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Home January 20, 2004 Agenda & Minutes


MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Tuesday, January 20, 2004
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 300

Business Meeting

Minutes from last meeting

Municipal grants committee recommendation

Additional items for business

MLGI Board Review

Annual Plan and Future Work Plan

Chair’s role in facilitation and participation

General comments on circulated draft

(Note that intent is to do summary cover letter “report” [Chair & staff] and a 3-5 page “public” piece [Board volunteer & staff])


Chair introduction

Proposed vision page 6

Individual reflection and drafting of vision\mission

Sharing of individual and formulation of collective vision

How do we get there? (12:00-1:30)

Committees in place (review reconfirm each committee role)

Work items (review each one, individually rate importance)

Review with collective input on work items

Next steps

Role of staff and MEGIS, State Executive Council

Funding options to pursue

Wrap up

GeoLibrary Board Meeting & Retreat
Burton M. Cross Office Building, Conf. RM 300
January 20th, 2004 10:00am – 2:30pm


Board Member Attendees as follows:

John Holden, Chair
Jim Page, James W. Sewall
Marilyn Lutz, UMaine
Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society
Paul Mateosian, Municipal Government
Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation
Robert Faunce, Statewide Association of Counties
Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographics
Dick Thompson, CIO
Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power

Non-Board Member attendees:

Brooke DeLorme, Delorme Publishing
Dan Walters, DAFS/BIS – Staff to the Board
Larry Harwood, DAFS/BIS – Staff to the Board
Sean Myers, Camp Dresser & McKee

Not in Attendance:

Ed Suslovic, Co-Chair
Jon Giles, City of Portland
Robert Doiron, MRS

(Note: Since at this meeting first names were unique, first names only are used)

Minutes from Last Meeting

The review of the minutes of the last meeting was tabled to the next regular meeting.

Municipal grants subcommittee recommendation

None of the co-chairs of the Parcel Grants Subcommittee were present so Larry reviewed the RFP document Maine Library of Geographic Information Board FY 2004 Grants for Digital Parcel Mapping Projects, version 1.4 for the Board with the assistance of Board members who were also subcommittee members. The one major objection was subjecting the Rapid Development proposals to the same scoring as the Standard Development proposals. The information needed for that scoring was not for in the Short Form application. To fix this the Board thought that for the Rapid Development proposals simply having the application form properly filled out would be sufficient and they should be awarded on a first come-first served basis.

Additional smaller changes by section:

1.4 – add wording to say up to $350,000 subject to final approval by the GeoLibrary Board.

1.5 – remove last sentence on priority. Add wording to note proposals will be date stamped, reviewed, awarded on first come-first serve basis subject to available funds.

1.8 – by definition this must now be reworded for fast track grants

1.9 – add wording to indicate timetable for the next round of grants will be published on xx/xx/xx.

3.3 – add wording to call for a detailed expense report.

Appendix A – Note for standard proposals only – application form B-2.

Appendix B-1 – add wording that this must be completely filled out as noted above.

Ray moved to accept the document as amended. It was seconded and approved unanimously. Larry will make the edits and send the document to the Board and Subcommittee once again before it is released on February 2nd.

Chair’s Role in Facilitation & Participation

John explained his dual role as meeting facilitator and participant, which he hoped would not be a problem. He outlined in very general terms the objects of the proposed exercise, especially the relationships between the Board and state government, and gave an introduction to the draft plan, pointing out that the first six pages of the work plan would constitute the report to the legislature.

Annual Report & Future Work Plan

Discussion opened with a very high level look at what the GeoLibrary actually is and its relationship to MEGIS (Maine Office of GIS). Marilyn, Dennis and others were concerned that the GeoLibrary had no unique identity as such and was in a sense being made synonymous with MEGIS. There was also concern that, in presenting the report to the legislature, the GeoLibrary would stand out as a distinct entity with its own accomplishments and activities.

Dan recalled that the original Resolve 23 study and the legislation that followed it set certain priorities and directions for the GeoLibrary in terms of the acquiring data, storing it and making it widely available as well as other services. At the time the legislation was passed creating the GeoLibrary the only entity actually performing these functions was MEGIS. The Board decided early on that it was not practical to duplicate this existing capability. It was difficult to separate the efforts of the GIS Executive Council from the GeoLibrary initiatives.

This was acknowledged but there were comments to the effect that a more uniquely defined GeoLibrary would be better received by the legislature. Bob and Jim both suggested variations on a cost matrix or some sort of spread sheet that would detail what the GeoLibrary Board pays for, what the Executive Council pays for, what projects pay for, etc. Dan commented that the focus of the Executive Council has been mostly state agencies and the focus of the GeoLibrary is municipalities and the general public.

