October 15, 2008 Meeting Minutes and Agenda
1. Approval of the September 17th meeting minutes – Chair
2. Strategic Plan Update – Bruce Oswald
3. Land Records Update – Rich Sutton
4. Membership – Mike Smith
5. GIS Day – All
6. Subcommittee Reports
• Financial – Larry Harwood
• Policy & Marketing – Marilyn Lutz
Status of the GEOPortal – Mike Smith, Christopher Kroot
Kenneth Murchison ( by phone)
William Hanson, Chair
Jon Giles ( by phone)
Dan Walters, US Geological Survey (USGS) & Maine GIS
Users Group ( MEGUG )
Vinton Valentine, University of Southern Maine (USM) & MEGUG
Bruce Oswald, James W. Sewall Co Project Team ( by phone)
Rich Sutton, Reference Standard, JWS Project team ( by phone)
James Page, CEO James W. Sewall Co. ( by phone)
The meeting was called to order at 10:03
1. Approval of the September 17th , 2008 meeting minutes
Larry Harwood read out an addition to the minutes in section 4 Bond
Issues requested by Gretchen Heldmann as follows: "Gretchen Heldmann
argued that the Board should put more money towards the High Resolution
Topography Data so that we would have better chances at flying 0.5m
LiDAR. 0.5m LiDAR would provide much more detailed information and
would ultimately in the end create better flood maps, have better
elevation data, better forest stand info, and more. Gretchen wanted
to see $5.61M asked for this project. The Board discussed the issue
and left the amount at the $1.5M. The Board voted to approve the matter,
with all votes in favor except for Gretchen who voted Nay." The
Chair entertained a motion to approve the minutes as amended to include
Ms. Heldmann’s addition. Marilyn Lutz moved to approve the minutes
as amended. Mike Smith seconded. The Board voted 7 in favor, none
opposed, Chair abstaining. The motion carried. (The Chair traditionally
abstains unless needed to break a tie.)
2. Strategic Plan Update
Bruce Oswald gave a brief update on the October 15th report sent to
the CAT3 Grant Project Committee. Much had been accomplished in the
last 30 days or so. He pointed out the updated schedule and suggested
that he would be finished in January of 2009. The full text of the
report is included as Attachment A.
3. Land Records Update
Rich Sutton gave an update on the Integrated Land Records System part
of the project. He provided a one page document giving “…a
snapshot of ongoing developments in the various areas of design, investigation
and promotion..” of the project. The report is given here in
outline form with his comments.
Classes of stakeholders:
• Land records producers and stewards (Tier 1)
• Active land records users (Tier 2)
• Technical facilitators and vendors (Tier 3)
Vital to concentrate on Tier 1 first; many identified applications
and downstream users
Maine has a unique situation with respect to assessment and tax mapping.
It is “balkanized” into 400 or so individual assessment
authorities. Between the very large and very small towns is a “middle
class” of towns that are probably not going to automate on their
own. Regionalization is probably the only way to automate their parcel
maps. Some states have a state wide tax mapping and updating system.
Currently in Maine :
• Approximately 40% of tax map parcel data is digital (to parcel
standard or equivalent)
• 20% of total assessed parcels are within the top 2% (by population)
of Maine municipalities
• 100+ towns will not be able to self-administer parcels, regionalization
is a possible solution.
It is vital to include maintenance in any automation plan or the
initial investment will quickly be lost. It is possible that the Maine
Revenue Services (MRS), given funding, could expand their maintenance
to include some of the organized towns ( the ‘middle class 100’
For the registries the benefits of integrating their records with
tax maps are less tangible, so the Registries have a different outlook.
It is difficult to show them immediate benefits. This is unfortunate
because the registries are a vast resource of geospatial data unavailable
to the GIS community.
• Point referencing scanned documents (Parcel Identifier)
The easiest identifier would be a latitude/longitude coordinate for
a parcel included in its deed description.
• Georeferencing survey plans
There is interest by the registries in having the survey plans scanned.
This might be a good stand-alone side project.
• Regional service center viability
• Support from Deeds Registers
• Web vendors – supportive but revenue driven
Maine Revenue Services
• LURC Unorganized Territories model (expansion opportunities?)
This is an interesting idea but MRS has their own problems and limitations
in maintaining the UT parcel data.
• US: Multiple initiatives, mostly county-administered states
• Canada (New Brunswick)
Toward Torrens title system (title by registration) – the possibility
of converting Maine Registry of Deeds indexes from the current party-
in- interest indexing to a parcel identifying index, needs to be explored.
