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Home > Meetings > 2007 Meetings > August 15, 2007

August 15, 2007 Meeting Minutes and Agenda


•  Approval of the July18 th meeting minutes - Chair

Subcommittee Reports

•  Financial - Larry Harwood

•  Policy & Marketing - Marilyn Lutz

•  MOU - Dave Blocher

•  Title Standards Committee Letter - Bill Hanson

•  Technical

•  Orthoimagery Project /Parcel grants - Larry Harwood

•  Status on the GEOPortal - Christopher Kroot

•  Guidelines for Portal Administrator - Marilyn Lutz

CAT 3 grant RFP - Group

Membership and September Elections - Chair

Geolibrary Funding - Group


James Page, Chair
Marilyn Lutz, CoChair
Dan Coker
David Blocher
Greg Copeland ( by phone )
Gretchen Heldmann
Elizabeth Hertz ( by phone )
Christopher Kroot
Nancy Armentrout
Ken Murchison ( by phone)
William Hanson
Larry Harwood
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Carl Nylen, ESRI

The meeting was called to order at 10:06

1. Approval of the July 18th,  2007  meeting minutes

The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Nancy Armentrout moved to approve the minutes as written. Christopher Kroot seconded. The Board voted unanimously in favor. The motion carried.

2. Subcommittee Reports

There were two changes to the amount encumbered by contract based on new information from the US Geological Survey. A new entry is $23,629.94 for USGS QAQC of the 2004/2005 aerial photography. Contrary to previous reports, there apparently remains a small amount yet to do.  The 2004/2005 orthoimagery production figure is revised from $300,000 to $263,689.51. These adjustments, although preliminary at this point, raises the bond funds remaining unencumbered to $98,164.00. Of that $25,000.00 is still nominally applied to standards conformity/data validation tools leaving $73,164.50 not under consideration.

The Maine GIS Users Group ( MEGUG ) is meeting September 21 at USM in Portland. It was suggested that the Board have their next meeting at that venue and give a presentation on Geolibrary activities lasting perhaps 30 minutes to an hour. An informal poll showed a majority was in favor of this idea and discussion quickly proceeded to detail. It was suggested that the Chair and CoChair could give a brief introduction followed by a presentation on the 50 States Initiative and land records by Nancy Armentrout. Additional topics suggested were Geolibrary services provided, the legislative agenda, future priorities and orthoimagery. Greg Copeland, Jim Page and Larry Harwood will handle the logistics – parking, location, schedules, etc.

Policy & Marketing

Memorandum of Agreement ( MOU )
Discussion opened on the Memorandum Of Agreement between the Geolibrary and the Office of Information Technology. The Chair reported that he had independently discussed the issues addressed in the MOU with Chief Information Officer ( CIO ) Dick Thompson. The CIO’s ideas on the issues varied somewhat from current assumptions in their MOU. The Chair recommended putting off action on the MOU pending clarification from the CIO.

There was some additional discussion of the GIS Stakeholders role in providing input to the Board. The consensus from the state agency side was that the Stakeholders were fully engaged just advising the CIO. It was decided to stress collaboration between the Stakeholders and the Board rather than direct input.  Language changes were discussed for sections F 5 and C 1 thru 4. However it was noted that section C 1 thru 4 had been already voted on by the Geolibrary and should not be changed in this MOU. The MOU was tabled to the next meeting.

Title Standards Committee Letter
William Hanson reported that he had an outline of a letter to appropriate section of the Maine Bar Association inviting their participation in the CAT3 Grant. The letter will be addressed to Samuel C.V.D. Kilbourn, Esquire, Chair of the Real Estate and Title Section of the Maine State Bar Association. The Bar’s most important contribution would be in coordinating with the registries of deeds. There will be a meeting of this section of the Bar on Sept. 19th in Augusta. Some points on the letter brought up in discussion.
•    The letter addresses the section of the Bar that is interested in real estate issues.
•    It attempts to interface with the RFP in the text of the letter.
•    It includes a brief paragraph on what the Geolibrary is.
•    The most important point form the Bar’s perspective will be the integration of land records system. ( deeds and tax parcel data ).
•    The all-important matter of sustained funding should be addressed in closing.
The technical aspects of integrating land records were discussed and several examples of such systems already in existence were noted. The discussion concluded with listing some action items. 1) Bill will complete the letter, and then it will be reviewed by the Chair prior to mailing. 2) Coordination with the RFP will be maintained by keeping Nancy in the loop. 3) Bill will begin a list of stakeholders in this matter which can added to over time.

