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November 16, 2011
In Reply Refer To:
1202, 1283 (830/560) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-063, Change 1
Expires: 09/30/2012
To:                   Assistant Directors and All Field Officials
                        Attn: Management Analysts, Data Administrators, and State GIS Coordinators
From:               Assistant Director, Business and Fiscal Resources
Subject:           Revised Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Administrative Units (Boundaries)
Data Standards and Database Submission Requirements                  DD: 11/30/11
Program Area: Organization Control
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) transmits the revised data standard for the BLM Administrative Units (Boundaries) Geographic Information System (GIS) data. This document contains the BLM’s GIS data definitions and standards for developing data sets necessary for mapping and/or digitizing all BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) and related spatial elements. The IM and attachments have also been revised to clarify the levels of accuracy required in this data standard. All State Office (SO), Washington Office (WO), and National Operations Center (NOC) comments on the draft standards have been considered for incorporation into the final plan.
Policy/Action: The data standards for developing and maintaining the BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) in electronic format are in Attachments 1 through 3 of this IM. 
Attachment 1 of this IM entitled, “BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) Data Standard Report (25 pp)” is intended to be a logical, vendor neutral, description of the data standard. Attachment 2, “BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) Implementation Guidelines (36 pp)” describes implementation of these standards using the GIS vendor’s software. The three- page document entitled, “BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) Domains” (Attachment 3) lists the domain or “valid values” for different attributes contained within the data standard.  The Data Model Diagram in Attachment 4 shows the Entity Relationship Diagram of the data standard information in yellow and the related data elements in green. This diagram represents the information documented in the Data Standard Report.
All offices are required to use these data standards when developing, amending, or maintaining electronic BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) data sets. These standards are embodied in an XML document and a rule base that construct and govern the geodatabase. The current names of these files are: ADMU_V1_101124.XML and admu_V1_topology.rul 
Time Frame: This standard is effective immediately. All states within the Bureau of Land Management shall load these files into the BLM’s preferred GIS and submission of GIS data by each state for all BLM Administrative Units (boundaries) is to be completed within 30-60 days of issuance of this IM. Databases should be submitted to William Lamb, Spatial Data Coordinator, NOC.
The Spatial Data Coordinator shall ensure that these files are maintained under configuration management and shall ensure that all GIS specialists are alerted when newer versions of these files are created. Updates to these files can be handled by effective configuration management controls to eliminate the need for the reissuance or amendment to this IM. The Spatial Data Coordinator shall ensure that each published instance of these files is maintained in the permanent archives of the Bureau of Land Management.
Budget Impact: Minimal budget impact. The cost of converting the data to the new data standard shall be offset by monies provided through the Geospatial Services Strategic Plan (GSSP).
Background: The Bureau of Land Management uses a multiple tier organization to manage the land. With some exceptions, the land that the BLM manages is served by field offices. Most of these field offices are managed by district offices, which in turn are managed by State Offices (See IM 2007-066 Development and Submittal of Three-Tier Organization Proposals). A couple of exceptions are Fire Stations or Field Stations and such, which are considered sub-field offices because they fulfill a limited or specific set of tasks and do not have the entire compliment of staff that field offices generally do. Another exception is those lands that are part of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Generally, NLCS managed land is assigned to a field office, but there are a couple of exceptions where the NLCS office is an Administrative Unit. The land managed by the field and NLCS offices can also be said to be managed by district offices, when they exist, as well as by the state offices.
These data standards were developed in accordance with the relevant processes in the BLM Data Administration and Management Handbook (H-1283-1) as well through review of the existing data standards for Administrative boundaries.  Additionally, BLM Manual Section 1283-Data Administration and Management, states that “the BLM, as an information resource, needs to ensure that the data it collects, uses, and disseminates relates to its mission requirements, is applied and used objectively, and has appropriate controls to protect privacy, proprietary, and confidential information.” Development of data standards for BLM data sets represents part of this needed “system of controls” designed to guarantee quality control and assurance for data oversight and monitoring of BLM’s data resources.” A further goal is “to ensure that the BLM’s information system produces quality information that meets legal compliance requirements to support BLM program decisions, assure resource program integrity, and provide service to BLM employees and the public.”
These are all valid boundaries and the data must reflect the situation that has arisen.
This final plan contains GIS boundary data standards for all levels of BLM Administration. These levels (domains) are as follow: 
1.      International Level Boundary (US/Mexico and US/Canada)
2.      Administrative State Boundary (state office to state office)
3.      Administrative District Office Boundary (district office to district office)
4.      Administrative Field Office Boundary (field office to field office)
5.      Sub-Field Office Boundary (sub-field office to sub-field office) 
These revised final data standards supersede all previous standards for BLM Administrative Units (boundaries). Some NLCS units will be included within this data set where they are recognized as administrative units in their own rights. A comprehensive view of NLCS land is maintained in a separate NLCS data theme in accordance with the NLCS data standard.
Many BLM geospatial data sets require edge matching between administrative units to ensure that features on adjoining layers are aligned. By developing an official set of jurisdictions for the BLM administrative units, many different BLM programs will be able to edge match their data as well as to accurately identify exceptions to the jurisdictions where needed. This edge matching is critical to the development of seamless national data sets for BLM program data. 
Data Quality:
As mentioned above, the level of accuracy of the data varies widely, due to differences in technologies and techniques used to collect it, therefore an overall statement of data quality would be meaningless. Instead, each instance where data has been collected shall be considered independently and have data quality metrics assigned correspondingly. For each collection of data, there are one or more features in the GIS. Each feature shall contain the data quality information available. Any missing data shall be identified with a -1 in the field so it is clear that the data is known to be missing.
Current business needs indicate that an accuracy of +/- 40’ on a 1:24,000 scale map, which is roughly equal to that of a pen line drawn on the National Map, is sufficient. A probability that the positional accuracy is within this range of 95% (CEP95) is the desired goal. However, the data varies widely in its precision, so each feature shall include values for accuracy and confidence factor.  

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: This IM and revised data standard incorporate information and processes from the 1201-Organization Management, 1202-Organization Control, and 1203-Delegation of Authority Manuals as well as BLM Data Administration and Management Handbook (H-1283-1).  Business rules contained in these attachments will also need to be incorporated into applicable manuals and handbooks when they are next updated and published in the BLM directives system. 

Coordination: Development of these standards was coordinated with the Washington Office GIS Coordinators, representative State Office GIS Coordinators and the NOC.
Contact: Rebecca Mack, Management and Program Analyst (BLM Business Data Steward and Lead for Organization Management), WO-830 at (202) 912-7082; Alexandra Ritchie Management and Program Analyst, WO-830 at (202) 912-7081; William Lamb, Spatial Data Coordinator, NOC at (303) 236-0911.
Signed by:                                                        Authenticated by:
Janine Velasco                                                  Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                             Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Business and Fiscal Resources
4 Attachments

Last updated: 11-25-2011