2. Federal Funding for Flood Zone Mapping – Joseph Young, SPO
3. CAT 3 Grant Update – Nancy Armentrout
4. Southern Maine ortho share purchase – Dan Walters, USGS
5. Board Membership - Chair
6. Subcommittee Reports
William Hanson, Chair
Dan Coker, Co-Chair
Kenneth Murchison ( by Phone )
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey (USGS) & Maine GIS Users Group
( MEGUG )
Tom Miragliuolo, State Planning Office (SPO)
Joseph Young, SPO
Vinton Valentine, University of Southern Maine (USM) & MEGUG
Aimee Dubois, Town of Scarborough/City of Saco
R. Michael White, Dirigo Spatial Systems Inc. & MEGUG
Rich Sutton, Reference Standard
The meeting was called to order at 10:02
1. Approval of the April 16th ,2008 meeting minutes
The Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes. There were
two changes. On page 1 correct spelling of Heldman to Heldmann;
on page 2, under the section headed by “sidebar” correct
the term spokesman to spokesperson. Marilyn Lutz moved to approve
the minutes as amended. Liz Hertz seconded. The Board voted 10 in
favor, none opposed, no abstentions. The motion carried. (NOTE:
unless otherwise indicated the Chair abstains from voting)
2. Federal Funding for Flood Zone Mapping.
Joe Young, Senior Planner in charge of the Floodplain Management
Program at SPO began with a short description of the Flood Insurance
Rate Map (FIRM) program. The FIRMs are the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) official maps of a municipality on which are delineated
both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable
to the municipality. Simply put, the FIRMs map areas of “100
year” and “500 year” flood events plus other special
flood hazard areas. Unfortunately the FIRMs have not been updated
in all areas with new flood studies and re-mapping. The older maps
are often not of a high standard with respect to geographic location
of flood hazard areas.
The key factor in accurate mapping of flood areas is detailed and
accurate elevation data. Ideally Maine would need between 2 foot
and 4 foot interval , digital contour data in developed areas. Although
a number municipalities have such data there is no state wide elevation
data better than 20 foot or 10 foot contour intervals. Current LIDAR
technology seems to be the most cost effective way to collect accurate
elevation data but it is still expensive, perhaps $4M.
Federal funding for map modernization has been passed and it is
for Maine about $10M over 5 years. The Maine legislature this session
passed a joint resolution enjoining FEMA to complete the modernization
of the Maine FIRMs on schedule ( by 2009 ). SPO has been directed
to work with state agencies and others to get better elevation data;
a report is due the legislature by January 19, 2009. To that end,
SPO would like to explore a partnership the Geolibrary Board in
lobbying for better elevation data and its use by FEMA in map modernization.
Extensive discussion ensued, the salient points of which are given
here in outline form:
• SPO will be “quarter backing” the state
agency effort. The legislature’s resolution will help to
focus the agencies.
• The Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will support
this effort very strongly. The DEP has projects that are regulatory
in nature and tied directly to legislation. Accurate elevation
and slope data would be critical to many such projects, for example
site selection law.
• If the state agencies can show quantifiable cost savings
due to better elevation data, the legislature might be able to
find some funding.
• The USGS has some funding available soon for higher resolution
• It would seem that “the planets are aligning”
on this. How can the Board best support the effort?
• The GIS Stakeholders recently formed an ad hoc subcommittee
on high resolution topographic data chaired by Janet Parker, SPO.
Their charge is to report back what they determine the state agencies
need for high resolution topographic data.
• There was considerable discussion of whether or not the
Board and other entities such as vendors should be involved in
the Stakeholders topography committee. Some argued that more extensive
participation was logically required and others needed to be heard.
Others felt the Stakeholder effort was limited to state agencies
and a subset of the larger “state wide” issue the
Board should deal with.
Christopher Kroot moved to establish a High Resolution Topographical
Data Subcommittee which will coordinate with the GIS Stakeholders
topographic data committee, apprise the Stakeholders committee of
the Board subcommittee’s progress and invite the Stakeholder’s
committee to participate in the Board subcommittee’s work.
Liz Hertz seconded.
In discussion it was pointed out that high resolution topographical
data, while intrinsically valuable, was not on the existing list
of Board priority data layers, which list had been created by considerable
effort and had been voted on. In addition it would seem unwise to
approach the legislators (and our constituencies) with a new priority
when previously identified priority items had already been presented,
i.e. the Annual Report. It was also suggested that this issue could
be remanded to the standing Technical Subcommittee instead.
Countervailing points were that the proposed exercise did relate
to the DFIRM support item in the current data priorities list. Certainly
nobody wanted to open the data priorities list again. This was a
funding opportunity that should not be missed and some flexibility
was called for. A “business case” needed to be made
for the acquisition of topographic data before involving the Technical
Subcommittee, who were in any case already fully engaged with the
Time pressing, the Chair called for the vote. The Board voted 10
in favor, none opposed, no abstentions. The motion carried. Dan
Coker volunteered to chair the new subcommittee and assemble a team.
3. CAT 3 Grant Update
Nancy Armentrout handed out a project update from the Sewall team
and a summary on the information gathering forums. Discussion opened
on the previously distributed preliminary Strategic Plan submitted
by the vendor team on April 15th. Nancy reported that she and Will
Mitchell (Project Manager) had some questions on the form and content
of the Plan. In particular section 5 needed to be changed as to
content. Overall they felt that the content should focus more on
data; this was generally agreed to by some Board members.
