



Telephone: 360-902-1542

E-mail: greg.tudor@dnr.state.wa.us

Web: http://framework.dnr.state.wa.us/cadastre/

Table of Contents



Abstract.............................................................................................................................. 5



Background....................................................................................................................... 5



Project Summary.............................................................................................................. 6



Milestone Tasks ................................................................................................................ 7



1. Provide Project Oversight............................................................................... 7



2. Construct/Acquire Edit Environment............................................................ 9

3. Construct Internet Staging Area.................................................................... 10



4. Construct Internet Update Process................................................................ 11



5. Implement Internet Update Process............................................................... 11



6. Integrate Framework Data.............................................................................. 12



7. Continue to Provide Internet Access to Cadastral Data............................. 12



8. Gather and Evaluate User Satisfaction........................................................ 13



9. Implement Method for Data Archive, Backup, Retrieval, and Disaster

Recovery.......................................................................................................... 14



10. Develop and Propose a Method for Cost Recovery.................................... 14



11. Promote Cadastral Framework Demonstration Project........................... 15



12. Assess Cadastral Framework Demonstration Project............................... 15



13. FGDC Reports and Meetings....................................................................... 16



14. Develop Data Transfer Standard................................................................. 17



15. Extract Transfer Data from Proprietary Partner Databases.................... 18



16. Develop Transfer Data Validation............................................................... 18



17. Develop Production View of Integration Database.................................... 19



18. Develop State Integration Plan..................................................................... 20



Other Lessons Learned....................................................................................................... 22



Future of the Project ........................................................................................................ 22



Conclusion ......................................................................................................................... 23



References ......................................................................................................................... 24



Attachments



Washington Geographic Information Council Charter......................... Attachment A



Planning a Geographic Information Infrastructure............................... Attachment B



Washington Framework Management Group Charter......................... Attachment C



Washington Cadastral Framework Charter........................................... Attachment D



Washington Cadastral Framework Partnership Agreement................. Attachment E



Partner Profiles and Project Expectations............................................... Attachment F



FGDC Cadastral Data Content Standard -Washington Modifications Attachment G



Partnership Meeting Minutes.................................................................... Attachment H



Integration Pilot Meeting Minutes............................................................ Attachment I



Integration Business Process..................................................................... Attachment J



Data Transfer Standard/Framework Database Physical Data Model.. Attachment K



Department of Natural Resources Data Extraction................................ Attachment L



Bureau of Land Management Data Extraction....................................... Attachment M



Snohomish County Data Extraction......................................................... Attachment N



Longview Fibre Company Data Extraction............................................. Attachment O



NW ArcInfo User Group Publication...................................................... Attachment P



American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Publication................ Attachment Q



Environmental Systems Research Institute Publication........................ Attachment R



State Integration Plan................................................................................ Attachment S



Budget Request to the Washington State Legislature............................ Attachment T

Phase 2 Evaluation Form.......................................................................... Attachment U



























ABSTRACT



The Washington Cadastral Framework Project is a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) demonstration project to show the benefits of building partnerships, sharing costs and coordinating work, standardizing data and tools, speeding up application development, improving and documenting data, resolving data conflicts, and sharing data. The Washington Cadastral Framework Project is broken down into two phases which are pilot projects to implement a standardized cadastral database and to integrate cadastral data from multiple data sources. Phase 1 (1997/09-1998/09) involves extending and implementing the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cadastral Data Content Standard in SDE/Oracle, populating the database with initial data, developing metadata on the data, and distributing the data over the Internet to project partners. The Cadastral Data Content Standard is extended to work with other Framework data content themes: Geodetic Control, Hydrography, Transportation, and Governmental Units. Phase 2 (1998/09-1999/09) involves adapting the FGDC Cadastral Data Transfer Standard for data exchange, integrating data from several representative partner sources (federal, state, county, and private organizations), developing procedures for maintenance over the Internet, and automating the integration process so that minimal intervention is required for enforcing standards and resolving conflicts.



BACKGROUND



The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has played a leadership role, as well as a partner role in this project. As a partner, the DNR has many interests in the Cadastral Framework Project. The Land Survey Unit of the DNR maintains a statewide data set of the Public Land Survey System network, corners, and state ownership parcels. The Title and Records Office maintains the documentation of state land transactions and is in the process of building a data set. The Resource Mapping Section of the DNR collects ownership, administration, and management information from other public agencies and maintains a data set of the major public lands. The Aquatic Ownership Project is building a data set of the aquatic subdivisions of land and state ownership parcels. All of these data sets are being contributed for integration with the framework cadastral database.



