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Home May 21, 2003 Agenda & Minutes


MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Wednesday, May 21, 2003
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

1. Approval of April 16, 2003 Board Minutes
2. Letter from Board to USGS in support of DeLorme and other Maine firms
3. Request from GPCOG
4. Preliminary Report from the Subcommittee on Municipal Grants
5. Status of the Aerial Photography
6. Updated Budget Line Items
7. Discussion of New Technology & Presentations to the Board of Ongoing GIS Projects Happening in Maine
8. Final draft report for the State of Maine Standards for Digital Parcel Files
9. Other Business

a. Dick Thompson check with the AG’s office and report on the regulatory process as it relates to public review

b. Legislative process to fill board position held by MSTF

c. Confirmation of the BIS Enterprise 144K, if possible

NOTE: The Grant Committee will be meeting at 1:00 p.m. after the GeoLibrary Board meeting at the State Planning Office (184 State St.) to begin the grant program. All are welcome to attend.


GeoLibrary Board Meeting of May 21, 2003
Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Board Member Attendees as follows:

John Holden, Chair
Robert Faunce, Statewide Association of Counties
Jon Giles, City of Portland
Bob Doiron, Maine Revenue Services
Marilyn Lutz, UMaine
Jim Page, James W. Sewall
Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power
Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society
Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographics
Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation
Tom Asbeck, Photo Science, Inc
Dick Thompson, DAFS/Office of the CIO

Not in Attendance:

Ed Suslovic, Co-Chair
Paul Mateosian, City of Bath

Non-Board Member attendees:

Dan Walters, DAFS/OGIS - Staff to the Board
Larry Harwood, DAFS/OGIS – Staff to the Board
Jim Skillings, Delorme Publishing
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Tom Howker, BIS
MaryAnn Hayes, State Planning Office
Judy Colby-George, Spatial Alternatives
Sean Myers, Camp, Dresser, McKee
Jim Henderson, State Archives

1. Approval of April 16, 2003 Board Minutes

John Holden, Chair to the Board, opened the meeting asking for comments on the April 16th minutes. With no comments, the minutes were approved and accepted as written.

2. Letter from Board to USGS in support of DeLorme and other Maine firms.

Not having the letter in hand, John Holden proposed to table the item and send out, electronically, a drafted letter to Board members for their review/comments. Minor issues raised included: 1) timing for getting the letter out – not an issue at this point, 2) legal question to submit electronically and vote electronically. Dick Thompson shared his understanding that the Board could authorize the Chair to send the letter providing the Chair is comfortable with the contents of the letter, pending review and comments from the Board, we would be in approval of that process. Ray Halperin asked to have the Board move to accept local firms and asked that the letter be written expressing support of Maine firms to USGS.

A motion was made and seconded for the Board to support the use of Maine firms at the USGS level. All in favor, none opposed. After revising the letter, as needed, John Holden will send the letter to USGS. The goal is to have the letter reviewed, finalized, and sent to USGS by Friday, May 20th.

3. Request from GPCOG

John Holden noted that the representative from GPCOG was not able to attend the meeting do to unfortunate circumstances. John opened the floor on any comments from the Board members to the GPCOG letter. The letter submitted from Neal W. Allen was reviewed by Board members prior to the meeting and discussion followed. Some of the comments from Board members included: 1) the letter did make a pretty convincing case, 2) could the Board be setting a negative precedent by not honoring GPCOG’s request, 3) an issue of this becoming a legal hassle, 4) the possibility of the Board’s interference in the process, 5) supporting the full funding requested or come up with some other number, 6) could the Board have done it differently, 7) what is the real GPCOG financial picture, 8) purchasing licensed data for public use, 9) true ownership of the data, and other minor concerns discussed by the Board.

Dan Walters, at this time, reminded the Board members at the April meeting the Board made a motion to purchase the Citipix data. From the April 16th meeting: The original motion (which was made and seconded) was restated “to purchase the Citipix for a sum not to exceed $137,000”. With a show of hands, Board members voted 8 in favor, 3 opposed, and 1 abstention. The motion to purchase was approved and passed. Dan commented we acted on behalf of the Board to procure it and it was a done deal.

