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Home > Meetings > 2007 Meetings > October 17, 2007

October 17, 2007 Meeting Minutes and Agenda


Approval of the Sept. 19th  meeting minutes – Chair

Presentation on USGS Programs – Dan Walters, USGS

Subcommittee Reports
  • Financial – Larry Harwood
  • Policy & Marketing – Marilyn Lutz
  • Technical
  • Orthoimagery Project /Parcel grants – Larry Harwood
  • GEOPortal next direction – Christopher Kroot
Standing Subcommittee membership – Chair

Development of Stakeholder Links - Chair

Geolibrary Funding – Group


William Hanson, Chair
James Page
Marilyn Lutz
Greg Copeland
Gretchen Heldmann ( by phone )
Elizabeth Hertz
Christopher Kroot
Nancy Armentrout
Ken Murchison ( by phone)

Larry Harwood
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey
Carl Nylen, ESRI
Gina Raucci, ESRI

The meeting was called to order at 10:02

1. Approval of the Sept. 19th,  2007  meeting minutes
The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Jim Page moved to approve the minutes as written. Elizabeth Hertz  seconded. The Board voted unanimously in favor. The motion carried. ( Note: unless otherwise indicated the Chair abstains from all votes )

2. Presentation on USGS Programs
Dan Walters, Geospatial Liaison for Maine with the U.S. Geological Survey, gave a talk on the implementation of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the National Geospatial Programs Office (NGPO) and Maine’s opportunities for funding and partnering with the USGS on projects of mutual interest.

The  National Spatial Data Infrastructure was created in 1994 by executive order of President Clinton with the goal of improving quality and reducing costs related to geographic information,  making geographic data more accessible to the public, increasing the benefits of using available data and establishing key partnerships with states, counties, cities, tribal nations, academia and the private sector to increase data availability. It provides a base or structure of practices and relationships among data producers and users that facilitates data sharing and use. The NSDI is also a set of actions and new ways of accessing, sharing and using geographic data that enables far more comprehensive analysis of data to help decision-makers choose the best course of action. The NSDI framework data layers are as follows: geodetic control, orthoimagery, elevation, transportation, hydrography, governmental units and cadastral information. The “building blocks” of the NSDI are described as its clearinghouse or portal, metadata ( data about data ), the framework data layers, geodata, standards and partnerships.

The geospatial programs for which the USGS has a leadership responsibility have recently been consolidated  into a National Geospatial Program Office to serve the needs and interests of the geospatial community throughout the Nation. This realignment brings The National Map, Geospatial One-Stop, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee into a single program office. The National Map features on-line, interactive map services. It provides public access to high-quality, geospatial data and information from a consortium of Federal, State, and local partners. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. FGDC metadata for example is a generally excepted standard for GIS data. The Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) serves as a public gateway for access to geospatial information and data. Geospatial One-Stop is one of 24 E-Government initiatives sponsored by the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to enhance government efficiency and to improve citizen services.

Partnerships and Funding
The NSDI is looking for any increase in coverage area, scale or content of data. The focus is now on local stewardship of data by state governments, that is to say local maintenance and updating data of interest to both the state and the NSDI. The USGS priorities are support of the USGS science programs, disaster preparedness, response & recovery, homeland security and the National Map.

The Geolibrary is already familiar with the program of FGDC Cooperative Assistance Program (CAP) grants. Some of the of the grants involving MEGIS and the Geolibrary have been  metadata training and outreach, clearinghouse integration with OpenGIS Services,  the County GIS study and most recently the Strategic & Business Plan update and a plan for an integrated land records information system. Dan outlined possible CAP grant opportunities in federal fiscal 08:
•    Metadata Trainer and Outreach Assistance
•    Best Practices in Geospatial Service Oriented Architecture
•    Fifty States Initiative
•    Joint Canadian and United States Spatial Data  Infrastructure Project
•    Building data stewardship for The National Map and the NSDI
•    FGDC-Endorsed Standards Implementation Assistance and Outreach

 The USGS ‘Maine communication plan’ is to interact with stakeholders across the state and to communicate the goals of the state agency GIS Stakeholders, the Geolibrary and other GIS users in order to enable USGS to build partnerships in support of the NSDI. As Liaison, Dan will
•    Identify potential Stakeholders
•    Attend meeting and conferences to communicate goals of the Stakeholders, Geolibrary and USGS
•    Build partnerships around short and long-term goals
•    Inventory current and planned geospatial data and projects

Q: Will every state have their own Liaison officer?
A: Not yet. The Geospatial Liaisons are all on a par however state or regional.
Q: What is the relationship between NSGIC and USGS?
A: It is a larger supporting organization. Members of NSGIC include senior state GIS managers, representatives from federal agencies, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations.

Q: Will USGS still be involved in new orthoimagery?
A: The USGS will definitely be in the lead especially with the higher resolution. The Dept. of Agriculture will be updating the NAIP 1 meter imagery every 5 years.
Q: Is there a connection between USGS and the National Science Foundation?
A: There is no direct connection. Some of the programs probably have overlaping areas. The NSF might be an alternative funding source for the Geolibrary.
Q: The Geolibrary did not get the CAT 5 grant we applied for. Would we be successful with a re-application in 08?
A: Probably not a CAT 5 but there are certainly other grants to apply for.