The DNR has a great interest in improving the quality of spatial data and developing standards for distributing spatial data in general. Active participation in many geographic information system cooperative initiatives has helped to set standards for spatial data communication, integration, and access. As a member the Washington Geographic Information Council (WAGIC), the DNR has been actively providing direction for improving government geographic information products and services (see Attachment A). In the DATA96 project initiated in 1994, the DNR worked with private, tribal, local, state, and federal organizations to complete existing transportation, hydrography, land survey, and topography data sets. The data was put into a common format and distributed to the partners. The WAGIC was awarded an FGDC grant for the Washington Clearinghouse in 1995. The clearinghouse is a searchable national catalog of metadata allowing users to find existing data sets and their data sources.



The Washington Framework Management Group (FMG) was initiated in 1996 to direct the implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) framework strategy within Washington State (see Attachment C. The FMG was charged with coordination and facilitation of the statewide geospatial framework. Participants of the FMG include representatives from federal, state, local, private, and tribal organizations. The Cadastral Framework Project and Hydrography Framework Project were identified as high priority targets for Washington framework development (see Attachment B). Later, the Washington Transportation Framework Project was identified for development. The DNR created a framework coordination work unit in 1997 to support the FMG and facilitate and coordinate framework projects. In 1998, the FMG was recognized as a subcommittee of the WAGIC (see Attachment C). With the DNR playing a leadership role in supporting the Framework Management Group, work began on the Cadastral Framework Project as the WAGIC's highest priority.



PROJECT SUMMARY



The Washington Cadastral Framework Demonstration Project is an ambitious effort that tests an inter-organizational partnership approach to create, manage, and distribute commonly needed cadastral data between partner organizations and the public. Partners include a cross section of federal, state, local, and private organizations. Each partner contributes funds, in-kind hours of service and input, geospatial data, or some combination thereof. Phase 1 of the project brought partners together in understanding and agreeing to use the FGDC Cadastral Data Content Standard for the implementation of a shared cadastral framework database. Phase 2 of the project tested the feasibility of integrating multiple partner proprietary data sets into the cadastral framework database for shared maintenance and access.



Cadastral data are defined as the geographic extent of the past, current, and future rights and interests in real property including the spatial information necessary to describe that geographic extent. Rights and interests are the benefits or enjoyment in real property that can be conveyed, transferred, or otherwise allocated to another for economic remuneration. (FGDC, Cadastral Subcommittee, 1996, December.) Cadastral data are the backbone of most data in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).



Typically, cadastral records are kept by public and private surveyors, county recorders, county tax assessors, land title companies, private land management businesses, private land agents, and government agencies entrusted with public lands. Each organization keeps the records which are necessary to conduct its business. Surveyors measure and describe land; they keep records of their surveys and legal descriptions. Counties are responsible for publicly recording business transactions including conveyances, easements, leases, and sales from the land, and they keep these records. County tax assessors are interested in the value and usage of land as the basis of local government revenue. Land title companies duplicate the records of land transactions and add value by spatially indexing those transactions. Private land managers, such as timber, railroad, and mining companies, along with government agencies managing public lands, must track the extent of their large and dispersed holdings and must also track any encumbrances and restrictions placed on those holdings which limit the use of the land. Private land agents, such as developers and realtors, watch the transactions of land closely for investment and marketing.



Each organization keeps a specific and detailed proprietary database of its business interests. All of these organizations conduct business among each other, and many are interested in communicating their land holdings and transactions to facilitate their business operations. The long term goals of this project are to develop a basic information standard of communication for land holdings and transactions, create a common statewide database of cadastral information, and implement a method of communicating cadastral information between organizations and the common database. This demonstration project is the second phase of this multi-phased effort.



In the first phase, the DNR began recruiting partners, started scoping the project, and hired a project manager to plan and oversee project development. A project charter was developed (see Attachment D). Business requirements were collected from participating partners. A state cadastral framework data model was developed based on the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cadastral Data Content Standards, but with partner revisions and extensions (see Attachment G). The data model was viewed as the least common denominator of data that partners would like to share. The data model was implemented as the Washington Cadastral Framework database, initially populated with data converted from DNR. Metadata was created and published on the Washington node of the FGDC metadata clearinghouse. An extract of the framework database was formatted for distribution of this cadastral data over the Internet.



In the second phase, the subject of this report, the Washington Cadastral Framework Partners continued to develop the shared database and started work on integrating partner data into that database. As the first step in the integration, the partners developed a plan for integrating data, and concentrated effort on an integration pilot project within a single county. In the integration pilot project, Bureau of Land Management, Snohomish County, Longview Fibre, and DNR data was integrated within the cadastral framework database. Partners evaluated the results of the pilot project, and made modifications to the framework database and the data transfer standard to facilitate integration. Additional state partners were recruited, and together state partners developed a proposal for the governor to submit to the legislature for expansion of the integration development to additional counties. Partners also provided input for development of standards and tools to GIS vendors through the National Integrated Land System Project and the Western Governors Association Cadastral Data and Policy Forum.



