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Home February 19, 2003 Agenda & Minutes

AGENDA

MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Wednesday, February 19, 2003
TIME: 10:30 a.m. – 12:300 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

Introduction and Approval of January 15, 2003 Minutes

Report from digital parcels Standards Subcommittee

Update on Federal Match for Orthoimagery project

Review Orthoimagery specifications by tier:

  • What is the Board buying?

HAZUS – MH: What is it? Should the Board be involved?

Discussion: Ongoing funding for board staff and activities

Other Business

Schedule Next Meeting & Agenda

MINUTES

GeoLibrary Board Meeting of February 19, 2003
Burton M. Cross Office Building, Conf Room 107
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Board Member Attendees as follows:

John Holden, Chair
Ed Suslovic, Co Chair
Jim Damicius, Maine Science Tech. Foundation
Jon Giles, City of Portland
Paul Mateosian, City of Bath
Bob Faunce, Consultant to Lincoln County
Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation
Tom Asbeck, Photo Science, Inc
Jim Page, James W. Sewall
Harry Lanphear, DAFS/Office of the CIO
Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power
Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society
Marilyn Lutz, UMaine

Not in Attendance:

Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographic’s
Bob Doiron, Maine Revenue Services

Non-Board Member attendees:

Dan Walters, DAFS/OGIS
Larry Harwood, DAFS/OGIS
Kristen Sommer, GPCOG
Tom Howker, BIS
Ellen Jackson, LURC
Bill Duffy, NGI
Geoffrey Ives, Delorme
Richard Sutton, Applied Geographics
Sean Myers, CDM
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Greg Miller, MFS

Introductions:

John Holden welcomed and thanked the Committee and Guests for their attendance.

Motion to approve minutes of the January 15, 2003

John presented the minutes of the January 15, 2003 for approval as written. Robert Faunce motioned to accept and Harry Lanphear seconded the motion for approval. There were no discussions and no comments. The vote was unanimously, minutes approved by the Board.

Report from digital parcels Standards Committee, reported by Larry Harwood

The Committee had their first meeting on January 29th here at the Cross Office bldg. in Conference Room 400, in attendance were: Tim LeSiege, DOT, Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power Co., Jim Henderson, State Archives, Ellen Jackson, DOC-LURC, Lisa Whynot, MRS, Liv Detrick, Island Institute, Jim Fisher, Hancock County Planning Commission, Gerry Thurlow, James W. Sewall Co., Paul Mateosian, City of Bath, Jon Giles, City of Portland, Gena Denis, DOC-BPL, Ken Murchison, Northern Maine Development Commission (by speaker phone), Larry Harwood, BIS-MEGIS.

The Committee went over what we could come up with for Standards for accepting parcels in the GeoLibrary. Larry produced a parliamentary knock out of what was discussed in the Committee meeting and he did forward it to the Committee members for their review and comments, which he received none to this day and the Committee will be meeting again this Thursday, February 20 to go over the handout that Larry has passed out.

The handout consists of a 4 Level approach to parcels standards.

Level 1 = process will be digitized, topologically correct, that is they will adhere to some of our basic standards such as coherence, etc…

1. Level 2 – Will be Geo referenced, meaning the center of the parcels of that town will be in the center of the right town. Geo referencing existing digital parcels to at least the rural network and the rural network of the better base. We were thinking in terms of the new orthophoto. This would mean geo referencing the parcel map at road intersection and rail intersection onto the new base; so it would be like the first basic level of geo referencing.

2. Level 3 – Digital recompilation which at this point invest in some real money. This will be a case of an operator recompiling the digital parcels onto the new base looking at road lines, intersections, fence lines and any other features they can see to recompile this information to the new base.

3. Level 4 – Engineering level standards, extremely detailed and probably very expensive. We did get into a little discussion on attributions, but we left it as is. This would be a parcel map that would be reproduced thru the means of orthogeometry and record subdivision plan as apposed to the whole sale rubber sheeting of existing tax maps. It may seem a bit excessive but more cost effective. It is important to have a forth level that’s above and beyond just so rubber sheeted or jigsaw puzzle together a set of tax maps for those communities that have done that. It provides higher level that the parcel mapping can be classified to to qualify it as apposed to just lumping it with other parcel mapping that maybe rubber sheeted tax maps and the positional accuracy of the parcel lines are some what questionable.

