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Home January 19, 2005 Agenda & Minutes


MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
DATE: Wednesday, January 19, 2005
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

1. Approval of December 15, 2004 Board Minutes

2. Subcommittee Reports

  • Finance Subcommittee
  • Policy Subcommittee - See Item 5
  • Technical Subcommittee
    • Formal Approval of Digital Parcel Standards
    • Orthoimagery Project Update
    • Portal Project Update

3. Development Tracking

4. Update: Annual Report to the Legislature/Strategic Planning: Prioritizing the GeoLibrary Board’s present & future action items

5. GeoLibrary public/private cooperation policy discussion

6. Other Business/Updates

  • February 16 meeting will be in ROOM 600 (Not 107)
  • Meeting start time (10:00 or 10:30)

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 – Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 600.


Maine GeoLibrary Board Meeting
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 107

Members in attendance
Jim Page, Chair (via conference call)
Marilyn Lutz, Co-Chair
Dick Thompson, CIO
Jon Giles
Robert Faunce
Will Mitchell
Ray Halperin
Ken Murchison (via conference call)
Barbara Charry
Sean Myers
Paul Mateosian
Members not in attendance
Dennis Boston
Staff to the Board
Dan Walters
Larry Harwood
Don Garrold, Searsport
Stacy Benjamin, SPO
Mike Parkin, ESRI
Liz Hertz, SPO

Waiting for members to conference in via telephone, the Co-Chair called the meeting to order and asked Stacy Benjamin from the State Planning Office to give her presentation on Development Tracking, item #3 on the agenda.

Agenda Item #3: Development Tracking – Stacy Benjamin

An Executive Summary of the report was distributed to the Board members.

Executive Summary

Development Tracking in Maine - Documenting the Changing Landscape

During the first Regular Session of the 120th Legislature, Resolve 23 was passed to initiate the planning and design of a cost-effective, coordinated statewide GIS strategy. Included in the Resolve 23 Study was a Needs Assessment that identified development tracking as an integrated subset of the statewide GIS plan. The State Planning Office was charged with coordinating the implementation of a point-based system for tracking development, with augmentation where feasible using parcel data and aerial photo interpretation. The Development Tracking Steering Committee (Committee), comprising representatives from many of the same interests that served on the Resolve 23 Steering Committee, was subsequently created to evaluate methods of tracking development and make recommendations regarding implementation priorities to the Geolibrary Board.

Two consultants were hired by SPO to assist the Committee with the process of identifying and evaluating options to track development. Spatial Alternatives, Inc. of Yarmouth was hired to provide consulting staff capacity and technical assistance to the Committee. Applied Geographics, Inc. of Massachusetts was also contracted to provide technical assistance, with a focus on identifying and analyzing development tracking efforts in other states for applicability in Maine.

The Committee met seven times over the course of two years and the following presents a summary the findings and recommendations that have resulted from the group’s work. A full report is expected to be released by January 31, 2005.

Existing and potential data sets were evaluated existing by the Committee for usefulness/applicability for tracking development. The following key data layers were identified as necessary to developing a successful and comprehensive development tracking system:

  • Road Locations
  • Buildings
  • Parcels
  • Land Use Change from Remote Sensing/Land Cover Data
  • Simplified Land Cover Data
  • Zoning/Shoreland Zoning
  • Sewer/Water System Boundaries

Recognizing the practical and fiscal limitations to obtaining all key data layers, the Committee developed a decision matrix used to rank each of the data sets with a specific method of data collection and maintenance. The highest ranked data sets were:

Utility Connections Grid –This grid provides a proxy for buildings, as most residents and business are part of the electric grid. An agreement was developed with the major utility providers in the state to provide this data. A 500-meter grid for the state was developed by MEGIS and the utilities will provide the data to populate the table with the following fields on a yearly basis; GridID, # Residential Connections, # Commercial Connections. The Maine Office of GIS will process the data and upload to the state web site. Each utility will provide data from as far back in time as they can reasonably create. This data will provide a good statewide proxy for growth as the data is populated over time. The Committee received data from Central Maine Power, Inc. and its usefulness is readily apparent.

Road Locations – This data is available through the State’s E911 program and could provide a statewide data set depicting the growth of infrastructure over time. Two additional fields, type of change and date of submission, would make this data set more useful for tracking development.

Land Cover – The Committee fully supports the gathering of a statewide land cover data set. A secondary data set that we would most like to see developed would be Simplified Land Use Polygon Data – derived from the landcover providing classification as simple as: Field, Forest, Developed and impervious surface.