MILESTONE TASKS



Thirteen milestone tasks were identified in the original project proposal submitted to the FGDC. In the request for project extension, an additional five tasks were added. For the purpose of this report, each milestone task will be listed with three subsections that include: 1) the approach taken to accomplish the task, 2) the outcome of the task, and 3) the lessons learned in the process.



1. Provide Project Oversight. The Cadastral Framework Partnership will meet regularly to provide administrative, subject matter, and technical guidance.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task

Management Oversight

In Phase 1, the WAGIC Framework Management Group was designated as the management oversight committee for the Washington State framework projects. The FMG meets on a quarterly basis. The DNR Framework Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the meeting agendas. The framework projects managers provide status reports on their projects and bring issues to the FMG for discussion and decision.



Project Management

The project manager ensures that the project objectives were being met through the development of the project plan with milestone tasks.



Project Team

The Washington Cadastral Framework Partners are the project team. This group meets on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the FMG. The partners provide input on their needs and expectations for the project.



Integration Pilot Team

A subgroup of the partners developed into a technical team to address the integration pilot project. This group met on a monthly basis for the duration of the integration pilot to solve technical problems regarding land surveying, land records, land transactions, and data transactions.



Budget Development Team

A subgroup of the partners developed into a team to address the long-term funding of the project through the extension of the integration pilot project to additional counties. This group of several departments of state government and several counties met once a quarter at first then built up to an intensive on a weekly basis for a period of two months.



Framework Project Coordination

The FMG determined early in Phase 2 that the framework projects being developed under the WAGIC need additional coordination between each other to ensure that they meet common needs. The DNR Framework Coordinator sets up these meetings on a monthly basis. Also, the DNR Framework Coordinator provides additional assistance and support to the framework projects as needed to develop funding sources, deal with general issues, etc.

Outcomes

The FMG provided excellent input and feedback on framework development issues. Membership and participation increased steadily over the past year. That allowed for a greater diversity of perspective on framework issues to be voiced.



The established oversight committee provided the foundation on which to maintain the project team and build additional coordination and technical teams. The development of the these additional teams was less formal than the FMG since they were grounded there, and the more frequent informal meetings allowed issues to be handled more quickly. Discussion topics and guidance covered such areas as framework data criteria development, feature maintenance scenarios and recommendations, incentives for local government participation.

The budget planning team developed a budget request for supporting the Washington Cadastral Framework for another year, with plans to extend the framework to include additional counties in succeeding years. The budget plan got some attention in this session and was heavily lobbied by independent community organizations. Although the plan did not get on the legislative session agenda this year, it will probably see additional discussion next session.



Lessons Learned

1. When working on a project with a large group of different organizations, it pays to identify a clear decision making process and an oversight body for out-of-scope project decisions.



2. Developing additional teams built to develop specific solutions to a problem quickly were very valuable.



3. Additional coordination between projects helped ensure that projects were not proceeding independently and oblivious to other framework needs that needed to be addressed cooperatively.



2. Construct/Acquire Edit Environment. After business goals and business events/situations are again evaluated, the process modules will be programmed. Modules will then be linked to executable programs. The programs will be tested and evaluated with test data.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



A Request For Proposals was issued to acquire an editing environment which would be customized to maintain cadastral data on a feature transaction basis. The approach, based on the complexity of cadastral spatial information, was to make use of spatial objects and rule processing.

Outcomes



The single response received provided an interim solution to technology still under development. The RFP was cancelled.



The Washington Cadastral Framework joined the National Integrated Land System Project to begin development of cadastral editing software using the Arc/Info 8 GeoDatabase.

Lessons Learned



1. Cadastral data is transactional, something like financial data. The basic approach evolved into something resembling a financial system.



3. Construct Internet Staging Area. The Internet staging area for cadastral data will be designed and programmed. Project partners will examine and confirm input and output data structures and physical properties. Agreements, including those relating to certification policies will be finalized among project partners.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Partner discussion at the project team and integration pilot team levels.

Outcomes



Partners agreed that they needed to continue to maintain their proprietary cadastral databases for their own purposes. Therefore, partners would not maintain their core data on the shared framework database, but continue to maintain their own data locally in its native format and extract data contributions for the framework.

An FTP staging area was developed to accept partner data contributions extracted from their proprietary databases.

Lessons Learned



1. Partners have a lot invested in their proprietary infrastructures. There is a lot of risk associated with changing that infrastructure without a significant operational gain. If GIS vendors offer a standard cadastral database which is extendable and maintenance tools which will allow sharing of data then there may be some incentive to standardize in the process of staying current with GIS technology. Data standardization will allow more sharing opportunities with less effort.



