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July 18, 2007 Meeting Minutes and Agenda
Approval of the June 20 th meeting minutes - Chair
Financial - Dan Walters
Policy & Marketing - Marilyn Lutz
MOU - Dave/Dan
Title Standards Committee Letter - Bill
Technical - Will Mitchell
Orthoimagery Project /Parcel grants - Larry Harwood
Status on the GEOPortal - Will
Guidelines for Portal Administrator - Marilyn
CAT 3 grant RFP Review - Group
GIS Stakeholders Group Report - Christopher or Marilyn
Geolibrary Funding - Group
James Page, Chair ( by phone )
Marilyn Lutz, CoChair
Ken Murchison ( by phone )
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Nate Kane, Dept. of Transportation
The meeting was called to order at 10:04 . Marilyn Lutz presided as Chair for this meeting.
1. Approval of the June 20th , 2007 meeting minutes
The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Nancy Armentrout moved to approve the minutes as written with Christopher Kroot seconding. The Board voted unanimously in favor. The motion carried.
2. Subcommittee Reports
The agenda mistakenly listed Dan Walters, who now works for the U.S. Geological Survey ( USGS ) so Larry Harwood gave the report. There was one change to the financial spreadsheet. The amount expended for town parcel grants, second round has risen to $106,218.00 leaving the amount encumbered only at $83,496.00. The total amount still under consideration is unchanged from last meeting at $85, 483.95. The nominal category of Standards conformity/data validation tools still has $25,000 listed leaving $60,483.95 entirely unallocated.
Jim Page was asked if, at the July 11 th meeting with state agencies, any additional funding had been offered. There appeared to be no cash available but there was a good deal of discussion of match in kind.
This prompted a discussion of the meeting supported by notes supplied with the meeting package. The Board can go to the state agencies for support on projects of mutual interest. The reciprocal would be to include projects of interest to the state agencies in updates of the Geolibrary Strategic Plan. One fairly new area discussed was marine GIS data. The state agencies were almost all very interested in having statewide digital parcel data. They were also interested in having the data linked to county registry property transfers, provided the political problems could be worked out.
Policy & Marketing
There was no specific policy matter to report.
Memorandum of Agreement ( MOU )
There was a brief discussion of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Geolibrary and the Office of Information Technology. It was decided to defer discussion by the full Board for the time being. A separate meeting will be held on the MOU with Dave Blocher, the Chairs and perhaps other Board members to be named later.
Title Standards Committee Letter
Bill Hanson was not present so there was no report on this item.
Status on the GEOPortal .
The attending members of the Technical Committee Christopher Kroot and Gretchen Heldmann reported on the status of the GeoPortal project. The report was not very positive and discussion was lively.
The external link to the portal has been down most of the time for past few weeks so that Committee members outside the state system still cannot see the current build of the portal. This appears to have been sometimes the fault of OIT and sometimes the fault of Ionic. As further misfortune, on Monday certain key servers at OIT failed bringing down services required to operate the portal. It is hoped these will be fixed before the end of the week.
The last schedule sent by Ionic for completing the portal left only 1 week for the Committee to review the latest build. This was not thought to be enough time and at least two weeks was requested.
The contract with Ionic was referenced several times as the standard against which the final build of the portal should be judged. It was suggested that Ionic be required to send technicians to Maine on a set date to work directly with OIT technicians to fix and finalize the portal. Certainly one final date should be set for the delivery of the final build of the portal. There was a question as to whether or not a new build had already been installed. Apparently this had been hinted at by the Ionic project manager. This was thought to be very unlikely, but staff will check on it.
Larry Harwood expressed great reservation about his ability to deal effectively with both the Ionic and OIT technicians, admitting that his informal technician-to-technician approach had not been effective. The Chair asked who then should be contacted. Dan Walters no longer being in state government, the answer was Greg McNeal, CTO and head of OIT. Nancy Armentrout, who is an Agency Information Technology Director, will talk directly to Mr. McNeal about the situation.
It was decided that Marilyn Lutz would draft a letter to the CEO of Ionic, to be reviewed by Jim and other Board members. This will be a final attempt to get Ionic to install and make available a functional version of their application. They will be required to reply in 2 days after receipt of the letter. Jim asked that a complete history of the portal be provided before the letter is signed and sent. Larry will pull together as complete a history as possible by tomorrow.