Next week the Committee will take up Parcel Standards again and Geo Referencing Standards and Attributions.

Questions/Comments:

It did come out in the Committee Meeting that it is important to at least get an inventory of these parcels and some of purpose that has been put forward to using them for a high level of accuracy may not be necessary. Something could have been digitized by students and table units and at least they would all hang together is better than nothing.

1. Any towns that have gone to paper maps, they would at least be level 1, if they want digitized and if the paper maps were in a digital form.

2. We do want topology in the first level correct? Topology in the sense that the polygons are closed and are attributed with a unique identifier.

This is all preliminary and the Committee will be meeting next Thursday, February 27th and will report back to the GeoLibrary Board with a formal recommendation in two times out.

Is the Committee going to apply cost estimates to the various levels some kind of rule of thumb? The Committee is capable of doing that.

  • The towns will have to meet these standards to get specific grant program. Cumberland County has estimates for the whole range.
  • The Committee should consider in next weeks meeting how you get checked in to see if they are complying with these standards we set.

No more questions or comments.

Up Date on Federal Match for Orthoimagery Project, Harry Lanphear and Dan Walters

The CIO’s office mailed to each member the letter from Senator Snow’s office to USGS. At the request of Senator Collin’s office we drafted the letter and we tried to make a few changes based on the e-mails we received, unfortunately, those changes didn’t happen but we feel that the letter is still good. The gentlemen from Collins office had a short conference call with USGS and the low level decision makers are support of this and any ammunition they can get to show their higher ups to make this happen they would like. We feel this letter will be helpful but whether the higher ups agree or not is yet to be seen. It is still a big unknown, OMB which has significant power and is starting to ask questions about why USGS dedicating so many internal resources to Maine (not dollars) when the 133 Homeland Security project is looming and coming soon. These are legitimate questions but hopefully the weight of Senator Snow and Collins, and given their roles in Homeland Security and other areas will carry some power. We still have yet to hear back but the letter was just sent out and fax on February 14th. We will call and ask for a status in the up coming week. They did encourage us to look for other Federal sources for the 1.6 million dollar match and the gentlemen from Collins office urge USGS to do the same.

Congress has passed their budget and Federal agency do know what their spending allotment is but it seems like this internal issue of how much they can spring free either through NAPA or through special projects to help us out. The president is supposed to sign the budget at the end of this week.

On the mission planning side of things as Harry indicated the folks doing the work at the lower level would continue to do the mission planning based upon the specs that Larry Harwood presented last week. Their planning all the flight lines, sent all the number specs and all the coverage’s we sent to them have been sent to their roll offices. We will have firm estimates for Tier A, B, and completing Tier C.

On the other agency side of things, Lynn Bjork is our USGS liaison for New England is working with Dan and talking with FEMA, US Fish and Wildlife, the Army Core of engineers and others to see how they may fit into this program. If we get the 1.6 million how can they help us improve what we are doing and one way would be to collect better evaluation data to make the data better than it is and the other way would be to expand Tier A to encompass a larger area or expand Tier B to encompass a larger area and or redo Tier C and complete what has not been done. USGS is the trigger point and were trying to get everything in place.

Q – Will we need to come up with a decision before the next board meeting to say “yes” go and buy it?

Because the Board made the decision last month to go ahead with USGS and have them to do the actual contractual work and work through their Map authorized vendors the contractual work should be much easier and shorter in duration and waiting another month for a decision will not hurt us time wise.

Q – Can the Board in some way acquire the orthophoto imagery for admission to the public domain through the Library?

Kristen Sommer, GPCOG and the folks who current own the data. Kristen passed out a hand out with some history on flight program that they run. They have completed 4 Ariel survey over Cumberland County over the years. The last won completed was done with the company called Alta photo out of Canada and right in the middle of things the company sold out to Kodak who recently closed there doors and sold out to Globe Explore. The original premise of the flight was sort of a license type situation where Kodak had a copy right on every single pixel. Since Kodak closed the door on the Citypix imager; her office did get a letter from Kodak stating we could do what ever we wanted with the original product, which was the GDI’s and the positional data that was collected by the plane which allows to create ortho rectified imager at a reasonable cost. Kodak had gone ahead on specs and ortho rectified the entire flight. GPOCOG asked Globe Explore to put together a price on Flat sale (total public access). On the third page of the handout is the product quote from Globe Explore for total ortho rectified imagery for Cumberland County (Bath and West Bath) which came to $137K.

