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July 16, 2008 Meeting Minutes and Agenda
2. Strategic Plan, Discussion of Gaps and Solutions – Bruce Oswald - 1 hour & 30 minutes
3. Federal Representation on the Board – Mike Smith
4. Demonstration of Custom Geoportal work – Christopher Kroot
5. Subcommittee Reports
Marilyn Lutz ( by phone )
Ken Murchison ( by phone )
Bill Hanson, Chair
Dan Coker, Co-Chair
Jim Page ( by phone )
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey (USGS) & Maine GIS Users Group ( MEGUG )
Bruce Oswald, James W. Sewall Co. ( by phone )
Amy Cloutier, State Planning Office intern
David Blocher, Office Information Technology
The meeting was called to order at
1. Approval of the
The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Christopher Kroot moved to approve the minutes as written. Mike Smith seconded. The Board voted 13 in favor, none opposed. The motion carried. (NOTE: unless otherwise indicated the Chair abstains from voting)
3. Federal Representation on the Board
The Chair moved item three to next
on the agenda. Mike Smith moved as follows “The
motion is to endorse proposed legislation which would add a federal
representative, who is also a resident of
Christopher Kroot seconded.
Q: Has the CIO been briefed about this proposal? What about the issue of the number of DAFS representatives on the Board?
A: Dick Thompson is aware of this and he concurs. This is a proposal mostly to get a federal representative on the Board. The question of how many DAFS people are on the Board can be dealt with later.
Q: What about the other proposed new representatives on the Board?
A: The e-mail discussion was rather chaotic with no clear consensus. The decision was made to limit this proposal.
Q: Three absences and you are out seems a bit harsh. Will medical or family emergencies be considered?
A: Of course. The object is to give us a method to deal with the problem.
The Board voted 11 in favor, 2 abstentions, none opposed. The motion carried.
2. Strategic Plan, Discussion of Gaps and Solutions
Bruce Oswald began his presentation by
reviewing the schedule
of project deliverables. The projected date to complete the strategic
The remaining presentation is given in outline form with accompanying questions and comments.
>Topics to be covered
· Structural Issues
· Gaps and Solutions
· Data Needs, including “other” vector data
· Other items to be included in the strategic plan
>NSGIC Coordinating Criteria
1. A full time GIS coordinator and staff
2. Clearly defined authority and responsibility for coordination.
3. A relationship with the Chief Information Officer ( CIO )
4. A political or executive champion is involved in coordination
5. A tie into national programs
6. An inter-governmental working environment free of turf wars
7. Sustainable funding mechanisms
8. Contracting authority and cost sharing mechanisms
9. Statewide coordination efforts that can be a conduit for federal initiatives.
Q: What is NSGIC
A: National States Geographic Information Council, an organization designed to guide spatial information technology nationwide. Members include state GIS managers, representatives from federal agencies, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations.
>NSGIC Coordinating Criteria
A full-time paid coordinator position is designated and has the authority to implement the state’s business and strategic plans.
· Explanation: Many states have created one or more full time positions to oversee coordination of geospatial technologies. These individuals are responsible for implementing the state’s business plan and are typically assigned to the Governor’s office, Chief Information Officer, Budget Dept. or the Technology Office. In some states these duties fall on a volunteer and in others no one is willing to assume this role. Having a full-time paid individual is advantageous and a significant portion of their energy is channeled into on-going statewide coordination council activities.
>Successful State Programs
>Successful State Programs (with Statewide GIS Coordination Offices)
Q: Does “state” mean including outside state government?
A: Yes, state is meant in the general case.
Q: How are other state GIS programs funded?
A: Mostly by general funding I think but I will look into that.
A discussion ensued about the history of GIS
>How Do Most “Councils” Work?
· Policy makers
· Develop standards
· Strategic planners-set strategic priorities
· Establish statewide direction
· Provide input from their constituencies
· Assist in obtaining and aligning funding.
· Respond to state agency GIS needs
· Responsible for statewide GIS
Clearinghouse implements council’s priorities
Develop & update statewide data
Promote GIS, partnerships, data sharing across the state
Newsletters, list servers, service centers, help desks
>What’s Missing in
· “Statewide” Coordinator
· Recognizable face
· Consistent leadership
· An Evangelist, someone who can dedicate time to travel across the state
· An Implementer, someone responsible for implementing statewide Geolibrary initiatives
It was immediately suggested that Funding should be added to what is ‘missing in
>What to Build On?