Rich Sutton, part of the vendor team, noted that it is very hard
to get a concise statement of the Strategic Plan and the Board should
approach it with caution. It was pointed out that this section 5
is constrained by what is stated in section 4 preceding it. Also
the structure of the Plan is the important focus now, the content
may be something of a distraction.
It was agreed that comments would be accepted from the Board on
this preliminary Strategic Plan. Comments should focus on the outline
and structure of the Plan and must be received by this Friday (May
Dan Walters, Vice-Chair and Michael White, Chair of the Maine GIS
Users Group (MEGUG) reported that organization is very interested
in taking over storage, maintenance and updating of the “Master
List” of all entities interested in GIS in Maine. This is
currently being compiled by Will Mitchell as part of the CAT3 Grant
project. I would be of considerable use to MEGUG in return for which
they would undertake its maintenance in database format, as opposed
to the current spreadsheet format.
Jim Page moved to invite MEGUG to provide a one page summary of
their proposal for maintaining the Master List at the next Board
meeting. Liz Hertz seconded. The Board voted 10 in favor, none opposed,
no abstentions. The motion carried
4. Southern Maine Ortho Share Purchase
Dan Walters reported that in 2007, the firm Bradstreet Consultants
Inc. had a number of towns in York County ( see attachment A ) flown
for producing ½ foot color orthoimagery. Some towns elected
to participate by purchasing orthos and some did not. Circumstances
have disposed Bradstreet to sell all the orthoimagery plus related
materials such as control data and the DTM to the Southern Maine
Regional Planning Commission for $90,000. Dan has $30,000 from the
USGS. He proposes to find 10 organizations to contribute a share
of $6,000 each. Would the Geolibrary want to buy a share?
Q: Is this unrestricted use, no licensing restrictions?
A: Everything will be in the public domain. There will be no restrictions.
Q: Should we require participating towns to register their data
on the GeoPortal?
A: After discussion, the consensus was not to do so. It might be
Q: What else comes with the orthoimagery?
A: We do not have a list here but certainly the DTM, control information,
flight line graphics, indices, etc.
Gretchen pointed out that once again areas already covered by good
orthoimagery were getting an upgrade whereas other parts of the
state not covered or covered by lower resolution imagery continue
to be last on the priority list. She also pointed out that although
there is a high population density in the area to be purchased,
which warrants high quality imagery for many different analyses-
there are many economic, social, environmental and other conditions
that warrant good imagery to aid in better and more useful planning
in the areas of the state that are continually last on the list.
Gretchen pointed out that this is somewhat setting a precedent for
the GeoLibrary of prioritizing upgrades to certain areas over others,
and stated that she strongly felt the Board should make a commitment
to do the same for the areas of the state with no or lower resolution
imagery should a similar opportunity arise.
Mike Smith moved to appropriate $6,000 to fund a share of this
project. Ken Murchison seconded. The Board voted 10 in favor, none
opposed, no abstentions. The motion carried.
5. Board Membership
The Chair reported that two nominations had been submitted for vacant
seats. Paul Hoffman has been nominated by the Maine County Commissioners
Assoc. to represent counties, appointment by the Governor. Aimee
Dubois has been nominated to represent the public, appointment by
the Senate President.
Liz Hertz term expires in 07/07/2008; she has not decided whether
or not to ask for reappointment. The Chair, Jim Page and Marilyn
Lutz all have terms which expire on 09/26/2008. The Chair will seek
reappointment, Jim and Marilyn will not. Jim will attempt to find
a replacement and get him or her nominated. Marilyn will contact
the UM Chancellor about designating a replacement for her.
6. Subcommittee Reports
Larry Harwood reported that the bills for the 2004-2005 aerial photography
and orthorectification had been received from USGS. The aerial photography
bill was $23,629.94 as expected. The orthorectifcation bill was
$234,439.51 which is $29,250.00 less than expected. This increases
the unallocated funds remaining to $86,414.50
Policy and Marketing
There was nothing to report on policy. There was a short ad hoc
discussion of using the official opening of the GeoPortal as a publicity/marketing
tool. This would be a good method of outreach to the Board member
constituencies. Another suggestion was to send Geolibrary activity
update letters to the nominating bodies and the authorities who
appoint Board members ( the Governor, the President of the Senate,
the Chancellor of the University of Maine System, The Speaker of
the House, the Chief Information Officer and the Commissioner of
Administrative & Financial Services).
Status of the Geoportal
Mike Smith and Christopher Kroot reported jointly on the Geoportal.
The out-of –the-box portal will be running by Friday (May
23). The delay has been in setting up the requisite databases which
took longer than originally expected. The ‘branding’
of the GeoPortal as Geolibrary is next on the agenda and the linkage
will not be made visible until that is completed. The portal will
be operational before the next Board meeting. The memoranda or agreement
with the University Of Southern Maine, Research Computing Group
(USM RCG) have been approved and signed. USMRCG will be creating
the custom shapefile-to-Web Mapping Service application for the
portal and loading non-state agency metadata. USM will also be conducting
metadata/GIS training in the communities as part of a larger grant.
Q: Will the mapping service have KML output?
A: No but it can be added easily later for maybe $2000
Larry Harwood reported that he has reviewed all of the recently
arrived 2 foot resolution orthoimagery and found it acceptable.
The extent of aerial photography orthorectified by USGS has increased
the area of coverage by the high resolution color orthos by several
townships in the Millinocket area.
The meeting adjourned at 12:13