3. CAT 3 Grant RFP Review
In the interest of maintaining a quorum, the Chair moved the agenda to #3.

Nancy Armentrout described the updates to the RFP. The basic RFP describes two tasks with a number of subtasks. 1) to update and enhance the GeoLibrary Strategic Plan and bring it into alignment with the goals of the National States’ Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Fifty States Initiative and 2) to recommend a framework and specification for an Integrated Land Records Information System for the State of Maine. Some minor modifications had been made to section 4 ( page 7 ) regarding research, codification options and promotion.

In the ensuing discussion several points were brought up summarized as follows.
•    How will the deliverables be determined; will the contract cover that?
•    Should the budget ( $60,000 ) be left in the RFP? The consensus was that it should.
•    Should the deliverables be prioritized?
•    Will the deliverable(s) be ADA compliant? This is a state regulation.
•    Will there be any money in the budget for a program manager? This could be contracted out.
The most contentious topic which generated considerable discussion was the question of what constituted technical specifications. The issue was how detailed the specifications needed to be. The matter apparently not likely to be resolved on this occasion, the RFP ad hoc committee agreed to a re-write to include suggestions to be forwarded to Nancy by the 17th. A conference call to discuss the revisions was scheduled for the 23rd at 4:00 PM.

The matter was tabled to the next meeting.


Orthoimagery Project-Parcel Grants
All the remaining 2 foot resolution orthoimagery for Aroostook County has been delivered plus the 94% of the 2 foot imagery in the greater Bangor-to-the-coast area of central Maine. The imagery has been reviewed and found acceptable. There has been no further word from USGS as to when the remaining orthoimagery may be expected. There was nothing new to report on the parcel grants project.

Status on the GEOPortal
The Evaluation Committee’s report is that the portal as presently configured is unfortunately a failure. The Technical Committee plus additions reviewed the portal this morning from 8:00 to 9:30 at the DEP building; attending were Christopher Kroot, Marilyn Lutz, Gretchen Heldmann, Nancy Armentrout, Dan Walters and Larry Harwood. The notes of this meeting are included as an addendum to the minutes. The report was basically this:

•    The searches were inconclusive and did not return all know MEGIS data
•    The WMS or WFS connections were not functional
•    There was no metadata display or
•    There was not adequate documentation
•    There was no catalog interface
•    Use of certain icons gave incorrect functions
•    There was no help function
•    Overall there was no ease of use or “user friendliness”

The Technical Committee all concurred in this assessment. The discussion that followed was both intensive and extensive and centered mostly on what the Board’s options were. The Chair first revisited the letter he sent to Mr. Bossung at Ionic. The main elements discussed in the Board meeting are as follows in outline.

•    Can the contract be canceled? Certainly yes, state contracts have “exit clauses”.
•    Is it possible to get any money back? The consensus was probably not.
•    Could this conceivably be fraud?  Not deliberate at any rate, this is a reputable company.
•    The evaluation should go back to Ionic as agreed in any case.
•    Shouldn’t the Board attempt to get whatever they can for the money already spent?
•    How about a new Webinar with Ionic? No they have seen enough of those.
•    Is there any confidence that Ionic will make substantive changes?
•    Whatever happens there is a good paper trail – e-mails, letters, documents, ect.
•    Has OIT had configuration problems? Yes but hardly the whole reason for the long term problems.

Summing up the discussion and opinions expressed, the Chair suggested action items. First, assemble a “Board response” based on the Tech Committee notes. Second, after the Committee has completed the review send it to Ionic with a timeline for response.

4. Membership and September Elections
Will Mitchell is resigning from the Board. His last meeting will be September 19th.  Sean Myers has resigned from the Board and will not be attending any more meeting. Sean is in fact moving out of state. These seats will need to be filled as soon as possible.

Jon Giles, who formerly represented municipal interests on the Board is actively seeking appointment again. The likely seat would be representing GIS Vendors ( Will Mitchell’s seat ) appointed by the Speaker of the House. Larry will facilitate the arrangements.

Next meeting there will be elections for Chair and Co-Chair. Jim Page and Marilyn Lutz will not be seeking re-election although they will be staying on the Board. Traditionally the Chair and Co-Chair are not state government employees. There was some general discussion of potential nominees of which there seemed to be a shortage.

5. Geolibrary Funding
Time did not permit discussion of this item. This is a recurring item in every agenda.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:24.