Building Points – Building point locations could be collected by the state’s regional councils and submitted to MEGIS for distribution. The Committee recognizes the high cost associated with collecting this data, but felt that this would be the best opportunity to gather the highest quality points available. The regional councils have existing relationships with their communities and many are in a position to gather this data from them. The state (MEGIS and SPO) would provide guidelines for data development and then make the data available. The Committee is also interested in a potential web based data entry portal provided by the MEGIS, so individual towns or the regional councils could more easily enter building point data.

Data Maintenance, Storage, and Distribution

The Committee felt that the maintenance of data and metadata should be retained by the originating organization. The maintenance burden varies from layer to layer, and every effort was made to identify processes that will minimize this burden over time. In the case of utility connections, for instance, a methodology was established that requires a contributing utility to annually perform a simple overlay of connection points with a standard MEGIS grid to add total number of connections for each cell in that grid. This should represent only a few hours of commitment by the contributing utility every year. The frequency of transmission of other data sets to MEGIS will depend on arrangements the provider has with MEGIS. All data discussed above would be made publicly available through the Maine Geolibrary.

Future Recommendations

The following pilot projects have been loosely outlined to reflect a variety of methods in which the data described above could be used.

  • Buildout Analysis: Based on trends analysis, how long before buildout occurs?
  • Suitability Siting: Is development occurring in sensitive areas?
  • Service Center Characterization: Are service centers growing or shrinking?
  • Sprawl Identifier: Where has sprawl been occurring?
  • Growth Area Analysis: Has growth occurred within town-designated growth areas?
  • Predictive Modeling: Where is growth likely to occur based on trends analyses?

The projects attempt to include a range of applications which require varying degrees of GIS ability. Further refinement of these pilot projects is necessary, including an analysis of potential funding and the identification stakeholders interested in pursuing a project’s development. For example, SPO is currently working on GIS mapping of designated growth areas in towns with adopted comprehensive plans that have been found consistent with state law. Once these maps are available, the utility data can be overlaid and a quick analysis done to determine how much growth has occurred within the designated growth areas.


After vetting the datasets through initial pilot projects, any necessary revisions of the data capture and maintenance methodologies will be made.

Future utilization of these data will require resources to support it, and it is anticipated that recognition of these data and their usefulness will make the small amount of funding necessary to steward them easily available. Using the utility connection data as example, there will be an annual requirement to reach out to the contributing utilities to solicit the most recent of change to add to the layer. The utilities themselves can not be expected to volunteer this resource without prompting.

It is recommended that the Geolibrary provide this prompting service in some capacity, in order to assure that the Geolibrary maintains access to these data in a regular manner into the future. The annual funding burden for this data collection should amount to well under $1000 per year.

Discussions on the presentation included:

  • Identifying data sets useful for tracking development.
  • Hurdles involved in collecting the data and a matrix developed for rating them.
  • Data maintenance, storage and distribution (see Summary “Data Maintenance, Storage, and Distribution).
  • Pilot projects created and completed to evaluate the data sets recommended and to see it process needs revision.
  • Outcome of zoning/shoreland zoning: Sandy noted shoreland zoning was difficult to track and fell out during the first go around.
  • Do municipalities have sewer/water systems already mapped?
  • The goal is to get a statewide data set.
  • What is available for zoning/shoreland zoning and sewer/water systems boundaries?
  • How does the Development Tracking subcommittee envision the role of the GeoLibrary? The Board collaboratively should look at where are the remaining needs. The Board could pursue funding (grants program) for development tracking as it relates to zoning.
  • Is there a buy in from regional councils? Don’t have a feel for that yet.
  • Hancock County is interested in being involved.
  • Other counties would like to get this kind of information.
  • How would this work in small counties? Who would pay for it? What would the data standards be?
  • History of GIS developments and getting the work done.

Stacy noted that SPO puts together data packages that we deliver to towns. Pilot projects show how data can be applied and used. GIS people need to package the data and make it available.


Stacy will provide the Board with the complete report before the February meeting.

At this time, Marilyn introduced Liz Hertz from the State Planning Office who will be taking Ray Halperin’s seat. Ray is retiring from Maine State Government at the end of the month. The Board wishes Ray the best in his retirement and thanks Ray for his work on the Board. Ray’s valuable experience and advice has been a great asset to the Board in its accomplishments and moving forward.

Agenda Item #1: Approval of December 15, 2004 Board Minutes

Barbara Charry made a motion to accept the minutes as written, Paul Mateosian seconded the motion. By a show of hands and voice the Board unanimously approved the minutes as written.

