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Home May 17, 2006 Board Meeting
Maine Library of Geographic Information Board Meeting
NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING : Wednesday June 21, 2006 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Burton M. Cross Building, Conference Room 105
Approval of the March 15 th Board meeting minutes
After a few minutes pause to give members an opportunity to review the minutes, the Chair entertained a motion to approve. Marilyn Lutz moved to approve the minutes as written, Dave Blocher seconded and the Board voted unanimously in the affirmative and the motion carried. (Note: the Chair abstains from all votes unless otherwise indicated)
Finance - Financial Standing
Jim Page and Dan Walters reviewed the latest one page spreadsheet of Bond Expenditures. The remaining unencumbered funding is $72, 805 due to cost savings on the orthoimagery project. Some observations: there is still a place-holder entry of $25,000 for Standards conformity/data validation tools, $189,714 for the second round of parcel grants and $10,000 for Portal management are approved but not yet encumbered by contracts. Some of the encumbered funding has moved into expenditure: Land Cover Project, GeoArchives Project and County Study .
Barbara Charry took the opportunity to note that she has been involved in developing a GIS curriculum for laptops in schools and that the addition of the land cover data to an Internet Mapping Site would be very desirable along with an area measurement tool. There was a discussion of how this could be done, if funding was needed and if so how the funding could be acquired. In the discussion, it developed that the new digital parcel data should also be included.
Liz Hertz made the following motion: to expend up to $1500 to incorporate the land cover data, the parcel data and an area measurement tool into an IMS provided that other funding cannot be found and that the expenditure results in a completed project. Barbara Chary seconded. The Board voted unanimously in favor and the motion carried.
Task: Dan Walters and Liz Hertz will investigate federal funding available for this project.
Review of policy concerning electronic votes.
Jim Page re-stated the policy that electronic voting, meaning e-mail, cannot be used to approve expenditures. Voting by telephone conference call on expenditures would be allowed. The main reason for this is a lack of personal interaction and discussion among Board members.
Policy & Marketing
Marilyn Lutz reported that a definitive policy statement on acceptance of data sets from outside vendors was not yet completed but would be available for discussion at the next meeting. In the interim, she recommends that the Board look at the "Model Data distribution Policy" report from the Open Data Consortium project at this URL http://www.opendataconsortium.org/
Status of the GEO Portal - Guidelines for Portal Administrator
Will Mitchell reported that the IONIC technicians have been working at Office Information Technology/MEGIS and have had good participation and support. The First Build of the portal should be ready by next week. Build Two will take perhaps a few more weeks. Will expects that the date of completion will be slightly behind schedule. There was some discussion of security and liability issues as regards the Portal with no technical answers but raising the concern which will be addressed. Guidelines for the administrator have not been drawn up yet. Very soon there will be a conference call of the Technical subcommittee with MEGIS staff as needed to address this matter.
Updates on Orthoimagery Project
Larry Harwood reported that orthoimagery had been delivered for priority areas one and two with partial delivery - 1 foot resolution only - for priority area 3. A new graphic with projected times of delivery for the remaining areas, 4 thru 8 was distributed with the caveat that the dates are projections only. There was discussion of accepting recent aerial imagery and/or orthoimagery from towns and vendors into the Geolibrary on a piece-by-piece basis as aerial imagery becomes outdated quickly. The new Portal might be a way to tap existing imagery or the Geolibrary could undertake a marketing project to collect such public imagery which is a part the mission of the Geolibrary.
Purchasing intermediate products of the orthoimagery project ( agenda re-ordered by Chair )
Jon Giles, Bradstreet Consultants, distributed a handout and describing these products in some detail. Essentially these are the scans of the aerial photographs in a digital format and data collected during the aerial photography used to register each photograph. Only those areas in which orthoimagery have already been produced would have these products available. They can be used to map buildings, roads, hydrography, utilities, contours and other landscape features at a high level of accuracy. The proposal is for the Geolibrary to pay for the data copy and transfer cost, - the data actual belongs to the Geolibrary - an estimated $4,000, to get these products and make them available to towns and contractors.