2. Partners were adamant that they could not edit data both in their proprietary systems and the Washington Cadastral Framework. There were enough differences between most partner systems that building an all-encompassing data model seemed too difficult. This coupled with partners reluctance to share certain proprietary parts of their cadastral data made direct maintenance of a centralized database an improbable solution. Partners were willing to provide some parts of their data in a standard format which would then be integrated together.



4. Construct Internet Update Process and Resolution Environment. The resolution environment will be designed, programmed, and tested. Links between the staging area, the public database, and the edit environment will be established and tested. Data certification procedures will be finalized.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Partners involved in the integration pilot discussed the possible approaches for resolving data problems, data conflicts, and data disputes.



Outcomes



Partners recognized that the implications for multiple organizations to maintain a common cadastral database were enormous. A set of processing rules regarding jurisdiction, authority, and feature hierarchy were developed. (See Attachments H, I, and J.)



Lessons Learned



1. Partners would like to avoid the overhead of a centrally integrated database. However, this was the easiest approach from a software development perspective based on the currently available technology. As an intermediate step to partners working with the same data structures in their proprietary operational systems, partners may be able to keep an extract of the their database in the cadastral framework format locally, which could be accessed by the central data server.

5. Implement Internet Update Process for Project Partners. Training on the update process will be developed and delivered. Project partners will check out, edit, and check in data.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



The DNR developed extract routines to take data from partner proprietary databases and format it into the data transfer standard. The DNR developed validation routines for partners to validate data before submission to the Washington Cadastral Framework database.

Outcomes

The AML routines for database extraction and validation are published on the web site as examples for partners. The data transfer standard is published on the web site so that partners can develop their own database extraction routines.

Lessons Learned



1. Partners did not have time to develop their own conversion processes. This is probably similar to the problem of not having time to develop and maintain metadata. Partners are willing to provide data if the technical expertise to format the initial data extract is provided. Partners are also willing to maintain the extract routines if there are changes in their proprietary data format. Partner maintenance of the extract routines for changes in the data transfer standard are still in question.



6. Integrate Framework Data. BLM and WADNR will carry out overall area integration tasks. Project partners will integrate data through the resolution environment. WADNR will serve as area integrator for manual updates that will continue through the edit environment.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



The integration pilot project team was established to coordinate the integration tasks.



Outcomes



The BLM worked closely with Snohomish County to integrate new county surveys with survey records to establish GCDB within the county. The combined BLM GCDB data, Snohomish County data, DNR data, and Longview Fibre ownership data were integrated in the Washington Cadastral Framework database. (See Attachments L, M, N, and O.)

Lessons Learned



1. Much of the data provided by partners, including DNR, is in some way incomplete by the standards set by the Cadastral Data Content Standard. Many GIS databases do not identify corners, e.g. quarter corner, do not document parcels by the deed, and do not specify the ownership rights in a parcel, e.g. surface, timber, mineral, etc. Without this information, it is difficult for the integrator to determine whether two features are the same, let alone which one might be the best representation of a given cadastral feature.



2. Partners recognized that the best way to make improvements in the quality of the data will be to work through the hierarchy of the Cadastral Data Content Standard, concentrating on improving the completeness of the local data. The DNR is working to include GCDB codes and corner types in its proprietary database in order to overcome some of the data quality issues.



3. The BLM's GCDB has not been developed for much of Washington State. Counties are very anxious to have the BLM assist with establishing GCDB. Many counties are conducting complete GPS surveys to establish corner coordinates.



7. Continue to Provide Internet Access to Cadastral Data. During this phase of the project, WADNR will continue to provide access to the Cadastral Framework data and metadata through the Internet.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Provide partner access to files for FTP download of data and maintain metadata on the Washington State node of the FGDC Metadata Clearinghouse.

Outcomes



Many partners were interested in the FTP download files being made available to the public. These were opened up to the public 2000/02/17.



Partners were also interested in bypassing the FTP download process if possible. Partners were granted read access to the Washington Cadastral Framework database on 2000/05/22.



Metadata for the Washington Cadastral Framework was added for additional feature tables added to the database since Phase 1.

Lessons Learned



1. Maintaining metadata is still a task that needs some external assistance. Even with data stewards assigned to maintain the metadata, it is difficult to ensure that it gets done.



8. Gather and Evaluate User Satisfaction. A user survey will be developed. The survey will evaluate data content, metadata, and the operational scenario.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Develop a means of collecting user input on the data, metadata, and display and query application.

Outcomes



A survey was developed for the evaluation of Phase 2 and distributed at the 2000/08/19 Partner ship meeting (see Attachment U). Intstructions are given on the web page about contacting the project manager for information on the project, contacting user support for database server problems. E-mail contacts are built into the web pages to make contact easier. Contact information was provided with the metadata for any problems found in the data.