Agenda Item #2: Subcommittee Reports

Finance Committee: Nothing to report at this time.

A report on Bond Expenditures was distributed to the Board members. It was noted that a total amount of $35,609.85 was still under discussion. Bob Faunce noted a power point presentation he put together to present to the Legislature.


Dan Walters to send the power point presentation to all Board members.

Policy Subcommittee: Marilyn asked to move to the Technical Subcommittee as she would cover her presentation under Agenda Item #5.

Technical Subcommittee

Formal Approval of Digital Parcel Standards: Larry reported on the “Formal Approval of Digital Parcel Standards” pending the APA review. He noted only one recommendation for a change was made, the addition of an item to track when parcel is created. The change was made to include a date/numeric field for the year created. It was noted this was important information and extremely useful from a planning purpose.

ACTION TIME: Page 15: Table 2: Move titles “Feet” and “Meters” over the appropriate columns.

Discussion included:

Date field vs. numeric field – agreed that using numeric field to record just the year was acceptable.
Standards should be reviewed every two years.
Appendix A of the standards is a different set of standards approved by the ISPB June 2002.

Ray Halperin made a motion to accept the ‘Standards for Digital Parcel Files” as published, seconded by Barbara and Paul. Board voted unanimously to approve the standards.

It was noted that both New York and Connecticut have knowledge of Maine having parcel standards and may be contacting us for information.

Dan noted this concludes the APA process. Dick Thompson will sign off on the APA review and the Board will do a periodic review of the standards.

Orthoimagery Project Update: Will reported that the USGS estimate for orthorectification of the Spring 2004 photography came in at higher than $400,000, requiring a reduction in area to be done. A map was distributed to the Board members showing the outline of what the GeoLibrary can afford to have done. Dan noted that USGS has confirmed the $400,000 match, a joint funding agreement has been drafted and on target for a signed contract.

Discussion included:

  • Waiting to hear from USGS on how much it would actually cost.
  • Some areas have photography, no orthoimagery.
  • Find funding to complete the orthoimagery.
  • Get a cost estimate to make the photography already available into orthoimagery.
  • The final product for the green area on the map is expected to be completed in the May/June time frame and everything completed fall of 2005 (done and delivered).
  • There is an issue with an area of the orthoimagery we have received. Larry is talking with USGS to improve on this. Will not pay until issues are resolved.
  • Do we have a contractual right to accept or reject the product? USGS does with the vendor.
  • Researching available funds to complete the orthoimagery project (potential contributions from other grant funds, NAPE program, still have a little bit on money left in the grant, communities share their data).
  • Provided the data meets quality standards the GeoLibrary Board should be free and clear to accept data donations.
  • What about data out there that is not government data?
  • Fort Fairfield, Houlton, and Caribou have done flights looking to do orthoimagery.
  • Distribution of completed orthoimagery: can be viewed online, can towns contact MeGIS and request a CD with their imagery? Not likely. They can come in with their own harddrives and download the imagery, leave their harddrives with MeGIS and we will do at our convenience.
  • Charging for Services: MeGIS advertise as an available service? Not a great money maker. Time taken away from other projects could become an issue. Defeats the purpose of using the website.


Dan to look into the contract with USGS to see if the GeoLibrary has the right to accept or reject.
Policy Subcommittee work on a policy to accept financial contributions and data.
Accepting financial contributions needs more discussion, should there be a level of expectation?
Ken Murchison talked about monies from a grant fund that could be made available to the GeoLibrary. Needs to be dedicated before August unless the grant can be extended.
Policy Committee work on setting a policy to charge or not to charge for services.

Portal Project Update: The RFP still in process. The BIS Contract Management folks do have a lot of stuff coming at them from a lot of different directions. Goal is to publish in February, responses in March, contract in April/May, work start in June!


By next meeting have a schedule of the RFP process (written, advertised, proposal due date, etc.

Jim Page noted that Robert Doiron, representing the Commissioner of DAFS, submitted his resignation December 27, 2004. He has recommended Judy Mathiau from Property Tax Review to fill his seat. Working on getting approval. At this time, the Board thanks Bob for his time and commitment to the Board, it is greatly appreciated.

Dan noted Suzanne Scott’s name as a nomination to the Board to fill the seat representing Real Estate and Development Interest due to Ed Suslovic’s resignation. Suzanne is a Real Estate Attorney with Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry in Portland and would be valuable to the Board.

