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by: Michael Byrne

August 5, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:158:height=100,width=70]]This week the Federal Communications Commission, acting as a partner in the National Broadband Map for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is releasing a transfer data model of the State Broadband Data Development Program data from state ‘Awardees’ to us here at the FCC.  I just want to comment on a couple of things with this news.

First and foremost this news is not a shining moment for the FCC or NTIA, but rather the community of mapping coordinators in each state.  Many people have collaborated to bring us a better more involved approach to transferring data from states to the federal government for the National Broadband Map, most notably key individuals at the National States GIS Council (NSGIC).  NSGIC took the initiative to propose a transfer data model for use in the SBDD program.  Thank you NSGIC! 
 
Through continued interaction with the Broadband Working Group at NSGIC and the technical team here at FCC, we collectively made improvements to the transfer model.  This kind of collaboration, indeed inclusion and two way communication, is essential to a higher functioning national mapping product.  When we in Washington interact and listen to the core requirements of people much closer to local geography, we all win with a better product.  I look forward to more interaction like this as our data initiative grows.
 
Second, as it relates to open government, the release of this transfer model is an important event.  While data.gov, geoplatform.gov and other sites in the federal government provide access to data, the release of this model demonstrates an ‘under the hood’ look at how we manage one of our data assets.  Once fully populated, this transfer data model will house millions of records critical to the understanding of the broadband ecosystem.  So here is a description of the data model, here is an xml schema for the data model, here is a poster of the model, and here is a blank copy of the ESRI file geodatabase we use.  
 
Finally, when the National Broadband Map goes live early next year, we fully expect to release the data in multiple ways, including this data model.  Those interested parties who wish to perform research, use the data for application development or just muck around are welcome to look at the data model today and begin thinking about how they will use it, and let us know.  Moreover, if you see opportunities where we could improve the model, recognizing it is developed for the express purpose of transferring data as opposed to optimized to delivering spatial data say via the web, please let us know.
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