There was one follow on question about the code for the Geoportal. How much of this code would be open and available to the Geolibrary? It appears that any customization code would be available but the basic source code would not be exposed.
Orthoimagery Project-Parcel Grants
Jim was asked to report what he had learned recently about the orthoimagry from informal corporate contacts. He had been told that the long delayed imagery would all be delivered by the end of the year. The problems appear to have been primarily water bodies not being flown and confusion on what had been authorized. In addition money had been found by USGS to create orthoimagery in the area of east central Maine previously bypassed for lack of funding. The unorganized territories are also scheduled to be flown in the Spring of 2008 and orthos made by the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Dan Walters in his new capacity as USGS Maine liasion gave a slightly different report. His understanding from inquiries with USGS is that the 2004-2005 orthoimagery will be delivered much sooner, in 1 week or less. He confirmed that additional money had in fact been found to complete the orthorectification of the east central area. There seems to be some confusion over what federal agencies are flying and orthorectifying the unorganized townships and what the footprint of the operation actually is.
Larry reported that of the first round of parcel grants, only the city of South Portland has not submitted data. South Portland has been given another contract extension. Of the second round of grants, 20 towns have submitted data and 8 are working on extended contracts: Bethel , Dover-Foxcroft, Lincoln , Richmond , Searsmont, Searsport, Vassalboro & Winslow.
Guidelines for Portal Administrator .
There has been no progress to report on this item. Dan noted that the original plan was to have the portal administrator covered by the MEGIS operational budget. Dave Blocher added that any such activity would have to be part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and OIT.
3. CAT 3 Grant RFP Review
The discussion was short as this issue had been brought up earlier. The RFP ad hoc committee had a conference call followed by Dan and Nancy rewriting the RFP. It will be ready for next month's meeting. An attempt will be made to make the draft available for review a week before the August 15 th meeting. After being voted on by the Board, the RFP will be given to staff and should be out by September. It was noted that the state agencies that attended the July 11 th meeting on the Grant should be appraised of these developments.
4. GIS Stakeholders Group Report
The GIS Stakeholders is chartered by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and is led by the OIT GIS Service Manager. It is composed of appointees of the CIO and designees of agency commissioners and represents agency business needs and users. It would be very desireable to synchronize the Stakeholder's and the Board's goals, objectives, strategy and business requirements. The final version of the Stakeholders Strategic Plan will be ready in August.
The USGS will presently be looking for Maine projects to fund. Consequently both the Stakeholders and the Board should cooperate on a list of requests. The first area of common interest is the integration of roads data between MEGIS which maintains the Enhanced 9-1-1 dataset and the Dept. of Transportation which has an extensive roads database. Nate Kane, MDOT, said it was difficult to estimate but this would probably take about 2 - 4 years and cost $500,000. It was noted that a similar proposal in the original Resolve 23 study called for spending $400,000.
The second area of interest was the incorporation of state agency attributes into the National Hydrography Database ( NHD ) maintained by the USGS. This would allow the NHD to be useful to a variety of state agency applications and softwares. It was thought this might cost at least $100,000. MEGIS has recently applied for a small grant of $20,000 to add the state water identification numbers, MIDAS, to the NHD.
There was a discussion of adding more marine GIS data to the Maine 's data holdings. Examples cited were bathymetry, shellfish harvesting areas, various habitats and administrative areas. This had been brought up at the state agency RFP meeting on the 11 th . It was noted that both marine GIS and parcel data are not in the Stakeholders plan.
Dan Walters described some of the likely projects USGS would entertain, probably in October of this year. Funding will most probably continue in all the usual areas, such as hydrography. He suggested the Technical Committee sit down and review the needs of the National Map and plan accordingly. The National Map is maintained by a consortium of state and federal agencies. It provides data consistant across all states and USGS uses it to support their science programs. The latest popular concept is state stewardship of data for the National Map.
5. Geolibrary Funding
There was further discussion on the July 11 th meeting with state agencies and on coordinating seeking funding with them. It would appear that public health issues were a common theme and this might prove useful in the future. It was noted that by the end the summer, the state agencies will be looking at what they want to fund for projects. A fee on property titles as a revenue source, frequently discussed in the past, was brought up again. Recent legislation to inventory conservation lands was able to use this as a funding mechanism.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:25 .
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