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Application Schemas & Metadata (ASM) Focus Group

The ASM Focus Group (FG) serves as a community-based forum to advocate for information technology (IT) standardization activities related to the standardization of application schemas, content encoding, metadata, data semantics, and ontologies for geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) data. The ASM FG serves as a technical advisory group to the GWG and as a coordinating body for the GEOINT community to address all aspects of GEOINT application schemas, metadata, and semantics. The ASM FG merges the scope, functions, and authorities of the former Application Schemas for Feature Encoding FG and the Metadata FG.
The ASM FG shall deal with those aspects of the standardization of GEOINT relating to data structure, data exchange, semantics, logic, and the communication of meaning, as well as metadata associated with these aspects of GEOINT. This includes GEOINT content, features, attributes, and metadata coding schemas, as well as data formats, exchange media and formats, and semantic resources that support capture and the exploitation of geographic information and geographic metadata. Semantic resources may include GEOINT controlled vocabularies, taxonomies, ontologies, logical models, and formal thesaural relations, as well as mission-specific subsets of these resources.
Metadata remains a particular interest area of this group as it supports the successful tagging, sharing, assessment, and exploitation of GEOINT data, and that it is often created for users other than the producer of the metadata. Standardizing the structure and use of metadata remains critical to the successful discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of GEOINT data.
  • To serve as a GEOINT community forum to identify GEOINT data requirements and resolve standardization and interoperability issues related to the schemas, metadata and semantics for GEOINT information and data; acting as a conduit for information and coordination related to GEOINT metadata activities within the community.
  • To constitute the advisory body of technical experts recommending the adoption of standards that enable the discovery, access, integration, dissemination, exploitation and interoperability of GEOINT across the NSG community.
The ASM FG shall coordinate activities between the various recognized NSG, US Government, and partner organizations and shall assume the leading role in the development of standardized GEOINT data and metadata in those respective communities.


Participation in the ASM FG is open to all DoD/IC organizations, Federal and civil agencies, coalition partners, academic institutions, and commercial organizations that have an interest in GEOINT application schemas, metadata, and semantics. Meetings are convened semi-annually. Additional meetings may be scheduled as necessary.

The success of the ASM FG is dependent upon and provides a community-based, standard-focused forum to advocate and address consensus-based, open standardization issues and needs. The ASM FG resolves GEOINT application schema, metadata, and semantic problems, seeks common near-consensus positions, and recommended standardization solutions supporting data production and service interoperability of today and the future. These validated community recommendations are submitted to the GWG Requirements Team for acceptance and tracking until completion.

Frequently Asked Questions

A. The ASM Focus Group meets at least once each cycle of the JESC/DISR update.  For 2022, that will be two times.  Prior to 2020, it was three times a year.

A. The ASM Focus Group will continue to support current customer needs, but the intent is to move the ASM away from physical models and focus on logical and semantic models going forward.

A. Due to COVID precautions, the forum currently meets virtually.

A. Requests may be submitted to

A. ASM Focus Group standards and documents may be found on the NSG Registry at:  .

application schemas
a conceptual schema for data required by one or more applications
data set
identifiable collection of data
geospatial information
information that identifies the geographic location and characteristics of natural or constructed features and boundaries on the earth, including statistical data; information derived from, among other things, remote sensing, mapping, and surveying technologies; and mapping, charting, and geodetic data, including “geodetic products.”
geospatial intelligence
the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict features and geographically referenced activities on the earth
information about a resource (sometimes defined as “data about data”)
metadata element
discrete unit of metadata
the act of representation of an entity, usually at a particular scale
National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG)
the combination of technology, policies, capabilities, doctrine, activities, people, data, and communities necessary to produce geospatial intelligence in an integrated multi-intelligence, multisecurity domain environment
a formal representation of phenomena of a universe of discourse with an underlying vocabulary including definitions and axioms that make the intended meaning explicit and describe phenomena and their interrelationships.
the study and communication of the meaning and connotations of words in language.