creating and managing the data on a daily basis for their respective area. In this manner, selected coal mining spatial data from all participating SMCRA organizations will be combined to form national datasets appropriate for internal use by OSM and for distribution to the public via Internet map server applications and/or data services to Geospatial One Stop (GOS), the National Map, and other means as appropriate without additional human resource commitments by the participating SMCRA organizations.
Many problems will need to be overcome during development of a national coal mining spatial data infrastructure. Potential problems include but are not limited to inability of small SRA programs to adequately participate due to resource issues; possible resistance to participation by SRA’s; state and federal mandated Information Technology (IT) requirements adversely affecting infrastructure development; IT security issues; unanticipated difficulties within OSM in collecting, managing, and developing applications for national datasets; spatial data metadata documentation; stewardship of authoritative spatial data; data liability and confidentiality concerns; and funding for infrastructure development. All of these problems appear to have manageable solutions.
An initial meeting of the Coal Mining Spatial Data Infrastructure team on June 29 and teleconferences of September 5 and November 7 provided opportunities for team members to identify issues, discuss possible solutions, and develop plans to prototype a spatial data infrastructure. An implementation plan consisting of two phases was selected. In Phase 1, a “proof-of-concept” pilot project to exchange coal mining spatial data between at least two ArcSDE servers at remote locations within OSM’s WAN would be attempted. In Phase 2, a similar effort would be made to exchange selected coal mining spatial data between an ArcSDE server inside OSM’s WAN and one or more ArcSDE servers located outside the OSM WAN at a SRA.
The Phase 1 attempt was successfully conducted on August 3. Prior to this attempt, a user account with read-only permission was established on an ArcSDE server located at an OSM office in Knoxville, TN to allow access through the Internet from another ArcSDE server located at an OSM office in Denver, CO. In Phase 1, a GIS specialist in Denver manually executed a script written in ArcGIS Model Builder to automate the entire process of logging onto the ArcSDE servers in Knoxville and Denver from a workstation, downloading previously selected data from both servers, closing connections, reprojecting four datasets from different coordinate systems to a single national coordinate system, and merging them into a single dataset. In this test, 891 surface coal mining polygon boundaries and attributes of Tennessee were combined with 8 surface coal mining polygon boundaries and attributes representing 4 surface coal mining operations located on Indian tribal lands in Arizona and New Mexico. This entire process required less than a minute for completion.
Prior to attempting Phase 2, numerous requirements must be met. In Phase 2, GIS personnel within selected SMCRA organizations will be contacted to allow access and downloading of selected coal mining spatial data located on ArcSDE servers within state organizations operating outside OSM’s WAN. OSM may be required to establish interconnection agreements with the SMCRA organizations, provide business plan documentation to OSM’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), and adequately address potential issues relative to security. An automation