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Home November 21, 2002 Agenda & Minutes


GeoLibrary Board Meeting of November 21, 2002
Burton M. Cross Office Building, Conf. RM 300
9:00am – 12:00pm

Board Member Attendees as follows:

1. Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power

2. Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographic’s

3. Jon Giles, City of Portland

4. Paul Mateosian, City of Bath

5. Bob Faunce, Consultant to Lincoln County

6. Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation

7. Tom Asbeck, Photo Science, Inc

8. John Holden, Eastern Maine Development Corporation

9. Jim Page, James W. Sewall

10. Harlan Onsrud, UMaine, Dept. of Spatial Information Science & Engineering

11. Bob Doiron, Maine Revenue Services

12. Harry Lanphear, DAFS/Office of the CIO

13. Ed Suslovic

Non-Board Member attendees:

Dan Walters, DAFS/OGIS

Larry Harwood, DAFS/OGIS

Jim Skillings, DeLorme

Mary Ann Hayes, SPO

Molly Schauffler, SPO

Dick Hinkley, BIS

Richard Sutton, Applied Geographic’s, Inc

Michael Terner, Applied Geographic’s, Inc

Not in Attendance:

Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society

Jim Damicius, Maine Science Tech. Foundation

Facilitator: John Holden


John Holden opened the meeting with introductions.

Resolve 23 study overview:

Mike Terner and Richard Sutton, from Applied Geographic Inc gave an overview of the State of Maine GIS Needs Assessment and Requirements Analysis & Strategic Plan to Develop the Maine Library of Geographic Information. They worked under the direction of the Resolve 23 Steering Committee and collaborated with the Committee’s Technical, Privacy and the Governance subcommittees. Key areas of discussion included the following:

How the information was gathered

  • Conducted 70 interviews w/GIS stakeholders in Maine and focus groups
  • Online & Hardcopy surveys was distributed through the MMA & 150 responses were gathered and analyzed.

Discussed the process in which they used the information gathered to complete the study.

  • Findings from the interviews & surveys was shared w/the committee
  • Collaborative brainstorming both within the subcommittees & the full committee meetings
  • Key issues & goals that were identified
    • Expansion of data standards
    • Expansion in the data
    • The data warehousing architecture
    • Required GIS education
  • Specific recommendation of what the Library might look like was hashed out.
  • The Governance subcommittee developed a notion of how the coordination would occur should the State be fortunate enough to be able to implement these recommendations. The GeoLibrary Board is a key element of the over all governance, and the roles of BIS, current GIS, and the CIO’s Office were also discussed.

Presented a schematic representation of the plan.

  • E xpanded statewide GIS program for ME that will create the benefits of putting all the locational information in one place
  • Help improve coordination and reduce overlaps of State GIS efforts
  • Expand the ability of the State to address important policy issues
    • Sensible growth and economical development
    • Provide a helping hand to local and Regional governments that are trying to get GIS off the ground and use it for there own local purposes
  • Good set of Standards
  • Expanded data warehousing
  • Explicit outreach to municipalities and active coordination with municipalities to ensure that information is getting into the Library accurately

Discussed the benefits for both State and Local governments

  • Local – Gaining access to State:
    • Resources for GIS startup
    • Dollars for data development
    • Technical assistance
    • Data in the GeoLibrary

  • State – Obtaining critical local data sets
    • Parcels
    • Zoning
  • Data sets are necessary to address issues of:
    • Economic development
    • Sensible growth
    • Environmental protection
    • Critical Infrastructure protection

Potential Architecture - web services

  • Potential using the Open GIS Consortium standards as the language of the State web services
  • MA, VT & NY are building OGC compliant interfaces to the web mapping standard WMS for services
  • Web Services Case study MassGIS & Plymouth, MA
  • MA has published web services
  • Allows you access to their statewide Ortho photos
  • Ability to do statewide geocoding
  • Development Tracking Environment
    • Client Application
    • Provide sketching tools for communities to locate new development & submit these locations to the GeoLibrary/ME-SPO
    • Make layers available & Geotracking
    • Generate an orthophoto image to show “previous conditions”
    • Geocode to locate general area of development
    • Having the infrastructure of making geocoding available, making layers available and building the client side applications has becomes much easier and much more feasible; and you have a central place to put all the information that was collected from the multi participants in the field