3. Subcommittee Reports

There was one change to the financial sheet. The amount expended for town parcel grants, second round rose to $143,779.00. The amount encumbered for town parcel grants, second round dropped to $45,935.00 and the total encumbered now is $383,118.45  There was some discussion about how the parcel data could be updated and if that was possible from the funding standpoint. It was pointed out that $25,000 has for a long time been held for “standards conformity/data validation tools”; perhaps it could be applied to parcel updates. Another suggestion was to develop some added value service for the towns in return for which they would submit updates. The Chair asked the Financial Committee to review this matter and return with a recommendation.

Policy & Marketing
There was no report to make on policy issues. The MOU between MLGIB and OIT was tabled to the next meeting.  

Orthoimagery & Parcel Grants
There was nothing new to report on the orthoimagery.

The town of Islesboro submitted their parcel data and assessor’s database file. However they had voted at town meeting not to release names and addresses in the assessor’s file due to privacy concerns. After some discussion it was decided that this was allowed in the standards as written and staff was instructed to pay the bill.

Status on GeoPortal
Christopher Kroot reported that the Technical Committee, reconstituted, had a conference call last week to discuss the next move on the GeoPortal . Christopher related that he had spent some time reviewing fully open source softwares and found them very limited in immediate functions and betraying an academic origin. It would require a great deal of programming time to create from these what the Geolibrary needs for an internet portal.

In conference call, the committee decided that based on the time frame and available resources the best approach would be to use the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) GIS Portal Toolkit. This is a basic portal but has the advantage of “out of the box” functionality and state agencies have history of working with the vendor. The appearance of the portal could be easily “branded” to the Geolibrary. Christopher and colleague Mike Smith (plus ESRI) had spent about 5 days loading and configuring the ESRI portal kit which was now basically functional on PC running at the Dept Environmental Protection. A demonstration would be possible at today’s meeting.

If the Board agrees to the Technical Committee recommendation the next steps would roughly as follows:
1. Get the portal running on an OIT server
2. Confirm by letter to Dick Thompson, CIO, what resources OIT is willing to commit to support the portal.
3. Arrange for a dedicated server for the portal software
4. Work out a contract with ESRI and/or make arrangements under one of the existing contracts with ESRI.

Jim Page moved to accept the GeoPortal recommendation of the Technical Committee contingent upon compliance with state procurement rules and for an amount not to exceed $20,000. Ken Murchison seconded. Discussion on the motion focused on installation, branding and future customization. It was suggested that based on previous experience the next contract must be very clear on specific deliverables. Carl Nylen of ESRI explained some of the details of installation and licensing the portal toolkit. Any significant future costs will probably be due to customization and upgrades.

Christopher now gave a brief demonstration of the aforementioned Portal Toolkit installed at DEP. He opened with a quick look at the Federal Geospatial One Stop site which was built with the same software. The prototype portal has a map viewer allows users to browse, navigate, and query map data; view multiple map services; change projections, and save map views. The viewer supports OGC WMS, WFS, and WCS services. The channel editor allows users to create new sub channels, populate and manage channel content, and create external links. The metadata harvesting allows users to get metadata  from standard metadata repository protocols. There is a function that allows others to upload metadata for review and an administration function for review and certification.
Q: What exactly is the $20k buying?
A: Customization, branding to Geolibrary and training.
Q: How do we know who at OIT is going to be responsible for the portal?
A: That is up to CIO Dick Thompson with whom the Board will have to have an extensive dialog.
Q: Could we use the Federal GOS instead?
A: Not really because there would be no branding of the Geolibrary and certain datasets relevant to Maine would not likely be maintained at the Federal level.

The Chair called for a vote on the motion on the floor. The vote was 8 in favor, none opposed and the Chair abstaining. The motion carried.

4. Standing Subcommittee Membership
The Chair’s object was to reconstitute the standing committees. There has been significant  turnover of membership and a very heavy workload of late. After some discussion the known members of standing committees were noted and volunteers asked for to replenish the membership.

Finance Committee
Bill Hanson - Chair
Jim Page
Dave Blocher
Larry Harwood

Policy Committee
Marilyn Lutz – Chair
Liz Hertz
Nancy Armentrout
Greg Copeland
Bill Hanson

Technical Committee
Christopher Kroot – Chair
Gretchen Heldmann
Ken Murchison
Greg Copeland
Gary Duplisea
Dan Coker
Marilyn Lutz

5. Development of Stakeholder Links
This item was a follow-up to the recent Bar Association meeting on property title. One Richard Smith of the Bar has been appointed to be liaison to the Board. On the matter of stakeholders, it was noted that Dan Walters already has an excellent list already and the Board should start by selecting from that.  

6. Geolibrary Funding
This has been a regular item on the agenda. It was decided that at this point in time the Financial Committee and not the full Board would be better suited to investigate funding.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:17