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Home > Meetings > 2007 Meetings > March 21, 2007

March 21, 2007 Meeting Minutes and Agenda


•  Approval of the February 21 st meeting minutes - Chair

Subcommittee Reports

•  Financial - Dan Walters

•  Policy & Marketing - Marilyn Lutz

•  Technical - Will Mitchell

•  Status on the GEOPortal - Will

•  Guidelines for Portal Administrator - Marilyn

•  Orthoimagery Project / Purchased ortho products- Larry Harwood

•  Parcel Grants - Larry

Status of GeoLibrary Board bond request

Geolibrary Annual Report

Geolibrary funding

Meeting Minutes:



Jim Page, Chair ( by phone )

Marilyn Lutz, Co-Chair

David Blocher

Nancy Armentrout

William Hanson ( by phone )

Elizabeth Hertz ( by phone )

Gretchen Heldmann

Christopher Kroot

Will Mitchell ( by phone )

Ken Murchison ( by phone )


Dan Walters

Larry Harwood


Barbara Charry, Audubon Society ( by phone )

Mary Cloutier, OIT

Carl Nylen, ESRI


The Co-Chair presided for this meeting, hereinafter referred to as the Chair. The meeting was called to order at 10:13


1. Approval of the February 21 2007 meeting minutes

Some revisions were asked for in Section 3 - GIS Stakeholders Report. 1) The Stakeholders Charter needs top be referenced. 2) The 4 th sentence on MEGIS participation needs to be modified to show MEGIS staffer chairs the Stakeholders Group. 3) The 3 rd sentence needs to be revised "They are not a governing body but the Group is advisory to the CIO"

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


3. Status of Geolibrary Bond request

The Chair moved to topic 3 to accommodate Jim Page, calling in between flights. Jim and Barbara Charry ( former Board member ) supplied most of the information.


The governor's bonding request has been announced at 441.3 million. The Geolibrary request is not part of that package. It was speculated that not having a supporter in the Governor's office certainly did not help. The alternative previously discussed of having a funding bill sponsored in this session of the legislature is also not possible. Last session one Rep. Ted Koffman, a contact of Barbara's, had sponsored a funding bill but that was not carried over to this session. Barbara will contact him nonetheless to see if any action can be taken. There is still interest and support at the State Planning Office which is good for the future but seems of no import at the present moment.

One optimistic possibility that was discussed with interest was amending an existing bill to include some funding. This might even be a 'resuscitation' of a failing bill. Ken Murchison agreed to contact the Aroostook County delegation about this with the focus on how the county was losing resources and grant opportunities thru the lack of Geolibrary funding. Ken also agreed to contact his local representative Rep. Jeremy Fischer on this matter. Jim Page will send Ken all of his relevant bond materials. At 10:40 Jim Page and Barbara Charry left the conference call.


2. Subcommittee Reports



Dan Walters reviewed the updated report on bond expenditures. Of particular note, $31,464 for 2004/2005 aerial photography has been disencumbered and is added to funds remaining. Also $4,959 previously charged to the Geolibrary Account was moved to another cost center and the town of Stonington gave up on their parcel grant adding $1,000 to funds remaining. Total funds still under discussion ( i.e. not encumbered ) are $65,483.



Status on the GEOPortal .

There has been no progress since the last meeting due to everyone on the Technical Committee being extremely busy. Ionic is standing by for input on the final GUI ( graphical user interface ). MEGIS staff has some time at this point to make a preliminary design, hopefully in a couple of weeks. It was noted that this would be a "mockup" for discussion and not a functional web page.


Guidelines for Portal Administrator .

There has been no progress to report on this item. There was some discussion of what the Portal Administrator would be tasked with and this discussion re-visited the GeoPortal status and related matters.


Orthoimagery Project.& Photo Products

There was nothing new to report on the orthoimagery. The aerial photo products are almost complete; all of the scanned aerial photos have been received and only the last of the control data remains.


Parcel Grants.

Parcel data has been coming in at a steady rate. There is a backlog of six towns to review.


Policy & Marketing

The Chair handed out two documents. One was a draft of Policy: Dissemination of Geospatial Data : Fee Setting ( attached as Appendix A ). The second was a list of questions raised during discussions about the draft policy which the Chair reviewed for the Board.

1) Concept of value added services for geospatial data

What functionality would recoup cost of development?

What are people willing to pay for?

2) Are we legally tied to the recouping of copy costs

3) Where is the line between the Geolibrary Board and the private sector regarding activities that provide value added services.

4) Who pays associated costs for the provision of public data by state agencies to the Geolibrary Board?


After the Chair's review and elaboration of these questions, a long discussion ensued ranging over a number of topics which have been issues for the Geolibrary Board before. The following is a summary of the major points of discussion.


•  What is the nature and function of the Geolibrary? There were some observations - data storage, seed money for projects, metadata repository and the primary repository for non-state agency data. The consensus seemed to be that the Geolibrary should be the public face or front end of all GIS data in Maine and dealing directly with the public.


•  What should be the relationship between the Geolibrary and MEGIS? Some Board members thought the Geolibrary has been confused with the Maine Office of GIS and state government. In theory the Geolibrary is a public portal for all GIS data and MEGIS handles state agency data. Because the Geolibrary uses MEGIS services for many things there seems to be a 'branding' issue that needs to be resolved. A concrete suggestion was to review again the Memorandum Of Understanding between the Board, the GIS Stakeholders and MEGIS.


•  Costs of the technology. What are the actual costs of maintaining data storage and the GeoPortal both in state government and contracted out? Dan and Dave Blocher were asked to get cost estimates on things now done by OIT and MEGIS.


•  Funding possibilities. One topic discussed in some detail was value added services, providing a service over and above just presenting the data. There was concern that this would be competing with the private sector. Bill Hanson noted that the Geolibrary legislation was not clear on this matter. Other possible sources of funding were discussed including the venerable 'cost of reproduction', a fee on professional licenses for access to orthoimagery, charging fees for data - seen as unlikely, and even advertisements as per Google. The Chair also described the UMO Spatial Data Commons project - an example of essentially free, open source, mutual data storage.


•  Housing non-state data. There was some discussion of the desirability - or not - of centrally housing non-state agency data, especially municipal data. The cost and time involved in collecting and updating data from many sources would be great. It was also pointed out that the GeoPortal is in fact intended to link up many individual repositories.


4. Geolibrary Annual Report

.The Annual Report having been completed prior to this meeting, this was not discussed.


5 Geolibrary Funding

Much discussion on funding had already taken place. This item was tabled to the next meeting.


Meeting was adjourned at 12:20 PM