Data Users Group Meeting Notes
October 29 and 30, 2001
BLM National Training Center
The first cultural resources Data Users Group (DUG) meeting was held October 29 and 30, 2001 at the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) National Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona. A list of attendees is attached. During the afternoon of October 29 and the morning of October 30, each state gave a 15 minute presentation on its data sharing program.
From the presentations, and from general discussion, a list of issues was identified. The issues were given priorities and discussed during the afternoon of October 30. The issues discussed include:
- How projects (investigations, undertakings, decisions about resources in the context of undertakings) are tracked electronically in each State and what types of tracking systems are needed.
- Enterprise-level data. Whose enterprise (State or BLM) sets the standard. From the state perspective, a statewide information system is "enterprise-level", but from a BLM perspective an enterprise-level standard must incorporate the specific state-level data sets.
- Barriers to GIS use and system use. These included training, technophobia, poor fit between work process and available information tools, lack of hardware or software, and resistance to changing current work processes.
- Money and Funding (Charge rates/subscriptions). Several states talked about operational support and development costs. How BLM can, could, or will fund operations was part of the discussion on this issue. There was general agreement that funding involves bringing other agencies into the support picture too.
- Security of online systems. This was identified as a general concern. Three kinds of security concerns were mentioned. First, making sure that appropriate access is available for professionals (i.e., access policies) and how non-cultural resource professionals (e.g., a county planner) who need to get to the information can (or cannot) have access to it. Second, security from deliberate cracking or intrusion attempts. Two states with on-line systems (Wyoming, New Mexico) stated that they had never seen an intrusion attempt. The third topic was the need for a blanket statement about security within the SHPO-BLM data sharing system. A non-technical statement that discusses security, the potential hazards of different security policies, and lays out a minimum standard of security (in terms of the two topics above) would be very useful.
Issues identified but not discussed due to lack of time include:
- Use of incomplete data (quality control). This issue was listed because of a concern over the use of automated systems that are constantly evolving, and thus are never completely current. How should one use (or not use) such information?
- Scanning paper documents (types of documents to scan, storage, distribution, formats). There is general interest in this topic. It received a lower ranking in discussion priority because many states are already looking at different techniques (or using them). These include scanning to Adobe Acrobat format, serving and storing images in DejaVu format, storing and scanning as multi-page TIFF files that also get written to microfiche. There was some discussion about the utility of the image vs. the utility of a database of what is in the image, especially for site records.
- Built Environment. How is or should the architectural and structural environment be included in data systems.
- Paper Maps (what happens to them and do they still have utility?).
- Communication and collaboration with other agencies. This topic was not addressed directly, but came up in many other parts of the issues discussion.
The meeting ended with a brainstorming session on what the group would like to see done in the future. The following list includes ideas from the group. Assignments and due dates have been added to this list.
Quarterly conference call
Linda Clark and Eric Ingbar will schedule and coordinate. Please mark your calendars for the first conference for February 7th at 1 p.m. eastern time. Agenda and conference numbers will be sent out the middle of January.
Meeting for Alaska SHPO and BLM to showcase systems that have been developed in other States
Eric Ingbar and Linda Clark propose to coordinate a conference call using NetMeeting (a tool for sharing desktops across the internet) with Alaska to show some of the other systems that have been developed or are being developed.
Continue to Share/show what is being done in other States (list web sites and persons to contact)
Dan Martin has put together a list of web sites and people to contact on the BLM's intranet. To take a look at the SHPO's sites discussed at the early part of this week and share information among other field offices in your states see:
You can find links to many of the SHPO pages at
Meeting to discuss and develop Project Tracking
Project tracking was one of the issues discussed. There was general agreement that a way to follow undertakings/investigations through their "lifecycle" would benefit BLM and likely be useful to most SHPO's. Ingbar proposed that a project tracking prototype be completed before trying to convene any sort of meeting to discuss project tracking. A prototype should be in place (as a web application) by 12/15/01.
Formalize the Data User Group focus direction on group to act as steering committee, BLM reps to data stewards to encourage other Field Offices to use the systems.
Linda Clark will distribute a Charter for Data Users Group for review by November 30,2001
Discuss meeting at Preservation Board meeting and follow-up policy.
Linda Clark and Eric Ingbar will discuss the meeting with the Board December 4, 2001
Start dialog between SHPO, Data User, IRM, and State Offices with time limit.
By February 7th conference call each State BLM Data Rep should have contacted their IRM, State Office leads and SHPO and be able to report on progress of dialog.
Participate in BLM's GIS workshop
There was discussion of hosting a topical session at the next BLM GIS Workshop. The workshop will be at the NTC in Phoenix the week of April 29th, 2002. As the event draws closer, agendas and other information will be posted at: http://www.ntc.blm.gov/coming.html. No decision was taken about actually hosting the topical session. If you think you could participate, please coordinate with Linda Clark, so that we know what is going on. (The contact for agenda time and rooms is Diane Nelson at 602 906-5548.)
Have annual Data Users Group meeting
Meeting will be held in the fall of 2002 in Phoenix, Arizona and information will be distributed at a later date. Other agencies (FS, DOT, etc.) will be invited to participate.
Identify different access agreements for Security (baseline security and what should be there)
Eric Ingbar will develop white paper on security and distribute by end of January.
SAA's BLM-joint session on Data Sharing.
Linda Clark will look into the feasibility of having as session at the 2002 or 2003 SAA's and report back to the group on the February conference call.
Short report on results of BLM data survey for users.
The on-line data survey was not completed by all states. The data representatives were urged to get their colleagues to complete the survey as soon as possible. In any case, Ingbar will produce a short summary report by 1/31/2002, using the data as entered as of 1/15/2002.
BLM Challis Field Office, Salmon, Idaho
Gnomon, Inc., Carson City, Nevada
Arizona State Museum, Tucson, Arizona
Gary Stumpf (Retired January 2007)
BLM Arizona State Office, Phoenix, Arizona
BLM California State Office, Sacramento, California
BLM Kingman Field Office, Arizona
BLM Data Manager, Lakewood, Colorado
Wyoming SHPO, Laramie, Wyoming
New Mexico SHPO, Santa Fe, New Mexico
BLM California Desert District, Riverside
BLM Prineville District, Oregon
BLM Northern Field Office, Fairbanks, Alaska
Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Denver
Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Denver
BLM Washington D.C. Office, Denver, Colorado
BLM Albuquerque Field Office, New Mexico
North Dakota Field Office, Dickinson
Arizona SHPO, Phoenix
BLM Colorado State Office, Lakewood
Arizona SHPO, Phoenix
BLM Elko Field Office, Nevada
BLM Richfield Field Office, Utah
BLM Alaska State Office, Anchorage
Utah SHPO, Salt Lake City
Other interested parties and people who could not attend:
BLM Casper Field Office, Wyoming
BLM Cottonwood Field Office, Idaho
BLM, Royal Gorge Field Office, Colorado
Glenda King, Idaho SHPO
Margaret Brown, Nevada State Museum
Eric Allison, California OHP
John Thomas, California OHP
Barbara Perry, Utah SHPO
Kevin Jones, Utah SHPO
Meg VanNess, Colorado SHPO
Beth Grindall, U. of Arizona, AZSITE
Judy Wolf, Wyoming SHPO
Kimberley Dunn, Oregon SHPO
Leland Gilsen, Oregon SHPO
James Hamrick, Oregon SHPO
Alice Baldrica, Nevada SHPO
Tom Foor, University of Montana
Heather Busam, USFS NHIMI Team
JeffOverturf, USFS NHIMI Team
Linda Blair, UNLV Harry Reid Center