Lessons Learned



1. Only a few users provided input on system problems. Fewer still provided much input on the data in the database and how it appears to work for them. Changes in the partner survey may have to be made to ask for input on explicit questions that need to be evaluated for the database.



9. Implement Method for Data Archive, Backup, Retrieval, and Disaster Recovery. Partners will identify backup and restore requirements. Specifications for backup/restore will be established. Backup/restore process will be constructed.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Partners reviewed backup and recovery requirements during the integration pilot project.

Outcomes



Data contributed by partners will be backed up once per week. At this point in time, the data is backed up on the DNR's proprietary side of the firewall. When partner contributions become a significant portion of the data on the Washington Cadastral Framework database, additional storage will have to be funded by the partnership for backup and recovery.



Recovery has been practiced by the database administrators as part of the loading process. At this point, the partner data is loaded on top of the latest DNR contribution. This will change as DNR becomes a minority contributor.

Lessons Learned



1. Take simplest approach with the situation currently at hand, and not likely to change much for the next two years.



10. Develop and Propose Method for Cost Recovery. Methods for cost recovery will be investigated. The Cadastral Framework Partnership and the Washington Framework Management Group will discuss different cost recovery methods. A method for cost recovery will be proposed.

Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Partners discussed this issue at every general partner meeting. In particular, these discussions developed from the Partnership Agreement, the State Integration Plan, and the Supplemental Budget Request to the legislature.

Outcomes



There seems to be an opportunity for a two-way exchange between federal/state and local governments. Local governments are asking for: partial funding of operations which collect detailed cadastral data, full funding of cadastral data standards and software tools for integration, inclusion of common local standards in the national standards, copyright to market local data packaged for commercial use, and support for GIS startups. Federal and state governments are asking for: documented, high-quality, detailed, current cadastral data. (See Attachment E.)

Lessons Learned



1. Adapt the approaches of all partners, since each had valid concerns and contributions.



2. Be patient. This one took quite a bit of time to hammer out until it seemed smooth enough for everyone. Much of this time was absorbing others' perspectives.



11. Promote Cadastral Framework Demonstration Project. The results of this project will be promoted through WAGIC and IRRIC meetings. Additional promotional opportunities will arise in contacts with survey industry and information technology professionals.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Make presentations on the project at a wide variety of professional and technical venues.



Outcomes



1998 NW ArcInfo User Group Conference (See Attachment P.)

1999 WA URISA Conference

1999 ACSM Conference (See Attachment Q.)

1999 NW Chapter, Land Surveyors Association of Washington

1999 ESRI Conference (See Attachement R.)

1999 Evergreen Chapter, International Association of Assessing Officers

2000 WA URISA Conference

2000 WGA Cadastral Data and Policy Forum

Lessons Learned



1. Each professional organization has its own perspective on the benefits and challenges of the project. Each presentation had to be adapted to ask the appropriate questions that needed to be answered by that group.



12. Assess Cadastral Framework Demonstration Project. A formal evaluation of the project will be conducted to measure success and to adjust future plans.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Two formal evaluations of the project were taken during this phase of the project. Both were initially e-mailed surveys in February and November 1999. The second survey was conducted by telephone to get a complete partnership review.

Outcomes



Partners were generally satisfied with the developments of the project. Most realize the enormity of the task of preserving, maintaining, and improving cadastral records. There have been some big steps just getting the group to agree to making the records public, and commit to continued maintenance and improvement. Partners understand the significance of this progress. (See Attachment F.)

Lessons Learned



1. Ask for feedback from partners on the development of the project.



13. FGDC Reports and Meetings. Periodic reports and meetings will be provided for the FGDC. Reports will be submitted during the project and follow-up status reports will be prepared in 2000 and 2001.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Comply with the requirements for reporting and meeting with the FGDC project and finance officers.



Outcomes



1. NSDI Partnerships Kick-off Meeting 1998/09/22-24

Greg Tudor attended.

2. Interim Progress Review Meeting 1999/05/18

Greg Tudor attended.

3. Interim Progress Report 1999/05/18

Provided in advance of the Interim Progress Review Meeting.

4. Final Technical Report 2000/05/24

Submitted this document.

5. Formal Oral Presentation ACSM Conference 1999/03/18

ESRI Conference 1999/07/27

Greg Tudor presented at two major conferences. (See Attachments Q and R.)

6. Display of NSDI Logo 1999/09/01

Displayed since the beginning of the project.

7. SF-269A 2000/05/24

Submitted separately, document dated 2000/05/03.



Lessons Learned



1. The kick-off and interim meetings were very valuable for orienting and re-orienting the project with respect to both FGDC and other grantee needs.