John noted that even with the efforts of MEGIS and the Executive Council, much state data is still warehoused in many different state agencies and departments and towns, regional councils and the public have to go from one agency to the other. The main function of the GeoLibrary was to rectify this by putting all public (GIS/spatial) data in one place with easy access by virtually everyone.

The use of regional centers as ‘branch geolibraries’ was brought up. There had been at the very first meetings of the Board some discussions of using Geoservice Centers as sub nodes for data distribution and local outreach, regional councils being an obvious possibility. Jim pointed out that this concept was discussed during the Resolve 23 study but nothing was ever specifically defined in the report.

Will raised the issue of possible competition with the private sector by the GeoLibrary and/or MEGIS. In particular one time projects as opposed to regular maintenance and updating should be contracted out to vendors if at all possible. This was especially true of application development. It was noted that GeoLibrary application development is planned to be contracted out.

Bob suggested the Board return to the larger issue of what exactly is the role of the GeoLibrary Board. Paul suggested that simply put the Board lobbies for funding, creates standards and administers monies. Barbara noted that whatever the function, the intent was to serve the entire state – all communities. It was suggested that the GeoLibrary has authority over any state funds spent on GIS development. (The legislation creating the GeoLibrary can be viewed at the GeoLibrary site: click on (Chapter 649))

Dick replied to the discussion by saying that the function of the Board is the “Governance of the Data”. The Board’s major impact is in setting standards and seeing that they are enforced. Local users will want their data warehoused and updated for them – one of the principle tasks of the GeoLibrary – really an administrative role. He noted that he saw the GeoLibrary/MEGIS relationship with MEGIS in the role of a service agent to the Board.



John reviewed for the Board the “vision and mission statement” featured on page six of the work plan under Future Plans.

Exercise: Individual reflection and drafting of vision/mission

The Board members were invited to take about 10 minutes to write out their own thoughts on and the wording of the vision and mission statement. After this each Board member read their statements and/or gave their thoughts on the vision/mission. John collected the written sheets and will collate them into a coherent whole.

Dick made the points that first, the GeoLibrary would not be doing applications work and second that the Board could charge fees to recover the cost of the GeoLibrary as a repository. He also noted that the Board and state agencies operate in different environments and that MEGIS should be thought of as a contracting agency. Dennis called attention to the “five pillars” in the Resolve 23 final report: Standards Development, Expanded Data Warehousing, New Data Development, Targeted Application Development and Expanded Coordination, Outreach and Education. Ray agreed that MEGIS is essentially a contracting agency and stressed that funding is the only real issue, the entire business plan depending on it.

During all these other discussions there was a continuing disputation on the matter of differentiating the GeoLibrary from MEGIS and what functions of the GeoLibrary could be promoted. Marilyn, Barbara and Dennis spoke for a separation. John, Dan and Paul promoted the combined approach as reflected in the preliminary work plan.

General Comments on Circulated Draft

Dan took the Board through the Business Plan, section 2, pages 7-19 plus appendices. His main topics were the nature of future staffing and existing and potential products and services. There was some discussion of the proposed budget (additional handout) with Jim and Ray cautioning that they must be explicit on the nature of the funding – either already budgeted or estimated cost. Dick noted that the proposed budget should begin at FY06 as FY05 had already begun. He also drew attention to two aspects of budgets. First what do we need to keep functional as is and second what is needed to fund the future in order of priority; this is rather the way the legislature looks at budgeting.

Will proposed that software licenses should not be restricted to Arc products (Environmental Systems Research Institute). Jim noted that that software licensing arrangements should not compete with the private vendors and re-sellers. Dennis added that the legislation should be re-examined and perhaps the GeoLibrary should not be developing new data layers.

There was some discussion as to whether or not the work plan should be included in the report to the legislature. The consensus was that it could be an appendix, but clearly demarcated as a planning document.

Barbara discussed the current land use/land cover initiative being undertaken by a number of state agencies and conservation organizations. If any funding could be squeezed out of the budget to support that it would be very cost effective given the large numbers of other contributors. This was discussed and it was noted that LU/LC had been part of the plan originally but was zeroed out under budget distress. Bob noted that a minimal contribution would give the Board good publicity as a contributor.

Committees in Place

John called for a review of the subcommittees. The Orthophoto Standards Subcommittee (the Remote Sensing Subcommittee plus attachments) is now inactive. The Digital Parcels Standards Subcommittee is now inactive. The Parcel Grants Subcommittee has completed initial work but is ongoing. The Technical Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability & Interface (TS III) is ongoing.

The meeting wrapped up with some action items. John will concentrate on updating and making suggested changes in the Overview section the Annual Report for the legislature. The finance committee will look at funding issues again. Ray would like to introduce the new MEGUG president and vice president at the March meeting of the Board. Dick reported that the GPCOG matter will have a hearing but GPCOG has obtained legal counsel in the matter and is asking for a mediator.