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Home February 18, 2004 Agenda & Minutes


MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Wednesday, February 18, 2004
TIME: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

1. Approval of December 17, 2003 and January 20, 2004 Board Minutes

2. Introduce New Appointee

3. Update: Board Vacancy Legislation Change

4. Update: GeoLibrary Annual Report and Workplan

5. Update: Tech Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, & Interface

6. APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards

7. Update: Municipal Grants Program and Nominations for Review Committee

8. Other Business/Updates

  • Development Tracking Project
  • Study Impact of Statewide System for Electronic Filing of Deeds
  • Land Cover Initiative

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 – Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 600


February 18, 2004 - 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 107

Board Members in Attendance

Jim Page, James W. Sewall
Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society
Marilyn Lutz, UMaine
Jon Giles, City of Portland
Paul Mateosian, Municipal Government
Robert Faunce, Statewide Association of Counties
Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographics
Dick Thompson, CIO
Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power
Sean Myers, Representing the Public

Board Members not in Attendance

John Holden, Chair
Ed Suslovic, Co-Chair
Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation
Robert Doiron, Maine Revenue Service

Board Staff in Attendance

Larry Harwood
Dan Walters

Other Attendees

David McKittrick, DeLorme
Jeff Torish, DeLorme
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Liv Detrick, Island Institute
Tom Howker, Bureau of Information Services

With the absence of the Chair and Co-Chair, Dick Thompson asked the Board to appoint an acting chair for the meeting. With this request, a motion was made by Paul Mateosian and seconded by Will Mitchell to appoint Jim Page as acting chair to convene the GeoLibrary Board meeting. With a show of hands, the Board unanimously voted to appoint Jim as acting chair for this meeting.

Item #1: Approval of December 17, 2003 and January 20, 2004 Board Meeting Minutes

Jim proceeded to convene the meeting (10:45 a.m.) requesting a motion to approve the December 17, 2003 and January 20, 2004 minutes. He gave the Board members time to review the handouts of the minutes. Larry Harwood apologized to the Board for not getting the January minutes out sooner for their review. Robert Faunce made a motion to approve the minutes and Paul Mateosian seconded the motion. With only one change on the January minutes, the Board, by a show of hands, unanimously approved the minutes. Following this, Jim asked folks to introduce themselves, so done.

Item #2: Introduce New Appointee

Jim, Acting Chair, introduced Sean Myers who has been appointed to replace Tom Asbeck as Representing the Public and asked Sean to share a little bit of history about himself with the Board. Sean stated that he was working as an Engineering Consultant and that he had over 12 years of GIS in the environmental arena prior to migrating to engineering. He welcomed the opportunity to contribute his knowledge to the Board.

Item #3: Update: Board Vacancy Legislation Change

This item being brought before the Board again and with Ed Suslovic not being present, Jim asked if anyone had any knowledge on the status of bringing this before the Legislation to fill the vacancy once occupied by the Maine Science and Technology Foundation. With no status to report, this agenda item was tabled to the next meeting. However, Dick Thompson did volunteer to make contact with Ed and follow up with him on this and report back to the Board at the March meeting.

Item #4: Update: GeoLibrary Annual Report and Work Plan

Dan Walters reported that he and John Holden had not made much progress to date. They have taken one cut at the annual report but not enough progress has been made to report back to the Board. Dan noted that he and John would focus on producing a “Draft” annual report and distribute to the Board members prior to the March 17th meeting. It was agreed there were about six (6) weeks left to complete this task.

With not having any status report for the annual report, Dan asked to Board to take this time to review the GIS funding. With this, Dan distributed to the members a copy of the GIS funding datasheet.

Dan reported good news on potential cost savings compared to a year ago. He explained that the potential cost savings were a result of taking advantage of good contractual funding agreements with USGS. Dan proceeded to review the funding datasheet comparing draft FJAs, encumbered monies, and expenditures to matching funds/services confirmed and the potential savings. Confirmed savings from signed contracts are about $100,700 and potential savings could be as high as $482,000.

With this information, the Board members involved themselves in a constructive discussion on what to do with the potential cost savings.

Dan shared that production and delivery on the Orthoimagery should start in May and be completed in September 2004.

Paul Mateosian commented on the need to look very carefully at the bond to see if we are still obligated to meet our match on the orthoimagery. Tom Howker noted there may be a matching requirement but not sure if it has to be related to orthoimagery.

It was agreed that the Board members, in order to further discuss the matching requirements, would need interpretation from the Attorney General’s office.