GPOCOG has the entire original set of data (stero pairs) and would make available to the State of Maine at no cost.

The last page of the handout show a cost summary. Parts of these costs are due to a number of communities not participating. GPOCOG’s average has been that 3 to 5 communities have not participated in an Arial flight project. It’s like a joint purchase; we get the total cost of the flight, specify the product and divide it up by the square miles. Included in the last page are GPOCOG’s Administrative and Management fees due to the towns that would not participate in the cost but they still had to fly over those towns due to the regional work they do. The final pages are total cost and $2000 for Media transfer cost is a figure they put in for the board to consider because we are talking about 240 giga bits of data and would need to be put at the Library office, whether it’s transferred by hard drive or some one entering in one by one. Initially it’s a cost to keep in mind and it could be less than $2000 or more but we didn’t want the board to have any surprise fees.

Also, in the handout is a brief summary of what the towns have done with this data.

Will purchasing this data be in line with what we had decided to do price whys?

This is better, its 6 inch ground resolution. We will be reducing our cost in this flight area relatively by that amount ($137K). Dan stated he calculated preliminary numbers given the estimates that were working with USGS and given the cost they gave us for the Arial photography and the ortho rectification of running it over this entire area including bath and west bath would be $261K.

Q. On page 3 can you talk about the difference between per tile prices vs. per square mile price?

A. The tile size is the actual image size and they are a mile and a half square. In essence they are given the price either way.

Q. In item 2 are those the towns that are covered?

A. GPOCOG had already purchased orthorectfied imagery from Kodak for 10 towns, six from Kodak and 4 from a local consultant that developed the Orthoimagery from the raw data for our communities. We didn’t want to get everything but those towns and have the tiles not line up or have a gap in there. We told them we wanted the entire spec ortho data set that they developed to ensure there would be no gaps.

Q. Is there extra cost involved from USGS to the State because they would have to fly around these boarders?

A. Dan Walters will check with USGS but he does not feel there is an additional cost. They could fly this area and not process the image.

Q. Would the State be buying this from GPCOG?

A. You will be buying the ortho rectified imagery directly from Globe Explore, but GPCOG would like to recoup their admin and management fees due to the towns that did not participate that they COG paid for.

Q. Are the incline services reduced as the result of us not putting enough money into the USGS contract and therefore, will we pay a penalty in term of services received?

A. It may, the other option would be to continue to spend the same amount with USGS and just extend our coverage. For example instead of ignoring Tier C, we could propose now to redo Tier C.

No more questions or discussions.

Review Orthoimagery Specifications by tier: What is the Board buying?, by Larry Harwood

Larry passed out maps of the proposed flight plan for Orthophoto and a visual picture (at scale) of what would be captured at the different resolutions.

At the boards request we included the Bangor area and some of the developed towns in the Northern Maine in Tier A, which is shown in pink on the Map.

When USGS was doing their planning they asked us to include the areas we felt were a priority if they could get to the spring season of 2003. Larry did not have time to bring this to the Board and based on the information had since received from the board drew a line where if felt appropriate, which is lined out in Red on the Map. We justified this based on the community size and development. For planning purposes this Map is what was sent to USGS. If they make it we presume the rest would be done in 2004. If it is decide to fly Tier C, Larry does not know how long that would take; it may have to be done in another year.

Q - What did USGS say regarding their ability to fly this area (Tier C)?

A – USGS did not say.

Q - For State municipalities and Forestry it may need to be leaf off vs. leaf on?

A - To be consistent and enable to see structures it would be better to be leaf off. It depends on what you’re trying to use the photography for and how much detail you’re looking for. For the Forestry side, we definitely need to see Tier C flown because the State agencies are responsible for maintaining most of the northern part of the State and the photography we currently have is 97-98 and currently there are new roads and structures. Even for municipalities it needs to be leaf off as well.

