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Foundation Feature Data (FFD)

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency's (NIMA) mission is to "provide timely, relevant, and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information in support of national security objectives." Presently, the feature data extraction process is completely manual with iterative data file transfer from extraction to validation equipment.

Foundation Feature Data (FFD) is a vector based digital product that portrays a selected minimum set of geographic information features of aeronautical, topographic, and hydrographic military significance, as defined in various map and chart specifications for scales normally ranging from 1:50 000 to 1:250 000. FFD is designed to provide near global coverage of photogrammetrically derived features to support military Geographic Information System (GIS) applications. This data is captured to form a baseline set of features, which can be intensified to meet specific applications or missions. The FFD files are equivalent to a thinned combination of the features, attributes, and value content of various 1:50 000 to 1:250 000 scale hardcopy products. All FFD product features, attributes and values are individually organised into a data library of single subject thematic layers/coverages consisting of Boundary, Hydrography, Population, Transportation and Vegetation features along with data supporting coverages of Library Reference,

On average, over 2000 labor hours are required to compile feature data compliant with the Foundation Feature Data (FFD) Specification. This is a significant reduction over the 1995 labor hours required for similar data content products yet is four to eight times the Agency's 2005 labor hour goals.

Obviously, this amount of hours could impact the "timely" component of the NIMA mission. Various organizations in the United States, predominately in the Department of Defense, have made significant research and development investments in various automation strategies over the last twenty years attempting to reduce the labor intensive operation of data extraction. These efforts have met with limited success. The current geospatial data extraction program flow within the United States Imagery and Geospatial Service (USIGS) involves multiple data exchanges between systems before a data set is releasable to archive.



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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:49:09 ZULU