Some of the questions raised by the Board members were:

Are we required to meet a $ 1.6M match?
Are the FEDS required to do a $ 1.6M match in services?
Can we use someone else to create the match?
Can monies be transferred to Land Use/Land Cover?
How much savings will we have?
Will the Board consider the Land Use/Land Cover Initiative?
If USGS is able to coordinate these savings are they meeting their match?
Could Towns jump from one Tier to another?

Jim Page asked Dan Walters to get a ruling on the required Federal match from the Attorney General’s office and bring back those results to the Board at the March meeting. It was asked if the Board members could have the results from the AG’s office before the March meeting.

Jim noted two agenda items for the March meeting: the annual report and the result of Dan’s discussion with the AG’s office on potential cost savings.

Will Mitchell questioned the USGS schedule for providing orthophotos. Dan commented that there was a delay of about six (6) months based on past expectations although the USGS had not in the past provided a production schedule.

Barbara Charry asked that the Board be provided with a cost estimate for producing new black and white 3 meter orthophotos for Tier 3.

Jim Page stated that a lot of this will depend on how the AG advises us to use this money. We will need to prioritize some items and the Board should not approve expenditures at this time.

Dan noted that moving some of the savings to include more towns in Tier A is a time sensitive task. If this was to happen the changes need to be made in the next couple months.

Jim Page asked Dan if he was clear on the questions that need to be brought to the AG’s office, Dan responded, yes.

Board discussion continued on what monies were encumbered/not encumbered what monies were in the bank so to speak.

Dan did apologize for any confusion from the funding datasheet and rather than work on clarification he wanted to bring this before the Board now.

Jim again offered up items for the March agenda: Preliminary from the AG’s office, list of items the Board could discuss and prioritize, and the annual report. Folks could mail their “Wish List” to Larry/Dan before the meeting. Will Mitchell asked if the Work Plan discussions would include prioritizing projects? Jim Page responded that it could contribute to the Work Plan.

The Board further discussed the pros and cons of moving towns from one Tier to another. The cost of keeping the planes up in the air is costly, adding one town would not be significant, need to look at the population and density, is there any room to expand Tier A. Jim Page noted that the areas that want to be moved from one Tier to another, perhaps we should gather the information on those areas that want to move, can we accommodate and do we have the money. Will Mitchell commented that the Board could specify qualifications and/or set up some objective criteria. It was noted that we could re-examine Tier A and B lines and not make changes only because a town made the request to be moved. The current Tier recommendations were based on cost at that time. Should the Board be bound to arbitrary decisions we made last year? If towns want to upgrade should they be asked to pay for the upgrade?

Robert Faunce shared his thoughts for the Board to review other projects that need to be done, look at new things to do, and use the potential cost savings for new and interesting projects.

Sean suggested that a letter be sent to communities explaining the flight constraints and incremental costs involved to move and or add to Tier A, B, C.

Jim Page asked how does the Board want to proceed; what do we tell a town requesting to be moved or added (Tier A, B, C)?

Paul Mateosian brought up a suggestion to reach out to towns that already have photography. One way to find out who has new photography would be to talk to the vendors. It was noted that a lot of photography in Tier C has been done by paper companies and may be available. Jon Giles noted that the Orthophoto Standards committee had discussed that and recommended we should concentrate on getting a statewide coverage.

At this time, a change was brought before the Board which included not flying over Fort Fairfield. Will Mitchell suggested that changes not be adopted unless the towns are willing to contribute to the GeoLibrary.

In closing this discussion, Jim Page commented that he still was not clear on what the Board agreed to do about any of this. Dick Thompson noted: 1) the Board needs to hear from the AG’s office as to what we can use the potential cost savings for, 2) Members come to the next meeting with their “Wish List”, 3) The Board put objective standards in place, and 4) we send letters out to the communities informing them.

Item #5: Update: Technology Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, and Interface

Will Mitchell noted the Committee met this morning for the third time. He proceeded to summarize the discussion to include: A) project status report on the FGDC Grant, B) providing $25,000 to match, and C) distribution of the Library holdings via web mapping interface.

The browser view of the data is active, up and running, this is one piece of the puzzle. One key goal is to translate to a nonproprietary resource, open and nonproprietary mapping service. The interface will become the application where users will download, select data and area they want, and download. Another area will be printing web-based maps, create a map via some interface.

The plan is to have MEGIS develop some of the tools and contract out others. It has become clearer there are some commercial tools available to meet our needs such as web feature service connectors (serves data in the form of data). Some web mapping features services are in testing now and some of the available web features are being evaluated by MEGIS staff. We are also working on data download capabilities to allow the user to download any file type. We hope to accomplish our interface with these available resources within cost and meet our stated goal to have the system completed and online by May of this year.