2. Continuity of the FGDC framework demonstration projects program would have been helpful for long term stability of the project.



3. FGDC assistance for addressing the C/FIP funding would be helpful for long term stability of the project.



14. Develop Data Transfer Standard. Develop a data format standard and dictionary for transferring tabular and spatial data between partners and the Washington Cadastral Framework database.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



The integration pilot project partners determined that developing a data transfer standard would be the best approach to allowing partners to share common data without making changes in their own proprietary databases. The data transfer standard was based on the Washington Cadastral Framework database.

Outcomes



The data model presented to partners for implementation as the Washington Cadastral Framework database was too complex at the beginning. Many of the extensions that partners added to the Cadastral Data Content Standard made the model more complex. Additional effort was spent to simplify the data structure to the minimum that would support the Cadastral Data Content Standard and still meet partner needs. The integration pilot project showed several defects in the implementation of the database that were fixed. A second revision of the database naming conventions was made to help partners understand the contents of the database more intuitively.



The data transfer standard is a field level data dictionary in which the format of all tables and their fields are defined, described, and encoded for effective transfer of data between partners and the database and vice versa. The data transfer standard also defines the relationships between tables in the database. (See Attachment K.)

Lessons Learned



1. Partners seem to understand the database content better with the data transfer standard description of the tables, fields, and allowable values.



2. It is difficult to develop a simple easily understood shared database from a complex set of data and relationships. A great deal of time was spent tuning the database for maximum understanding and ease of use. There is still more work that needs to be done along these lines, particularly with respect to administration and management areas and their relationships to ownership and encumbrance parcels.



3. Partners have a wide range of experience with GIS and cadastral data. It is difficult to develop a single standard that will fit all levels of need. This is especially true for county and private organizations. The Cadastral Data Content Standard did not address taxation, which is a primary concept of the definition of cadastre. Taxation comprises nearly one third of the cadastral data kept by those organizations. The Washington Cadastral Framework did not adequately address tax records while developing the framework database since it is fairly sticky with privacy and fair business practices issues. However, there is a growing recognition that tax records need to be part of the standards even if the standard is used primarily for direct communication between many partners and not for publication on the framework database. Data contributions to the framework database from partners are voluntary.



15. Extract Transfer Data from Proprietary Partner Databases. Develop programs to extract data from proprietary partner databases and reformat the data into the data transfer standards in preparation for integration.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Develop routines in the integration pilot for extracting partner data into the data transfer standard which can be used as examples by other partners to provide data as extracts from their proprietary databases.



Outcomes



The DNR developed AML programs to extract data from partner proprietary data sets for the BLM, Snohomish County, Longview Fibre, and the DNR into the data transfer standard. Some of the data sets provided were just representative samples. Snohomish County used the AML programs to conduct their own proprietary data extract to the data transfer standard. (See Attachments L, M, N, and O.)

Lessons Learned



1. There was quite a bit of effort involved in effectively developing a data conversion for each of these data sets. However, once developed, the extraction routines were reused for additional data.



2. The best approach for implementation of the partner extract routines should be a batch process run on a regular basis.



3. The partner feature identifiers need to be preserved in the Washington Cadastral Framework. Keeping the partner identifiers allows confirmation of new features as they are checked against the current database contents.



16. Develop Transfer Data Validation. Develop programs to validate the data that partners are providing for integration



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Develop validation programs in the integration pilot for checking the data formatted in the data transfer standard. Partners should be able to validate their data in the data transfer standard before submitting the data for integration.

Outcomes



The data extracts were validated before integration. Checks for required fields, field width, required relationships to additional tables, and valid values were incorporated. Snohomish County validated its own data before submission.

Lessons Learned



1. The validation should be included as part of a downloadable package that partners can install to provide data from their database on a regular basis.



17. Develop Production View of Integration Database. Develop a view of the integrated data that reflects the best available data submitted to the database.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Once data has been submitted to the Washington Cadastral Framework database, the data must be integrated and the best available data should be determined for the production database view.

Outcomes



Partners agreed that the best available data should be the default representation of a feature in the database. Partners also agreed that the database integrator should consult with both data providers if there was a conflict between a new representation of a feature and the latest version of the feature. In the integration pilot test, features from one partner were tagged as the representative features to determine whether this approach would work. It seems practical at this point in time to have an integrator work with partners to determine the best representative feature given a choice. However, knowledgeable staff for the integrator position was in short supply during the integration test. More integration testing will need to be conducted in an operational environment.

Lessons Learned



1. Partners did not want to limit the database to only the current representation of a corner, ownership parcel, or document. The state of cadastral records in many cases does not permit a direct decision on which corner point is the section corner. What may be the best representation of a section corner today may be found to be in error tomorrow. So do not purge the database of other representative candidates. Identify the current best representative candidate, and also identify whether there are any known disputes over whether that candidate is the best representation.