Funding and developments since the plan

  • The Administration made a commitment to use funds from the State Enterprise Fund for startup and operational costs to get the resolve 23 program off the ground for FY03-04
  • Environmental Bond was passed due to hard work from SPO and the resolve 23 steering committee. The GIS component of the bond 2.3million was ear marked for implementing the resolve 23 study and initiating the Geographic Information System

Impacts on the GIS Executive Committee

No questions were asked of the presenters on the Resolve 23 study. The PowerPoint presentation presented at the meeting “first_geoboard_mtg_11_20_02.ppt” is attached for your information. The resolve 23 study can be found at

Review Legislation creating the GeoLibrary Board

John Holden opened the discussion on the area of legislation he felt were critical to members of the Board, in order for the Board to decide next steps in implementing the plan.

Section “Purposes and duties” (page 2 & 3 A, B, C & D) of the Board as stated in the legislation, which included

  • Overseeing the Maine Library of Geographic Information to ensure that it operates as a coordinated, cost-effective electronic gateway providing public access to data custodians’ public geographic information
  • Establish and maintain standards, rules and policies for nonstate data custodians’ geographic information that is incorporated into the Maine Library of Geographic Information. #1-6
  • Reduce redundancies in the creation, verification and maintenance of public geographic information and to enhance its utility for complex analyses.
  • To set priorities and authorize the expenditure of state funds, including awarding grants or sub-grants to data custodians when available.

Concerns and discussions:

  • Under “Purposes & Duties” How open is this information going to be and how personalized?
  • How are we going deal with access vs privacy?
  • There are a number of municipal sites now that allow individual taxpayers to choose not to have their data showing. We probably need to allow that type of data decision to be made at the local level. Legislators will have some concerns in this area.
  • Infrastructure locations , such as where the bridges are located, certainly is public information but for reasons of security we may choose not to show on maps on the Web.
  • We will need to discuss more as the board proceeds as to what information needs to be clouded due to terrorism.
  • We have an obligation to pull in any resources we deemed necessary to move forward.
  • Privacy & Security will be at the forefront of the Board due to the Homeland Security issues.
  • GIS is happening across the State of Maine and a lot of work has been done by the State in developing GIS standards and not a lot of people are aware of it.
  • An important part of the Resolve 23 discussions was that the board needs to remember not to get into competition with certain private interests.
  • Security – in some cases, data has been removed off line from the State and local levels. What’s being done is an attempt to manage access rather than deny access to the data? We will need to address.
  • In NY State Orthophotography has been taken off line and if you want to request the information you have to submit it in writing detailing who you are and why you want the information
  • We need to discuss in length where the State’s responsibility starts and ends, and where the private sectors starts and end, and where they overlap.
  • The enterprise rate that was referenced is a rate that covers a lot of things; mostly it is in the BIS area covering the Wide Area Network for example. Also, all state agencies share the cost and fund the Office of the CIO. As GIS becomes more widespread throughout state government the argument was easier to make than it has been historically that it should be a statewide funded and shared by all state agencies through this enterprise rate. The initial money in there was to fund some start up costs of the Board. Richard Hinkley, from BIS testified to the Legislature that we can fund it for a little while but we would have to go back to the Legislature if ongoing support forever is needed.
  • We need to remember that these are very hard times for the State of Maine, and in asking for more money from Legislative Committee, we need to show visible projects. Pressure is on the committee and we need to plunge ahead.

What are the makeup & role and mission of the Executive Steering Committee and how do we relate to that?

