Frequently Asked Questions
Spatial Data and the Spatial Clearinghouse
- What is considered "spatial data"?
- What is the Spatial Clearinghouse?
- What spatial data needs to be submitted to the Spatial Clearinghouse?
1. What is considered spatial data?
Information that identifies the geographic location & characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth.
This information may be derived from, among other things, remote sensing, mapping, and surveying technologies. Statistical data may be included in this definition at the discretion of the collecting agency.
2. What is the Spatial Clearinghouse?
The Spatial Clearinghouse is defined as a "decentralized system of servers located on the Internet which contain field-level descriptions of available digital spatial data. This descriptive information, known as metadata, are collected in a standard format to facilitate query and consistent presentation across multiple participating sites"... "A fundamental goal of Clearinghouse is to provide access to digital spatial data through metadata. The Clearinghouse functions as a detailed catalog service with support for links to spatial data and browse graphics." (http://www.fgdc.gov/dataandservices/)
3. What spatial data needs to be submitted to the Spatial Clearinghouse?
The 1994 Executive Order 12906:
“Coordinating Geographic Data Acquisition and Access:
The National Spatial Data Infrastructure”, applies to all new and previously collected geospatial data, collected directly or indirectly. The documentation for these data must adhere to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) standards and be made available to the Clearinghouse network, and documentation along with data must be made available to the public.