2. Track the database history of features as they are added to the database. Also, track the history of features as they are documented in the real world. These two perspectives of feature history allow many questions to be answered about a feature in the database. Because of the lack of supporting data with many features in the integration pilot test, often the database history was the only distinction between two features that are contenders for the same feature.



18. Develop State Integration Plan. Develop a plan for getting more participation from local government partners.



Approach Taken to Accomplish Task



Partners took on this issue in regular FMG, and project partner team meetings.

Outcomes



The state integration of cadastral data will be incremental and progressive. The Washington Cadastral Framework will seek funding for supporting basic integration operations. A permanent data integrator will be hired contingent on funding. The project will continue to include additional counties, a few at a time, providing technical support to develop extract routines for counties with GIS and support for developing GIS based on the cadastral framework for those without GIS. The project will reach out to those not having the resources to start on their own. (See Attachment S.)



A Supplemental Budget Request was developed for the FY2001 legislative session. The request asked for funding to support Spokane and Grant county operations maintaining cadastral data, funding for Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Parks and Recreation Commission to develop cadastral GIS data layers, and funding for the DNR to provide technical, management, and integration support. (See Attachment T.)

Lessons Learned



1. Partners are anxious to establish a permanent implementation of the Washington Cadastral Framework, now that the technical feasibility has been proven in the demonstration project.





OTHER LESSONS LEARNED



By limiting the original data model to the least common denominator of partner data, some utility of the data standards was lost. Just because some partners might not provide data should not be interpreted to mean that they had no need to communicate or transmit that data to other partners. More attention paid by partners needing to develop a data transmission process could have provided a more comprehensive standard at the start. A more comprehensive data transfer standard is still needed and will have to be developed later as an extension.



FUTURE OF THE PROJECT



In phase 1 of this project, the emphasis was on reviewing the Cadastral Data Content Standard, developing the standard into a physical database, and populating the database with existing data sets. In phase 2 of this project, the emphasis shifted to integrating data from multiple partners into a central database, and developing a means of supporting the integrated cadastral database. In the future, the emphasis will be shifting to securing permanent funding for the Washington Cadastral Framework, permanently staffing an integrator position, encouraging partner data contributions, making incremental improvements in the quality of data being contributed by partners, and recruiting additional partners who maintain cadastral data as part of their day-to-day operations.



Permanent funding is being requested through direct legislative support. Recording and development fees have been suggested as other possible sources of funding to support the Cadastral Framework.



Once funding is secured for permanently funding the Cadastral Framework, staff must be hired to integrate partner data as it provided by partners. Ideally, two positions staffed by the DNR and the BLM would support the integration operations.



Some partners are already eager to submit their data to the Washington Cadastral Framework database. Other partners have not yet made contributing data a priority. In both cases, additional technical assistance is necessary to develop a process to extract and format individual partner data into the data transfer standard.



The quality of data being contributed to the Washington Cadastral Framework must continue to be improved. Washington State does not have much GCDB data developed by the BLM. Only a hundred or so townships have GCDB analysis out of two thousand. The DNR will be developing GCDB coding and adding monumentation information to its land corner data to be shared with the partnership in July. From a land records perspective, not much data is being kept in most geographic information systems to accurately document the location, ownership, and encumbrance of real property. Consequently, partner data extracts do not contain this feature level metadata, which is necessary for integration from multiple data sources. Partners need some assurance of the accuracy of the data provided by others, but in many cases were not able to provide it themselves. Partners who do have parcel management or survey management automated often do not have these systems connected together into a coherent database. For example, the DNR is automating, converting, and connecting six to eight different cadastral based records and information systems together to provide a complete picture of cadastral information. Snohomish County, too, is developing a coherent integrated land records database. The development of proprietary databases will continue to make improvements in the base data that will be contributed to the Washington Cadastral Framework over the next five to ten years.



Partners have agreed that generally new information that is generated for contribution to the framework database will be higher quality. The Bureau of Reclamation is starting a project to survey Grant, Franklin, and Adams counties. The DNR and DOT will be working as partners on the project. Partners have agreed that the new data will meet the data transfer standards for the framework database. The data that is collected will be contributed and integrated into the framework database.

Many partners involved in the project started on the project with a need for data from others. Many partners approached the project with the question: "How can we help?" The balance between the needs and the ability to provide has been tricky. Many of those providing data are able to do so, but may not be the authority for maintaining that data. They maintain the data because the need is so great that they collect it without being the authority responsible for its maintenance. With only the local governments of major metropolitan areas maintaining cadastral data on GISs, this will continue to be the case for some time. However, the project is attempting to provide technical assistance to rural counties for developing cadastral GIS that will support the Washington Cadastral Framework objectives. Putting the responsible authorities and jurisdictions in a position to easily provide data to the Cadastral Framework will be a big step.