  • Maine state agencies GIS Executive Council has been in existence for 7-8 years.
  • Collection of all state agencies that currently use GIS & some that are potential users.
  • Voluntarily contribute funds out of our internal agency budgets through a service level agreement process that funds the core functions of the Maine Office of GIS
  • Establishes work priority for the GIS Office as it relates to providing core services for state agencies
  • We do have one or two non state agencies members; presently UMaine & CMP
  • Set standards & establish policies, which have to receive a final approval from the Information Services Policy Board
  • 5 year strategic plan has been drafted
  • looking for a cooperative relationship with the Board

Harry Lanphear suggested the Board should have Dale McCormick come in and explain the mechanics of where the money is, how we access it, how we officially can spend or allocate the funds. Also, to provide a mechanism to help municipalities in requesting grants from the State Government.

John Giles stated from a municipal view point, no matter how much infrastructure we create for delivering and storing of data, for the towns it really comes down to Financial Aid and creating data that does not exist digitally or in a GIS format. The towns are really looking at this board to provide some help in that area.

Pages 108-109 of the Resolve 23 report discusses budgeting and funding issues (these pages are attached to the Update of GeoLibrary Activities below). This will help the board in prioritizing certain categories and applying dollars.

Update on current activities related to GeoLibrary and bond issue presented by Dan Walters

Dan provided a brief overview of what the Maine Office of the GIS has been doing since July 1, given that they have been operating since that time in support of the Geolibrary and Board.

As stated earlier by Harry Lanphear and Richard Hinkley, the administration, in agreement with the agencies, agreed to provide some funding from the enterprise fund to support the board. As a result, $144,000 from the state enterprise fund was approved for FY03. This money is being spent on Outreach, Education and Coordination, which is outlined in the handout (attached) The $144,000 is entirely encumbered with the staff support and associated overhead.

Technical staff consists of a full-time State/Local Outreach Coordinator, Larry Harwood, and part-time GeoLibrary Content Specialist Kate King. Dan Walters will provide technical and policy staff support to the GeoLibrary Board Judy Beloff, from the Office of the CIO will coordinate the meetings; send out correspondence, e-mails and minutes. Review of the minutes will be made by Dan Walters to ensure any key issues are well documented, and then sent to the Board for review and comments, and we will finalize them formally with a vote at the next meeting.

The third service area that was covered in the Resolve 23 report which is not reflected in the current funding is the GIS contract specialist. That position was to be focused on work related to municipal grants and the issues related to that program. The bond amount is less than originally requested and the need for a contract specialist is in question for the short-term..

Harry Lanphear, will consult with the Attorney Generals office with any legal questions the board may have.

The Bond money cannot be used for any governmental staffing, only contracts. The nature of the contract has to be about building a capital investment not ongoing operations. The development of the initial standards can be considered a capital expense.

Discussed the Accomplishments to date of the Geolibrary

  • Participated in Maine Municipal Association Annual meeting and fall meeting of the Maine GIS User Group
  • Collaborative project with State Planning Office (SPO) to produce standard CD product containing all available state GIS data for local government and schools
  • New data layers in system: trawling for data, QA/QC, metadata, access (website and CD)

Ongoing Activities

  • Technical Assistance to regional and local government
  • Coordination
  • Outreach
  • Data Trawling
  • Metadata (checking of the metadata, FGDC standards)
  • QA/QC

Discussed Statewide Data Development

  • $2.3 million bond approved

Dialog with US Geological Survey & Natural Resource Conservation Service on cooperative national program for digital orthoimagery (National Aerial Photography Program)

  • Collecting specifications developed around the country for digital orthoimagery projects

A conference call has been set up with principals at USGS for Tuesday, November 26th to discuss what the next steps are in terms of technical specifications and available federal funding. Federal funding will constrain the project to some degree because they have certain national requirements for their orthoimagery. We are aware that currently there is no money available because Congress has not passed USGS’s budget and that is one of the key areas we hope to cover during this conference call In our last discussion with them Maine was number two in the nation for NAPP funding, right behind Kansas. Everything was being done from the Governor’s office to preserve the 1.6 million dollars for the State of Maine.

