MetroGIS Logo: A Common Ground. MetroGIS Logo: Sharing Information Across Boundaries.
   Serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area Home   |   Search   |   Contact Us    
 
What is MetroGIS? 
Deliverables & Outcomes 
Business Planning 
What's New 
Major Accomplishments 
Annual Reports 
Affiliations 
Awards 
Grants 
History 

Overview 
Short Quotes 
Testimonials 
Studies 
Performance Measurement 

Overview
Looking for GIS Data or Web Map Services? 
Looking for GIS Applications? 
Looking for GIS Standards/Best Practices? 

Meeting Calendar 
Policy Board 
Coordinating Committee 
Technical Advisory Team 
Special Purpose Workgroups 
Organizational Structure 
Operating Guidelines
Dissolved Teams
Major Projects

Presentations 
Major Reports 
Articles & Publications 
Glossary

 

Data > GIS Data Standards/Guidelines and Best Practices

To Improve Ease of Sharing Commonly Needed Data

Introduction

The MetroGIS Policy Board has endorsed the following GIS-related data standards and guidelines. These best practices are in addition to standards and guidelines that may be included in each specific regional dataset endorsed by MetroGIS.

Best Practices
Data Content Standards
Thematic Data Categories Top of Page
Description: DataFinder uses the Minnesota Geospatial Data Categories, which are based on the Topical Category Definitions that are part of the ISO 19115 metadata standard. A few of the ISO categories have been expanded by the federal and state governments to provide meaningful categories at the local level. The DataFinder ISO Compliant Theme Categories document describes these theme categories in detail.
Endorsed: Test implementation on DataFinder was accomplished in summer 2002 following endorsement by the MetroGIS Technical Advisory Team on August 22, 2002. Coordinating Committee review of the test implementation occurred in April 2003. Final approval by the MetroGIS Policy Board was received on July 30, 2003.
Information Sites: http://www.datafinder.org/documents/
DataFinder_ISO_Compliant_Theme_Categories.pdf
Contacts: Mark Kotz, mark.kotz@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644


Municipal Boundary Mapping Guidelines Top of Page
Description: With funds received through their GIS Data and Cost Sharing Agreement with the Metropolitan Council, Washington County undertook a project in 1999 to define guidelines for the capture and maintenance of MCD (minor civil division) boundary data as a pilot for MetroGIS. The guidelines developed through this pilot project pertain to improving and standardizing data capture, cleanup of existing records, and updating of jurisdictional boundary data. A final report documents the entire process and describes the procedures that are now being followed in Washington County.

In May 1998, the Policy Board endorsed a policy that each of the seven counties will serve as the primary producers of municipal jurisdictional boundary data and the Metropolitan Council will serve as the custodian for MetroGIS' regional municipal and county jurisdictional boundary dataset. Roles and responsibilities for the regional custodian were adopted. Action on guidelines for the counties, serving in their roles a primary producer of jurisdictional boundary data, was deferred until Washington County had completed the pilot project referenced above. A notice was mailed to each of the six other metro-area counties to notify them of the guidelines piloted by Washington County.
Endorsed: Endorsed by the MetroGIS Policy Board at its October 27, 1999 meeting.
Information Sites: http://www.metrogis.org/data/datasets/county_mcd/finalmun.pdf
Contacts:


Metadata Guidelines Top of Page
Description: MetroGIS has endorsed the Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines for use by its stakeholders. These guidelines provide a common approach for documenting all types of geographic data. They have been designed to be straightforward, intuitive and complete and are based on a standard developed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee in 1993: Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (http://www.fgdc.gov/metadata/contstan.html). In developing the Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines, the Minnesota Governor’s Council GIS Standards Committee sought to create a streamlined implementation of the federal standard that retains the essence of its original content.
Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Policy Board on January 28, 1998.
Information Sites: Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines: http://www.gis.state.mn.us/stds/metadata.htm
Contacts: Mark Kotz, mark.kotz@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644
  Chris Cialek, MN Land Management Information Center, 651-201-2481,


Metro-Wide Coordinate System Top of Page
Description: MetroGIS has endorsed the Metro-Wide Coordinate System as the best practice guideline for the transfer of metro-wide GIS layers for use by its stakeholders. This was one of the first standards adopted by MetroGIS.
    Coordinate system: Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
    Projection: Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)
    Zone: 15
    Units: Meters
    Datum: NAD83
Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Coordinating Committee on December 18, 1996.  
Contact: Mark Kotz, mark.kotz@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644  


National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA) Top of Page
Description: The National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy (NSSDA) was originally adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) in 1998 for use by federal agencies. The State of Minnesota adopted it in June 2000 for use by its agencies. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) is leading an effort to develop and standardize "higher accuracy data" that could be used throughout the state as the baseline for computation of the NSSDA statistic for datasets that contain the same features, generally roads and possibly parcels.

The NSSDA provides a well-defined statistic and testing methodology for positional accuracy of maps and geographic data. The testing methodology compares dataset coordinate values with coordinate values from a higher accuracy source for points that represent features readily visible or recoverable from the ground. The underlying methodology was developed by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information has developed and published a handbook to help data creators understand and implement the standard.