Database administrators will continue to evaluate data formats for editing and exchange (coverage, region coverage, shape files). Partners will continue to contribute data to the framework database. The DNR will integrate framework data as staffing allows. The DNR will attempt to build staff expertise in analyzing survey information and how new data alters the overall survey network. The database integrator (DNR) will maintain the framework database and distribute on a continual basis.

The partnership is implementing the plans to financially support the stewardship, integration, maintenance, and distribution of the framework database. Financial incentives for getting rural counties started on the framework database are being addressed. Additional private organizations are being encouraged to participate in the cadastral framework, in particular surveying firms doing work for rural counties.



The Washington State Cadastral Framework Project will provide assistance to other cadastral framework projects and coordinate with other framework projects on government unit, transportation, and hydrography framework theme development.



CONCLUSION

Phase 2 of the Washington State Cadastral Framework Project has been a valuable demonstration of cooperatively integrating data from multiple partners based on the FGDC Cadastral Data Content Standard. The project built on the partnership between federal, state, county, regional, and private organizations. This partnership has established the interests and expectations of the partners for implementing the Cadastral Data Content Standard, providing data and metadata over the Internet, and integrating cadastral data over the Internet. The Cadastral Data Content Standard has been thoroughly examined and enhancements have been made. The implementation of the content standard has been populated with several sets of data, each with incremental improvements. Discussion with partners has indicated the need for additional improvements in the Cadastral Data Content Standard and its implementation with more of a local government perspective. Metadata of the Cadastral Framework database has also been published on the Washington Clearinghouse node. Partner evaluations of Phase2 have been positive. Improvements will continue to be made as the Washington Cadastral Framework and its partnership develops. Ultimately, the Washington Cadastral Framework will become more solid and institutionalized as a means of sharing data.















References



Bureau of Land Management (1997, November 4). GCDB Home Page (Geographic Coordinate Database). http://www.blm.gov/gcdb/ .



Federal Geographic Data Committee (1995, March 24). Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata Workbook. Reston, VA.



Federal Geographic Data Committee (1997). Framework: Introduction and Guide. Somers-St. Claire, Fairfax, VA. http://www.fgdc.gov/framework/frameworkintroguide/ .



Federal Geographic Data Committee, Cadastral Subcommittee (1996, December). Cadastral Data Content Standard. Reston, VA. ftp://ftp.fairview-industries.com/pub/cadastral/ .



Federal Geographic Data Committee, Cadastral Subcommittee (1998, February). Cadastral Data Transfer Standard. Reston, VA. ftp://ftp.fairview-industries.com/pub/cadastral/ .



Federal Geographic Data Committee, Cadastral Subcommittee (1998, September). FGDC Cadastral Subcommittee. http://www.fairview-industries.com/fgdc-cad.html .

Federal Geographic Data Committee, Cadastral Subcommittee (1998, May 1). Learning the Cadastral Data Content Standard. http://www.fairview-industries.com/welcome.htm .



Hair, D.; Timson, G.; Martin, P. (1997, May 28). Feature Maintenance: Concepts, Requirements, and Strategies. U.S. Geological Survey, Mapping Division.



Snohomish County (1998, December). Integrated Land Records Metadata. http://www.co.snohomish.wa.us/dis/gis/metadat.htm .



Washington Cadastral Framework Partnership (2000, March). Partnership Agreement. http://framework.dnr.state.wa.us/cadastre/public/business/partnership.htm .



Washington Cadastral Framework Partnership (1998, July). Project Charter. http://framework.dnr.state.wa.us/cadastre/public/business/charter.htm .



Washington Cadastral Framework Partnership (1998, July). Partnership Meeting Minutes; Integration Pilot Meeting Minutes. http://framework.dnr.state.wa.us/cadastre/public/communications/calendar.htm .



Washington Cadastral Framework Partnership (1998, November 24). Washington State Cadastral Framework FGDC Metadata. Federal Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse Node, via http://agdc.usgs.gov/AGDCgateway.html Search: cadastral.



Washington Geographic Information Council (1997, February 27). Charter and Bylaws. http://www.wa.gov/gic/bylaws.htm .



Washington Geographic Information Council (1999, June). Planning a Geographic Information Infrastructure. http://www.wa.gov/gic/Plan98/wagic_plan_final.pdf .



Washington Geographic Information Council, Framework Management Group (1998, October). Framework Management Group. http://www.wa.gov/gic/frameworkwg.htm .



Washington Geographic Information Council, Framework Management Group (1999, February 18). Framework Management Group Charter. http://framework.dnr.state.wa.us/fmg/1999fmg_charter.html .