There was considerable discussion of the proposal mostly about the cost of the reproduction and ideas for cost recovery. It was noted that spending even small amount should wait for a re-ordering of priorities. A popular suggestion was that a few contractors could put up the money together; further requests for the data would have to pay a fee. This last suggested that there were 2 issues, an internal policy issue - can the Geolibrary do this - and the contractor's funding that would have to be collected.
Paul Mateosian made the following motion: contingent upon adequate pledges of funding to cover $5000 and contingent upon not finding any variance from Geolibrary policy, to authorize staff to undertake this reproduction and delivery operation. Barbara Charry seconded. The Board voted unanimously in favor and the motion carried.
Task: Dan Walters and Dave Blocher will check on the policy question
Jim Page and Will Mitchell will see about contractor's pledges.
Updates on parcel grants
Larry Harwood reported that additional required forms have finally been obtained from the grant towns and contracts will be issued soon. A draft release form has been created for towns to grant permission to release names, addresses and other sensitive data in the parcels relational database (assessor's data). It is being reviewed by Bill Hanson and will also be reviewed by the Attorney General's office before being sent out.
GIS Executive Council update from April 12 meeting.
Liz Hertz reported that there was concern by the Council members about the results of the Office Information Technology reorganization to bring IT positions fully into OIT. It was thought this might deprive some agencies of their GIS technicians or at least distance them from the agency. There also seemed to be confusion about the areas of operation between the Council and the Geolibrary Board. She also noted that Christopher Kroot had been nominated by the Council to fill the vacant position " . responsible for overseeing GIS functions of a state department that is a data custodian of geographic information." (this position was created to replace the Maine Science and Technology Foundation member)
Dan Walters explained that although GIS IT positions would indeed be under OIT, they would in all likelihood remain where they are and supervised by the same people as always. The paycheck would say OIT but they would sit at the same desk.
Jim Page reported that his impression was that the Council takes its lead from its stronger personalities and the Chair. The current agenda was somewhat vague. The Council seems to have no deep understanding of the GeoLibrary.
Marilyn Lutz reported she had essentially the same impressions. There seems to be overlap between the functions of the two organizations. There is no clear idea of who is authorized to do what. Efforts in the direction of resolving these issues are not evident.
There ensued a wide ranging discussion of these issues with opinions on both sides and some philosophical looks at the mission of the Geolibrary, perception vs reality and an apparent conflict of responsibilities. The Chair asked if it was the will of the Board to arrange a joint meeting/retreat, with a facilitated agenda, of the both the GIS Executive Council and the GeoLibrary Board and this was approved by informal voice vote.
Task: Jim Page will write the Geolibrary portion of the agenda for a ½ day facilitated meeting with the Executive Council and circulate for review. Dan Walters will see if funding can be found for a retreat location, probably Maple Hill Farm.
The re-appointment of Sean, Will and Ken is still in process; Will found a copy of his swearing-in documentation to forward to the appointing authority. The replacement for Jon Giles is still in process, at last word no nomination had been received from MMA.
The appointment of the County representative is still in process. As noted above the GIS EC has nominated Christopher Kroot, DEP Departmental Geographic Information Systems Manager, for the newly created seat. Barbara Charry and Dennis Boston announced that they will not seek re-nomination to the Board when their terms expire.
Task: Larry Harwood will contact the various staff of the appointing authorities and see if these appointments can be expedited.
USGS 50 State Initiative
USGS is looking for a coordinating entity from the states and felt the Board would be a good resource for the State of Maine . There is $50,000 for each state. This will be an agenda item for the next meeting.
Review of further funding work.
Jim Page reported that there was little progress in this direction. Additional bond funding appears out of the question for 2006 due to political issues. However, the Board needs to position itself early for next funding moves
Listing of digital maps from municipalities.
Judy Mathiau was not present but had e-mailed in the following "We will be adding a question to the annual Report regarding information about a town's tax maps, the report is due back from all towns on November 1st."
Policy on future requests for data
Tabled to the next meeting
Discussion of Ken Murchisons draft letter to bring together, under a state enterprise GIS umbrella, the Regional Planning Councils (RPCs); County Governments.
Tabled to the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 PM.
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