Q – Is it based on these handouts that USGS came up with their tentative pricing?

A – Yes, this is what is currently on the table.

Q – Is this a 3 -4 year plan to complete?

A – No, we are proposing 2 years. This is what is on the table. We are focused on getting the photography done in year 1 and 2.

Q - The transfer, processing and repository that has to be built, would this be a 4 year plan?

A – It may be but it is difficult to say yes, due to the fact there’s a short window to gathers the photograph and when that is completed USGS would spend the rest of the time developing until they could fly the other Tiers.

For the States point of view the availability at the user level my definitely be 4 years out.

Q - With this spec how far does the 3.2 million go? Do you have any sense?

A – Based on the preliminary estimates how we broke this up it does cover all this. Given that we do not re-fly any of the Tier C. In Tier C (green area) the board had decided to use the photography from 96, 97, 98 to reproduce the Ortho’s, in the areas which had not been done. There are about 100 tiles up in Moosehead Lake and west that have been flown but the imagery was not developed. Given the estimates that USGS provided to us it seems as though we can accomplish all of that given the 3.2 million.

Q – The unfinished orthoquads, when would those be produced by USGS?

A - We are not certain. That should come back in our final proposal plan.

Audience Comments:

We have (Forestry) already collected ground point for those orthoquads, there is approximately 120 ground points to collect and at our last check last month we had about 100 of those points. The northern part of the state most of that there are not many roads into there and we had to wait until the ground was frozen to sled into them. In January we had over 2ft of snow so we have not been able to get into that area. We hope in the next week or two to get up there and collect the rest of the points and send them to USGS so they can complete those quarter quads.

Q – But ideally the Forestry would like an update of 97-98 pictures, correct?

A – We do have the data for 96 and we are missing those quarter quads in through there which would be useful. However, there are probably 100 miles of roads through that area that have been put in in the last 5 years since photography has been taken and without knowing where those roads are and actually driving them all and GPS them all we have no way of knowing where those roads are or where the structures are. In case of a fire, we need to know where the structures are to go ahead and plan resources for that, so new photography is the only way we are going to able to acquire that information.

Discussions

1. Can we steer back a little of Tier A to complete Tier C for new photography. Based on the information above it seems very important that we need new photography for Tier C.

2. Are we able to fly scattered areas? It would be more costly and you would end up with a checker board. A better approach would be to take Tier A flight height and fly 7200ft above ground do a scan at 1200 dots per inches total 1ft pixels you will save about 27% of the number of photographs. The higher flight height still gets the 1ft pixels but save on the number of photographs which saves on everything down the line, such as scanning, controls, the number of ortho’s you have to make and use that money to get the entire state flown. The same thing can be done with Tier B, bump it up to 15,000 ft above ground and use 1200 dpi, you will save 25% on the photograph. This is where the money starts adding up.

3. We have to remember to give the public something that they can use now and for other areas to start thinking about how they can use this information.

4. In the end we have to all agree in order to move everything forward.

5. We need to frame in the context that for 2.3 million dollars we get the best and the most.

6. The next board meeting will have to make a decision. We can not wait until April’s board meeting due to the flight time line.

7. We need to make a decision on how we want them to fly the proposed are this spring and the rest of the area we will not be able to get to this year.

8. Clear weather is too valuable to loose. We should leave it open ending and tell USGS to fly it if they can or divided it into consecutive blocks.

9. Tier A was prioritized to be first because of what USGS was being charged with doing the 133 Area program in that the pink area also hits the areas they need to do based on the Homeland Security areas in hopes that we could be rolled into that based on the Federal Match. Tier C to help produce a consistent data set that will help towns get parcel mapping created.

Points are well taken but when do need to have a decision and who will make those decisions. We will move on and discuss this at the next meeting and come up with a decision.

HAZUS – MH: What is it? Should the Board be involved? Presented by Dan Walters in Bob White absence.