Sean asked if the requirements of the matching grant states it has to be done by May? Dan responded that it could be extended.

Item #6: APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards

Dick Thompson noted that the APA review had been placed on the legislative calendar. Dick will work with Dan to get the process moving and will bring a report to the Board at the next meeting. Dick will notify Board members of the public hearing date.

Jim Page asked if we needed to have this review process completed before we could work on the grant applications. Dick noted that by contract we can have towns comply with anything the Board wants. He also noted that ads have been placed and the RFP is out there. The APA review process will include advertising, gathering comments from the public and setting up a public hearing. Dick noted this could take weeks to complete.

Item #7: Update: Municipal Grants Program and Nominations for Review Committee

Larry Harwood informed the Board members that the Grant RFP was accessible on the GeoLibrary website A counter had been placed on the website’s main page and working to place a counter for the Grant RFP site. Larry named some of the towns he has received questions/comments from regarding the Grant RFP and that he had not received any on the Standards. We will be putting together the questions with responses and posting them on the website

Larry had not quite completed the nominations for the Review Committee and neglected to bring what he did have. He will get back to the Board at the March meeting with a list of names.

Will Mitchell noted that towns have data and they probably would want to know what is the benefit to them if they contribute this data to the GeoLibrary. It was noted that towns would probably be thinking in terms of their own organization, not thinking of the state as a whole. It was agreed that towns may pull back saying why should we share this data, what is the benefit to the towns putting data in the GeoLibrary.

It was agreed to let the communities know the value of them submitting the parcels and making the information available to the public. Also the Board needs to take a good look at the grant applications and focus on the needs of each community.

Marilyn Lutz raised a question regarding the ongoing funding at the ISPB (is that right?) level. Dan noted that the GIS Executive Council would be attending the March meeting to discussion funding issues. Also, John Holden would be meeting with County Commissioners and he would also get the Finance Committee back together.

Item #8: Other Business/Updates

Barbara Charry reported that the Development Tracking Project team would be meeting on February 26; they are making progress and have hired a consultant to help them move forward. Also noted was the fact the CMP is providing some nice mapping on utility connections which is also a good model for development tracking. Paul Mateosian noted that even though the Board is not funding this project, the Board needs to stay on top and keep in touch with the status and outcome of the project.

With Ed Suslovic not being present at this meeting, the status on the Study Impact of Statewide System for Electronic Filing of Deeds was delayed to another meeting.

Barbara Charry reported on the status of the Land Cover Initiative. The team is currently working with two companies on scoping out cost and should have numbers for the Board by the March meeting. She also noted Maine is trying to coordinate with NOAA and USGS who are going to be doing a land cover nationwide, unfortunately though, the Feds do not have as much money to contribute to the project as was hoped. Barbara commented that state agencies have raised money and are making good progress; however, there might be some timing issues to capture the funds. Noting that other agencies are putting money in Barbara noted it might be a good reason and opportunity for the board to be financially supportive. She noted that development tracking does identify land cover as a primary need; we need to take a serious look at this, get the money locked in, and get the project done. Barbara noted the need for the Board to make some decisions at the next meeting on funding this and offered to invite Mike Smith and Rich Dressler at the next meeting to discuss with the Board.

Jim Page noted that the Board will have a lot on their plate at the March meeting; perhaps we should plan on extending the meeting. It was agreed by the Board members to hold the March 17 meeting from 10:30 – 2:30 to include a lunch break. Carmen will work on getting a meeting room.

Will Mitchell brought up an item to be addressed in a couple of months regarding reaching out to state agencies, town governments, regional councils of governments, Federal agencies operating with unique local data sets, educational institutions, non-profits such as conservation groups, and any other potential data custodians having data to contribute to the GeoLibrary. The Board would work on designing a data call process to ask for the data, gather the data, and post on the GeoLibrary and let the public know this data is available in the Library.

Jon Giles asked the question about having a designee attend whenever a Board member was not able to attend. Jim Page noted that his understanding based on precedence was that the designee could attend, contribute to the meeting, but would not be able to vote.

The Board in agreement, meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Possible agenda items for the March 17 meeting

Approval of the February minutes
Preliminary discussion with the AG’s office on what the Board can/cannot do with the potential cost savings - Dan
Annual Report and Work Plan – Dan/John
Update on the Board vacancy legislation change – Dick/Ed
APA Review of Proposed Digital Parcel Standards - Dick
Nominations for the Grant RFP Review Committee – Larry
Study Impact of Statewide System for Electronic Filing of Deeds – Ed
GeoLibrary Board funding – GIS Executive Committee/Dan
Development Tracking Project – MaryAnn Hayes
Land Cover Initiative – Barbara Charry