Further discussion regarding the letter from GPCOG continued with members sharing their thoughts both in a positive and not so positive way as to what could happen in the future and that setting a negative precedent here is extremely important. Comments were made that the Board had this very same discussion at the April meeting, it was unfortunate that GPCOG did not like the outcome and were suggesting something different, these are public funds being used to derive public data and it is very clear the data should be part of the public domain. Also, a concern was raised regarding the very last sentence in the letter “If the Board fails to act positively to GPCOG’s involvement in this project, we will need to take whatever steps we feel are necessary to protect the investment we have made in this project.” Questions were raised as to whether or not they do have a viable claim to this data. The State’s purchase order clearly states that Global Explorer was providing us with something they had the authority to sell us.

John Holden asked about legal proceedings for this Board…do we turn to the Attorney General’s Office? Dick Thompson commented that the Board could work with the AG representative for either the CIO’s Office or BIS (maybe the same rep).

Following a very extensive discussion, John Holden asked what action, if any, the Board should take now, noting there are a lot of questions on the table. He also asked considering the unexpected nature of today’s absence (GPCOG rep) would the Board be willing to give them another chance for their presentation?

Ray Halperin commented that GPCOG entered into a restricted license agreement with Citipix for the base level photography, we entered into an agreement with Global Explorer for different data, which they acknowledged they had clear rights to sell us.

Board members agreed to allow a rep from GPCOG to come to the June meeting, re-submit their request. However, the Board members want GPCOG to bring with them 1) a copy of their original contract with Global Explorer, 2) what is, if any, the interference with their ongoing contract, 3) how much and why the Board having this data will cost them in the future. It was agreed the Board needs to know the facts of who owns what.

A recommendation was made to set up a subcommittee to read the contract for content and interpretation, perhaps Dick Thompson, CIO; Board Chairs; and someone from the AG’s office. Jim Page suggested there were three issues in the matter: 1) a legal issue as to whether or not the Geolibrary has title to Citipix, 2) a policy issue regarding the request from GPCOG, and 3) GPCOG making a claim against the Board based on certain loss of value may or may not be there. It was felt that if those are the three issues, we need to keep them separate and resolve individually.

John Holden said he would bring GPCOG rep back to the Board for points of clarification, set up a subcommittee to review the contract, bring recommendations back to the Board, and prioritize the issues mentioned above for the subcommittee to address.

Judy Colby-George of Spatial Alternatives shared with the Board members their work with GPCOG and that they currently had five projects on hold since hearing the State would be buying Citipix and providing for free to the public. She felt this would have some financial impact on GPCOG, however, she had no knowledge of GPCOG’s agreement with Global Explorer.

With this awareness brought before the Board, it was commented that this is extremely important to the Board which could be facing a legal situation, and to what degree are we interfering with the towns waiting, private contractors working with towns and waiting, etc.

Also, it was asked that the GPCOG rep bring to the Board some idea of the financial impact of buying Citipix on money they made as a reseller.

A motion was made and seconded that the Board authorize staff to solicit a response from GlobeXplorer in this matter. The motion carried, none opposed.

4. Preliminary Report from the Subcommittee on Municipal Grants

Jon Giles, one of three co-chairs of this committee reported on the first meeting. The first decision of the committee was to increase membership by inviting representatives from the Maine Municipal Association, the Island Institute, municipal officials (two had already been invited: Don Garrold form Searsport and Jim Catlin from Turner), Bob Faunce from the Board and Jim Fisher, Hancock County Planning Commission.

The committee discussed the timing of grants and the consensus was that quarterly would be best and would coincide with Treasury’s quarterly floating of bond issues. The committee also discussed possible conflict of interest with members evaluating grant proposals from their own towns. Dick Thompson commented on the legalities involved in evaluations and agreed to guide the committee in that process. The committee had considered involving the State Planning Office as they review numerous grant proposals but their resources are already strained.