This is a pretty good indication of what is to come. The HAZUS-MH program had its origins in modeling earthquakes and the financial effects through a FEMA program and has recently expanded to include other hazards such as hurricanes, floods and terrorism activities. Its software program which requires many of the GIS layer input which will be collected at a local level. In which this board will have some say in the future due to the funding we provide. The Hazardous user group itself is an effort by FEMA to pull together users of these local data sets, first responders, people in municipal or regional government that have to do disaster mitigation plans, which would require them to use this HAZUS program.

GIS executive council had a conference call with some folks from FEMA on this and they are trying to encourage the State of Maine to form some sort of Hazardous users group. The large part of what this group would focus on would be the development of spatial data sets to support the use of this program for mitigating damage to man made to natural and terrorism type activities.

We will have Bob White come back to the Board to discuss this further when the board has more time.

On going funding for board staff and activities. Presented by Ed Suslovic, John Holden

10. A conference took place with John Holden, Harry Lanphear, Ray Halperin and Tom Howker about the continued use of the enterprise fund and to help staff this board (Larry’s group).

11. Ed Suslovic has a bond request in to the Legislature requesting 8.2 million dollars. We will need to get back to him on how we would spend that money. He is also going to continue to pursue to get us, staff or other board members in front of legislative committees sometime this session to tell them what we are doing and where we are going.

12. As far as the Enterprise Fund we may need to get in front of the Cabinet which represents the department heads to make a presentation on the use of that fund to help the board staff.

The Enterprise Fund is funded by all state data communications, pays about $35 a month to connect to the Statewide Area network. Right now approximately 145K was budgeted for support of the GeoLibrary this fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. If you look at it in a monthly basis it’s about $1.00 per month. BIS is an internal service fund and operates on all the state agencies and the Governor has frozen the budget so anything BIS does has to be done within the budget and any increase in rates will not be tolerated. The other issue is not only is it a $1.00 a month for each agency but are all the agencies getting a fair value. Not all state agencies have the same utilization for GIS services. It’s a fairness factor. The commitment was only for this fiscal year.

As a board is there things we can off load from Dan’s group (if we get the federal funding) and buy services to help Dan’s group. For example we could contract out the Management Oversight of USGS doing all this work. We can pick a company and have them be the project manager for lack of a better word and they would run the show. We can spend bond money for contracted services.

The action the board may need to take is that we need to continue 1 and half fte’s, if we don’t we don’t have much. If we don’t have people working on our behalf then were not getting very far. Second, make a statement that we would prefer to continue to receive the funding through the enterprise fund assuming that things don’t break down somewhere. Contracted services will defiantly cost us more money than what were paying Dan’s group.

BIS anticipates drafting the enterprise rates within the next 6 weeks. The decisions making process is the ISPB (Information Service Policy Board) made up of folks from major agencies in State government. We have been speaking to those folks as well.

1. Would the board member entertain a motion to keep the support of the use of the enterprise fund at the current level and authorize the sub committee to continue with this process?

John Holden – Motioned the board to keep the $145k level in the enterprise fund for the next fiscal year.

John Giles – Seconded the motion

No comments or questions

Votes – unanimous, none apposed.

If the board is able to continue on with the enterprise fund for the next fiscal year, in the fall it will be incumbent on this group to put a small sub committee together to try to find alternative ways for operational funding.

Other Business:

13. The chair encouraged everyone to read over the work plan.

14. Ed Suslovic also mentioned a conference on Regionalization to be held on March 21st and he felt it may be important that we get on the agenda. It is being presented by Community Preservation Advisory Committee (a state committee). This meeting is scheduled to take place 10 – 4 and Location is yet to be determined Barbara Cherry will send an e-mail on anything she has regarding this meeting. The goal is to focus on regionalization and Ed will try to get the board the agenda. We need to get in front of as many Legislative Committees as possible. The more they understand and the importance of it the better off we are.

March agenda:

  • Orthoimagery and make decision to move forward
  • The process for replacement incase of a layoff.
  • More to be added at a later date.

In Closing, the next Geoboard meeting will be held on March 19th from 10:30 –12:30 pm here at the Burton M. Cross Office Bldg. in Room 107 and there after every third Wednesday from 10:30 – 12:30pm unless stated otherwise. No other business Robert Dorin motioned the meeting to adjourn, Harry Lanphear seconded the motion.

Meeting adjourned at 12:35pm.