The $1.6 million has been set aside for Maine, and will be available if the NAPP program monies are not diverted for another purpose. USGS set those priorities by talking to other federal agencies about their needs , and in consideration of internal USGS National Mapping objectives. Given all these joint federal needs then they decide what states and what areas should receive priority funding. This would be the federal match of our 1.6 million out of the 2.3 million bond.

It was suggested that a letter be drafted in support of getting this funding or to show the Federal Government officially that the bond did pass and we exist as a board.

Dan will report back to the board as to the outcome of the conference call with USGS

Discussed the need to collaborate with projects requiring similar data in case funding is not going to be available through USGS; like

  • FEMA flood plain modernization program
  • Homeland Security – FEMA, USGS, NIMA
  • I-Team
  • A brief overview of the federal I-team initiative was provided. It was suggested that the board take an action to join the State’s GIS Executive Council as part of the State’s I-Team.
  • Ray Halperin made a motion for the GeoLibrary Board to join the state’s GIS Executive Council in partnership as the States I-team.
  • Seconded by Bob Dorin
  • Comments or questions - None
  • Vote was Unanimous
  • No NO votes
  • Two members not present to vote
  • Passed

Web Site – It was discussed to put up a web site for public consumption, which will provide an opportunity for people to comment on what is going on. Dan Walters will take on this responsibility. He will create the page and bring it back to the board for comments.

Discussed the need to maybe create a sub-committee, or sub I-team, to work together with Dan Walters and Larry Harwood on standards and how we move forward to contract with a vendor to support this work. Also, another committee should be established to look into orthoimagery specifications and how we will proceed to do a contract. A member suggested starting the RFP for orthoimagery through the process sooner rather than later due to the time constraints. Before doing so the board felt we should have more information as to what type of needs exist.

Jon suggested having a member of the Open GIS Consortium to come to a near future Geoboard member meeting to inform the board as to what the existing standards are and what they entail. The Board agreed and Jon will be in contact with them.

It was decided to create a working group for the Orthoimagery to include Dan Walters’s office, and Jon Giles. Pages 26 & 27 of the report will give you some input in this area. The working group will bring back an outline for the board’s review. As far as the sub-committees goes are we allowed to have the members of private sector involved or would this be a conflicted of interest? Harry will talk with the head of Purchases and the Attorney General’s office as to what role the private sector members can play without jeopardizing their chances of bidding for an RFP or problems with their own municipalities in obtaining future grants from the Board. He will send an e-mail out to the Board with his findings. If there is no conflict, the private board members will be more than happy to sit on this working group as well. Will Mitchell will share the letter he received from the Speaker’s office to the next board meeting, stating there will not be a conflict of interest for private sector members to bid on contracts, as long as a couple of terms are met.

The board has requested Dan Walters’s group to bring back to the Board a general outline for the next year’s work plan. It was suggested that Dan’s group bring back a work plan, budget and proposed sequence of events. The board can then decide which project we need to definitely move forward with and/or reorganize priorities. This will help the board allocate the appropriate funds.

A motion was made by Jim Page to elect John Holden as Chair and Ed Suslovic as Co-Chair, due to their experience in chairing resolve 23.

  • Seconded by Ray Halperin
  • Vote – Unanimous
  • No No Votes
  • John Holden as Chair (1year term)
  • Ed Suslovic as Co-Chair (1 year term)

The Board suggested everyone review the draft on the 5 year strategic plan presented by the Executive Committee.

Next Meeting items

  • Approval of November 21, 2002 minutes
  • Bonding Process (someone from Treasures office)
  • Create Sub-committees on Standards
  • Discuss workplan
  • Orthoimagery discussion

In Closing the next Geoboard meeting will be held on December 18th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm here at the Burton M. Cross Office Bldg. in Room 107 and there after every third Wednesday from 10:00 – 12:00pm unless stated otherwise.

Meeting adjourned.