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Home > Meetings > 2007 Meetings > December 19, 2007

December 19, 2007 Meeting Minutes and Agenda


Approval of the November 28th  meeting minutes – Chair

OIT and Geolibrary GeoPortal Roles – Board, Greg McNeal

Subcommittee Reports

  • Financial – Larry Harwood
  • Policy & Marketing – Marilyn Lutz
  • Technical
  • Orthoimagery Project /Parcel grants – Larry Harwood
  • Status on the GEOPortal – Christopher Kroot

CAT 3 grant  – Nancy Aremtrout

Geolibrary Yearly Report - Board



William Hanson, Chair

Dan Coker, Co-Chair

James Page ( by phone )

Marilyn Lutz

Gretchen Heldmann

Elizabeth Hertz

Christopher Kroot

Nancy Armentrout

Ken Murchison (by phone)

David Blocher

Greg Copeland


Larry Harwood


Dan Walters, US Geological Survey

David Kirouac, Office Information Technology ( OIT )

Carl Nylen, Environmental Systems Research Institute ( ESRI )

The meeting was called to order at 10:04 a.m.

1. Approval of the Sept. 19th,  2007  meeting minutes

The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Two changes were made. On page one, section 1 the date was changed to Oct. 17th. On page four, paragraph six, “geospatial lab” was changed to Research Computing Group ( RCG ). Marilyn Lutz moved to approve the minutes as amended. Christopher Kroot  seconded. The Board voted unanimously in favor. The motion carried. ( Note: unless otherwise indicated the Chair abstains from all votes )

2. OIT and Geolibrary Geoportal Roles

This item was tabled for the next meeting.

4. CAT 3 Grant

The Chair moved to item 4 on the agenda. Nancy Armentrout reported that two proposals had been received, one from  Applied Geographics and one from James W. Sewall Co. After examining both proposals, the Proposal Review Subcommittee ( Nancy Armentrout, Greg Copeland, Marilyn Lutz, and Dan Walters in a non-voting, advisory capacity ) recommended  that the Board accept the proposal from the James W. Sewall Co. Letters of acceptance and rejection have been sent to both vendors today, 12/19/07.

The subcommittee was unanimous in accepting the Sewall proposal. Both proposals were excellent and each had a good team but the Sewall proposal had more depth and detail. In addition Sewall proposed creating a prototype land records system and having a pilot project. Sewall also had numerous partners listed in the proposal.

Marilyn Lutz moved to accept the Proposal Review Subcommittee’s recommendation. David Blocher seconded. The Board voted 8 in favor, none opposed. The motion carried.

3. Subcommittee Reports

The Chair moved to item 3 on the agenda.


There was no change to the financial sheet from last time.

Policy & Marketing

A discussion on the MOU was postponed for later in the meeting.


Orthoimagery & Parcel Grants

There was nothing new to report on the orthoimagery or parcel data.

Status on GeoPortal

Christopher Kroot reported on the Technical Committee’s progress on the GeoPortal to date. The Committee had a conference call earlier ( Christopher Kroot, Gretchen Heldmann, Gary Duplisea, Greg Copeland, Ken Murchison ) to discuss the matter and there remain two possible approaches.

First, the portal could be hosted at the University of Southern Maine Research Computing Group ( RCG ). This is the recommendation of the Technical Committee. The RCG is enthusiastic about such a partnership with the Geolibrary and already have grants in place to create a similar sort of portal and are confident of getting future grants to sustain and expand the GeoPortal. USM   has available    student  labor and assistance from the faculty.  USM is also a Dell computer re-seller, and this may be financially advantageous. The Technical Committee felt that the goals of the RCG would integrate well with the mission of the Geolibrary.

The required ESRI licenses would come from the USM omnibus license agreement with ESRI.  The initial cost would not exceed $20,000 the first year and $10,000 per year thereafter not including additional products and services. The Committee recommended  an agreement with USM to host the GeoPortal for 3 years. RCG  provided a detailed list of 39 items with costs including ESRI and Oracle licenses.

Second, the portal could be hosted at OIT. The initial cost estimate was $33,240 for the first year if existing servers now at the Department of Environmental Protection ( DEP ) are used with an additional cost of $3,960 per year refresh rate if the servers are to be automatically replaced when needed. OIT is a well known quantity to the Geolibrary Board which has benefited considerably from OIT and MEGIS support.  The state Chief Information Officer ( CIO ) has not reviewed this proposal, and it is not known how much, if any, of these costs he might be willing to underwrite. The Technical Committee was also concerned about current budget problems in state government given media coverage and reports for state employees.