Agenda Item #4: Update on the Annual Report to the Legislature/Strategic Planning: Prioritizing the GeoLibrary Board’s present & future action items

Draft v3 of the Annual Report was distribution to the Board members. Jim asked the members to focus on omissions/errors on content. The formatting can be done once the report is in “Final Draft”.

Discussions included:

  • Marilyn noted bullet 1 under the “Mission / Vision / Strategic Focus” in the report should be included in the Board’s mission/vision document. Jon made a motion seconded by Ray to include this bullet as noted by Marilyn. The Board voted unanimously to approve.
  • “Governance”: Should we say something about term limits? Need to carefully phrase that memberships to the Board do have term limits with possibility of reappointment.
  • “Library Structure”: Review the diagram in the report to clarify and include a title for the diagram.
    Include a comment on the GeoLibrary Portal as being under construction.
  • “Goals and Accomplishments”: Need to include strategic focus points on Education and Outreach Projects.
  • Include the Digital Parcel Grants program details/awards.
  • Include an example of the orthoimagery that has been done.
  • Note that instead of towns doing photography/orthoimagery on their own they are able, through the Board’s work, to get this information free. Give them an idea of how valuable in dollars this is.
  • “2005 Initiatives”: Breakdown item #2 into two items also item #3.
  • Rewording of 2005 initiatives: will insure, will create, will continue may be weak language.
  • Securing Funding: Should bullet 1 under 2005 Initiatives be “secure funding”.
  • Item #4 under 2005 Initiatives: Send Jim language on what the Board should do or would like for education and outreach initiatives.
  • “Finances:: Include bond expenditures and that we have satisfied the bond issue. Could we use the GeoLibrary Budget Summary report and add the Federal match or grant amount. Item #8: Should it be County study vs. Outreach study also showing a grant match of $15,000.00
  • Requesting new bond funding: how much, how it will be spent, have a chart with specific items and estimates to accomplish such as the phase 3 and 4 of the parcel grants program.
  • Introduce an additional (separate) grant program for portal needs
  • Time Frame Involved: Needing Board approval of the Annual Report and getting the report into the Legislature considering the current activities going on within the Legislature.
  • Need to recognize “operating costs” involved too.
  • State agencies are contributing via SLAs, however, there is no guarantee agencies will be able to continue contributing at some level, budget cuts impact agencies and this could impact their GIS contributions.
  • Look at the whole funding process and work to develop a different system to meet agency needs as well as the public. SLAs not the foundation.
  • Looking at possible funding mechanism: The GeoLibrary needs to be independent of MeGIS. Can the Board draw upon the InforME model? The Board model is quite different from the InforME model. Is there a potential to talk with them. Libraries have membership fees, willing to pay to use the data, reach out to different nodes.
  • Focus on operating expenses and bond package

Dick Thompson, CIO shared the upcoming IT mandates from the Governor’s Executive Order with Board members. Noting the impact this will have on agencies and the impact it will have on overhead. The Board needs to focus on the critical tasks that need to accomplished and be realistic.

ACTION ITEMS: (see above bulleted list)

  • Members send their redlined version of the report to Jim by Monday, January 24
  • Incorporate pieces of the power point presentation into the report
  • Need to include the $400,000 for 04/05 orthoimagery to total the same as the budget summary
  • Review Resolve 23 to look at those items not yet accomplished with itemized cost to include in the Annual Report.
  • Financial Committee come up with cost estimates, staffing estimates, a proposal for the Board to consider.
  • Research priority areas for bonding support, review Resolve 23 (Bob Faunce will review Resolve 23 and get it out via E-mail)
  • Jim to review Bob’s power point presentation
  • Within one week get another “Draft” of the Annual Report circulated to the full Board
  • Dick get a paragraph to Jim Page on funding issues
  • Once the Annual Report is “final” it will be turned over to Dan Walters for production (editing/formatting).

A special GeoLibrary Board meeting has been scheduled for February 2, 2005 | 10:00 am – 12:30 pm | Cross Building Room 400. Agenda for this meeting will be limited to:

  • Item #4 of the Annual Report “Requested Legislative Actions”
  • Second and Third Bullet Items: Consider General Fund or other dedicated revenue sources to insure operational funding for the GeoLibrary (IDEAS)
  • Support new bond funding in support of GIS development (HOW MUCH AND FOR WHAT)
    “Draft” of the Private Industry Policy

Before adjourning, Ray Halperin ask the Board for a few minutes to comment. He noted it was a great pleasure for him to work with each and everyone on the Board. “Keep the Faith and Good Luck.”

Meeting adjourned 12:35 p.m.