There was some discussion of the eligibility of grant candidates and whether or not grants would be limited to municipalities and parcel data. The committee had thought that who ever is responsible for the tax maps should be eligible. This committee was also focused on grants for parcel data development only.

5. Status of the Aerial Photography

Larry Harwood reported that according to his contacts with the subcontractor James Sewall Co, the entire 2003 area had been flown. MEGIS had made an attempt to add areas of Aroostook county to the contract as the flying season that far north is somewhat delayed, but this now seemed very unlikely.

There was a question on when the photography would be available. Dan Walters explained that photographic products could be purchased directly from USGS as needed or that for about $60,000 one could buy a complete set of prints statewide and that perhaps one or more state agencies would be interested in doing this. The scheduling and availability of photographic products however depends on the USGS, which must now review and accept the photography.

6. Updated Budget Line Items

Dan Walters reviewed the latest proposed budget and how it relates to the original strategic plan.

1) Data standards development has proceeded well with volunteers so the proposal is for $10,000 from that item as a match to federal money from for a project to develop a digital data archival system. Jim Henderson, State Archives gave a short presentation on this project to create a digital system called GeoArchives for maintaining Maine GIS records having permanent value.

At this point, it was moved and seconded to authorize the Chair to write a letter of intent to put up the match. The motion carried, none opposed.

2) Data warehousing. The proposal is to store image and vector data on a BIS Oracle server plus additional drives for the MEGIS server. One alternative would be the purchase of a new Windows server. Sean Myers, CDM commented that they have servers already been established to serve such data.

3) The orthoimagery project is $1.6 million plus $133,104 for Citipix and money for parcel automation grants is to be determined as explained below. The other items remain zeroed out.

4) The API development remains at $25,000. The proposal is for $25,000 in internet browser development to be used as a match for federal money for making the browser compliant with the open GIS environment.

There remains $366,788 to distribute between the parcel automation grant program and the development tracking application development as the Board sees fit.

Dennis Boston asked if there were any firm numbers yet on the orthophoto project as yet. Dan replied that the USGS deals in actuals – actual cost as opposed to a fixed cost. There was some discussion of development tracking and the various ways in which it could be done. Ray Halperin suggested that for about $95,000 a formal requirements definition could be created for a development tracking application; this would be a sort of placeholder for future funding.

7. Discussion of New Technology & Presentations to the Board on Ongoing GIS Projects Happening in Maine

Due to other important items on the agenda, this item was tabled but will be included in the June 18th meeting agenda.

8. Final Draft Report for the State of Maine Standards for Digital Parcel Files

Larry Harwood presented the report and recommendations from the Parcel Standards Committee. The report consisted of a document intended eventually for publication detailing the recommended standards. Basically the proposal is for multi-level spatial data standards, minimal attribution attached to the spatial data and the bulk of the attribute data to be carried in related tables. The committee’s recommendations to the Board were that public comment be allowed on the proposed standards, that archiving be done by periodic full backups and that a pilot project be undertaken as soon as possible.

Several members commented that the wording “surveying/engineering” in the document should be changed as these standards would not be applicable to work done by registered surveyors. Jon Giles suggested running the standards by the state’s surveying community. Bob Faunce suggested a more detailed recommendation on which municipal officials would decide what data was released due to privacy issues. Time pressing, John Holden enjoined the members to review the document and bring changes to the next meeting.

9. Other Business

a. Dick Thompson will check with the AG’s office and report on the regulatory process as it related to public review. He will bring written documentation on the regulatory process as it relates to public review to the June 18th meeting.

b. Legislative process to fill board position held by MSTF. Dick Thompson commented that the Board would have to go before the Legislature to replace this vacancy. Would not be of benefit to present to the Legislature at this time, as they will be adjourning within six weeks. If the Board feels a need to fill this vacancy, will need to go before the Legislature in January 2004.

c. Confirmation of the BIS Enterprise 144K for GIS. Tom Howker commented that the monies have been included in the budget and awaiting final legislative decision.

The Chair entertained a motion to adjourn, seconded. Adjourned at 12:33 PM