Q: What are the possibilities of joint grants between the Geolibrary and USM?

A: Very good. They have 5-6 faculty PHDs writing a considerable number of grants, of which they always get a few, each year. Our areas of cooperation would be US Geological Survey and National Science Foundation grants.

Q: Will the GeoPortal be able to point to Web Mapping Services?

A: Of course, but the WMS sites have to exist elsewhere, like on the MEGIS or USGS sites.

Q to Marilyn Lutz:  As representative of the University system what do you think of the recommendation?

A: There are differences in policy and operation between UMO and USM. I don’t know more details about the USM computer center than have been explained.

Q to Dave Blocher: Is OIT willing to pay for some of the costs cited?

A: It all depends upon what Dick Thompson ( CIO ) is willing to underwrite. He has underwritten much in other areas already, orthoimagery storage for example. If USM hosts the portal, it is unlikely the CIO would commit resources there.

Q: What about future development of the portal if hosted at USM?

A:  Remember this is a pilot project, so the future is not entirely clear. USM might have additional services they wish to develop. Data and services can be created and provided by anyone.

Q: Can we have a more concrete and detailed proposal from USM?

A: They provided a spreadsheet with details on the costs and services. The Technical Committee did not want to burden the full Board with technical details.

Further discussion was extensive but the major points made can be summarized as follows:

  • USM appeared to be more interested in the GeoPortal than OIT, which seems over committed. There were many questions about USM RCG as they are an unknown quantity to the Board. It was suggested by many that a delegation from USM should attend the next meeting.
  • There was a question about whether or not the bond funds can be used to fund all of the proposed functions. ( This will be examined by OIT )
  • It was proposed that the project be given reviews at 3 month or 6 month intervals.
  • It was suggested that the Spatial Lab at UMO be given a chance for input.

Dave Blocher moved to pursue the USM hosting solution and to invite the RCG to attend the next Board meeting to address 1) the nature of their partnership for supporting the portal and 2) how they will meet the requirements for a hosting service. Nancy Armentrout seconded. The Board voted 7 in favor, none opposed. The motion carried.

In addition, Dave Blocher will determine from OIT

  • what services will be provided
  • what the cost will be
  • what support can be expected if USM hosts the portal

5. Geolibrary Yearly Report

The Chair and staff had essentially updated the yearly report from 2006. Not many changes had been made except for changing dates, dollar amounts, statistics and listings. References to the Brookings report[1] were also removed.

The first issue was how extensively to promote the funding issue in this year’s report. The consensus was that certainly the funding issue should be “put up front”.  A discussion opened on changing or updating the Priorities and Initiatives section. It was pointed out that the existing list had been developed last year with considerable input from the Board. It would require another Board vote to change the existing items and priority. In addition the “strategic plan” will be updated soon as part of the CAT3 project.

In response to a question about the Development Tracking entry, Liz Hertz explained that tracking development was one of the original issues responsible for creating the Geolibrary. The State Planning Office has been very interested in “smart growth” and “sprawl” issues in Maine communities. The new orthoimagery and land cover data, especially impervious areas, have been of benefit in this area. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is also working on a grant to track development

Bill will circulate the current version of the 2007 report. Any changes or recommendations can be sent directly to Bill Hanson or Larry Harwood.

3. Policy & Marketing

Dave Blocher passed out copies of the considerably modified Memorandum Of Agreement (MOU) between the Maine Library of Geographic Information Board ( MLGIB ) and the Maine Office of GIS ( MEGIS ). Dave reported that Dick Thompson, CIO, Larry Harwood and himself had met that morning to discuss the CIO’s perspective on the agreement. The only contention was on items 2 & 3 in section E. ( Services Provided to the Geolibrary Board by MEGIS ) which could be read as MEGIS restricting what data the Geolibrary can publish. Mr. Thompson decided to simply  remand the section back to the Board for clearer language.

After discussion it was suggested that one or two sentences be added above section E to better describe what data was being discussed. It was also suggested that this should be an MOU between the Geolibrary Board and OIT, not just MEGIS. Section E 8 will be re-worded so it includes E 1 thru E 7. It was also suggested that E 1 should specify data in “existing form” as opposed to web mapping services for example. The MOU will be re-worked for the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 12:02

[1] Brookings Institution report, "Charting Maine's Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places", November 2006. This was a politically significant document at the time.