· Geolibrary Board Achievements
· MEGUG ( Maine GIS Users Group )
>Coordination Gaps – Data Sharing
· Inability to find data easily
· Difficulty in knowing when new data is posted or other data is updated
· Difficulty in downloading or accessing data
· Difficulty in posting data
· Inability to easily get access to state and local data
> Coordination Gaps – Data Development
· Provide updated imagery ( every 3-5 years )
· Provide statewide parcel data
· Develop one uniform roads – and addressing – dataset
Q: At the municipal level, creating FGDC  metadata is a big barrier. How do we address that?
A: It’s difficult. No one has had the resources to train or assist them. The metadata creation function of the GeoPortal may help with this problem.
Q: Looking at the “data sharing gaps”, will these be solved with the GeoPortal?
A: Yes except perhaps for the last item.
Q: Does the GeoPortal have a reporting function?
A: Not as such except that it becomes obvious when metadata & data are posted.
Q: How do we deal with periodic updates to portal data?
A: The Board needs a policy on that.
There was a discussion once again of the availability, or lack thereof, of certain state agency data. It was said this has been a continuing frustration for the Board. It was strongly suggested that a master list of GIS data be created listing agencies, contacts, availability, updating, etc. Noted in particular were restricted access to data created and maintained by Maine Revenue Service, Land Use Regulation Commission and the Maine Natural Areas Program.
> Coordination Gaps – GIS Training
· How can I find inexpensive GIS training?
· Where is training being given around the state and where?
· Who can I contact for help?
· How do I start a GIS program for my town?
> Coordination Gaps – Coordination Activities
· Data development
· Application development
· Data sharing
· GIS project partnerships
· Provide access to lessons learned
These are due to a lack of good communication. Possible solutions could be better use of the list servers and websites.
> Coordination Gaps – Software is Too Expensive
· How can I find less expensive software?
· How can I share software
· Is there a better way to purchase software?
These are due to a general lack of capacity but two solutions are apparent. First, strengthen the Maine GIS Users Group to the extent that it can address these issues. Second provide sufficient web based services for municipalities ( and others ) so there is no need to buy software or special hardware. The second suggestion was well received; there was some discussion of web mapping services and how to get municipalities to use them.
> Data Needs ( Including “Other” Vector Data )
The “other” data refers to a list of suggestions compiled from the surveys and forums and which was available as a handout. ( see appendix A ). The list was briefly reviewed with comments pointing out certain recurring themes.
Bruce asked for a list of the Board’s top data priorities. Amid considerable discussion these developed as: #3 combined DOT/E911 roads later, #4 high resolution elevation data, #5 conservation lands. ( #1 & #2 remain as orthoimagery and digital parcels respectively) These will need to be rectified with the existing priority list as given in the 2007 Annual Report to the legislature.
4. Demonstration of Custom Geoportal Work
Christopher Kroot gave an overview of the work.
1) Phase 1 : Design
2) Phase 2: Preliminary Programming
3) Phase 3: Preliminary Upload
· receive prioritized list of target organizations from the Board
· contact organizations and establish a mutually agreeable timeframe
· support the process of uploading metadata to test site
· develop documentation supporting data upload for other current and potential metadata producers
4) Quality Control Preliminary Upload Procedure and report back to the Board
Christopher asked that the Board members e-mail him lists of metadata they would like to see loaded. This will be done over the remaining summer season.
Training for those
GeoPortal, presumably municipal officials and staff, will be conducted
at the 6
hubs of the
Q: What if few or none apply for training?
A: We will be
certain communities known to be active in GIS.
Q: Don’t users have to submit metadata first?
A: Yes, it has to be approved before they are allowed to upload data.
Q: These shapefiles are going to be then viewed on the portal right?
A: Very basically the files will be converted to a web mapping service which can viewed by going to the GeoPortal. The uploaded data essentially becomes another data layer for viewing.
The remaining items on the agenda were tabled to the next meeting. The meeting adjourned at
 Federal Geographic Data Committee –an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis.
 Shapefiles are a simple format for storing spatial data. They can be used in all major GIS softwares.
 A program that interacts with a host application to provide a specific function on demand.
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