The consensus of those in the MetroGIS community who have reviewed and studied this standard believe it would be a valuable tool for the MetroGIS community, in particular for those users who mix and match data produced at the local, state, and federal levels. This standard will be very useful when contracting for data development. It will provide a means to more accurately describe the deliverable sought after and, in turn, evaluate the quality of the product delivered.
Endorsed: The Technical Advisory Team approved the standard at its November 2, 2000 meeting. The Coordinating Committee approved the standards on December 14, 2000. The MetroGIS Policy Board endorsed the NSSDA and promotion of it as a "Best Management Practice" by the MetroGIS community at its January 10, 2001 meeting.
Compliance: Minnesota IRM Standard 19, Version 1: A Methodology for Measuring and Reporting Positional Accuracy in Spatial Data as a “Best Management Practice”.
Resources: National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy, FGDC-STD-007.3-1998, http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/status/sub1_3.html
  Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information: The Standards Committee of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information strives to help users of geographic information and GIS technology discover data and processing standards that will make a difference in their work. http://www.gis.state.mn.us/committe/stand/index.htm
  In October 1999, the Standards Committee published the Positional Accuracy Handbook: Using the National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy to Measure and Report Geographic Data Quality. Available in PDF format at: http://www.mnplan.state.mn.us/press/accurate.html. This information includes preformatted worksheets to streamline the calculations.
  Minnesota Department of Administration. On June 12, 2000 the Department of Administration approved the NSSDA as a state standard: IRM Standard 19, Version 1: A Methodology for Measuring and Reporting Positional Accuracy in Spatial Data.
Contact: Chris Cialek, MN Land Management Information Center, 651-201-2481,


Data Content Standards
Address Guidelines and Issues for Working with Address Data Top of Page
Description: These guidelines are intended to provide information for those who wish to work with address data and are in no way meant to be a set of mandatory rules. They should help those who wish to create new databases that contain or access address data. The guidelines include an explanation of important issues involved in incorporating address data into a GIS. This information should also assist those who work with existing databases and intend on transferring or sharing data. Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Policy Board on November 19, 1997.
Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Policy Board on November 19, 1997.
Information Site: http://www.metrogis.org/data/standards/address_guidelines.shtml
Contact: Mark Kotz, mark.kotz@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644

Municipal Identifier Coding Standard Top of Page
Description: The purpose of this standard is to provide a single, common coding scheme to identify all cities, townships and Census Bureau-defined unorganized territories in Minnesota.  It is intended to be used primarily when data are being transferred.  Its use will improve the sharability of data resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication and reducing incompatibilities in collecting, processing and disseminating data.
Endorsed: Approved by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information 03/25/2009. Endorsed by the MetroGIS Policy Board on January 30, 2011.
Information Site: Municipal Identifier Coding Standard
Contact: Mark Kotz, mark.kotz@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1644


Minnesota Land Cover Classification System (MLCCS) Top of Page
Description: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Metro Region, along with other federal, state, regional and local units of government, have developed the Minnesota Land Cover Classification System (MLCCS), a natural resource inventory classification system to accurately map all land cover types. The system is unique in that it categorizes urban and built-up areas strictly in land cover terms. For natural resources the system fully incorporates the Minnesota Natural Heritage native plant community types and the newly developed National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS). The MLCCS is also unique in that it emphasizes vegetation land cover instead of land use, thus creating a land cover inventory especially useful for resource managers and planners.

The MLCCS is a hybrid of several accepted systems that are in use throughout the metro area and the state. Its development focused on the US National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS) and the Minnesota Natural Heritage Key to Natural Communities. This hybrid system for the classification of natural and semi-natural systems meets the federal requirement of using the NVCS, and preserves the Natural Heritage terminology that has been in use for many years in Minnesota. In addition, departing from the traditional land use/cover classification systems, the MLCCS does not label land cover with any land use terminology. This results in a completely new system for classification of lands traditionally labeled as residential, urban, industrial, park, etc. MLCCS recognizes the amount of artificial surfaces in areas where naturally occurring vegetation no longer exists, while at the same time recognizing the amount and type of green cover.
Endorsed: The Technical Advisory Team approved the standard at its December 7, 1999 meeting. The Coordinating Committee approved the classification system on December 16, 1999. It was adopted by the MetroGIS Policy Board on January 26, 2000 as a best management practice.
Information Site: The MLCCS Manual is available on the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mlccs/index.html.
Contact: Bart Richardson, DNR Metro Region, Phone: 651-772-6150,


Regional Planned Land Use Coding Scheme and Dataset Top of Page
Description: The regional coding scheme is believed to be unprecedented, providing a means for users to quickly compare and contrast, on a like-to-like basis, planned land uses among the 191 communities that comprise the Minneapolis - St. Paul Metropolitan Area. The regional coding scheme and resulting regional dataset are intended only to provide a means to compare, in a like manner, land use designations officially adopted by each community. They are in no way intended to replace or in any way affect locally-adopted designations. In August 2002, it received an Outstanding Planning Tool Award from the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association (APA).
Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Policy Board on April 10, 2002.
Information Site: MetroGIS website: http://www.metrogis.org/data/info_needs/
planned_land_use/index.shtml
and http://www.datafinder.org/metadata/landuse_planned.htm
Contact: Paul Hanson, paul.hanson@metc.state.mn.us, Metropolitan Council, 651-602-1642


Unique Parcel ID Guidelines Top of Page
Description: A unique parcel identification number guideline is needed for county parcel data so regional users of the data are able to fully integrate parcel data for all seven counties in the region. MetroGIS will promote the use of the unique parcel identifier scheme adopted by the MN Governor's Council on Geographic Information among its stakeholders. Use of this guideline does not require any changes in county business practices.
Endorsed: Approved by the MetroGIS Policy Board on January 27, 1999.
Information Site: MN Land Management Information Center: http://server.admin.state.mn.us/pdf/gisparcl.pdf
Contact: Nancy Rader, Land Management Information Center, 651-201-2489,
   
   Page last updated on April 04, 2011. Home   |   Search   |   Contact Us