One such system in use in a few other jurisdictions is the Torrens
registration system which combines the ease of searching titles by
parcel identification indexing with a state guarantee or certification
of title validity. New Brunswick has a variant of this type of system,
whereby some parcel titles are officially certified. Such recording
systems are many years out, if ever, for Maine but we may be able
to move incrementally toward them.
Federal standards and opportunities
Federal standards are very simple at this point. For Maine to adapt
to what standards exist would change nothing for us and would be a
good thing to do.
Tier 1 participation
Federal opportunities: DOI, Census
Bold stand = controversy energy
Municipal classes for statewide parcel map-down
Maintenance strategy and responsibility
County Deeds/Plans linkage
Outline due: 10/20
Target team presentation: November GeoLibrary Board meeting
At the November meeting, Rich plans to present his final report. He
will have first spot on the agenda after minutes.
Q: MRS collects land classification information; how is it used?
Can it be used elsewhere?
A: The coding is fairly extensive but the entries are not always reliable.
We have no figures on the reliability.
Q: You mentioned that MRS is ‘not very enthusiastic’ about
A: Yes, but they are cooperative. It is as usual a matter of resources,
funding and an agency barely able to keep up with their work. Serious
funding would have to precede any expansion of their maintenance program
as we discussed earlier.
Q: Have you gotten Nancy Armentrout’s comments yet?
A: Yes and also from Will Mitchell. They need to be incorporated.
Q: This is extensive and perhaps not possible. Can we reduce this
to a few strong points, a smaller presentation?
A: We could do “smaller steps”. It would be an incremental
Q: Is there a system that actually works?
A: That’s a good question. For Maine we don’t really know
yet. In any case a pilot project to start with would be called for.
The Board currently has two vacant positions: Representing Utility
Interests and Representing GIS Vendors. The former is appointed by
the Governor and the latter by the President of the Senate. The legislation
does not specify a nominating authority for either position.
Mike Smith proposed that the Board nominate Stu Rich from Penobscot
Bay Media to represent vendors. He is well know in the Maine GIS community
and has in the past expressed interest in being on the Board. Gretchen
Heldmann suggested one Greg Davis who works for Time Warner Cable
to represent utilities. He has said he will serve if appointed.
There was some discussion of the lack of success in finding a utilities
representative. The last appointment was able to attend only one meeting.
Board members have made unsuccessful attempts to interest someone
from one of the electric or telecom industries in Maine in serving.
Notwithstanding there was some concern that Mr. Davis was unknown
to the Board and most everyone else. It was related that he does have
a GIS background.
Mike Smith moved to have the Board nominate Stu Rich to the seat
Representing GIS Vendors. Ken Murchison seconded. The Board voted
9 in favor, none opposed, Chair abstaining. The motion carried.
Mike Smith moved to have the Board nominate Greg Davis to the seat
Representing Utility Interests. Gretchen Heldmann seconded. There
was brief discussion of the Mr. Davis being somewhat of an unknown
quantity, those present knowing little of him. It was suggested that
someone from a larger and more traditional utility be found. The Board
voted 8 in favor, 1 opposed, Chair abstaining. The motion carried.
5. GIS Day
Mike Smith explained that GIS Day, November 19th, could be an excellent
opportunity to promote the Geolibrary in general and the bonding proposal
in particular. Bridgit Kirouac and Larry Harwood of his office are
handling the arrangements. Larry reported on the details.
The Hall of Flags in the State House has been reserved for the day.
The event will run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM with an hour on each end
to set up and pack up. There is electric power, a wireless connection
and tables – up to 15 with chairs. The area is not good for
large displays such as at Maine Municipal Assoc. conventions. We have
made a several draft handouts which will be circulated to the Board
for review in a couple of days. So far there are the following participants:
Representing the Geolibrary
Christopher Kroot, demonstrating the GeoPortal
Representing Town of Hampden
Representing the towns of Saco & Scarborough
Representing the Town of Bar Harbor
From MSAD 47
Lennie Goff – demonstrating transportation cost savings with
From State Planning Office
Joe Young demonstrating how flood plain management benefits from Geolibrary
A static display, perhaps attendant or Dan Walters will handle
A static display of uses of Geolibrary data in The County.
Also possibly static displays from the towns of South Berwick and
It was suggested that letters of invitation be sent to the legislature
and the Governor. MEGIS will make the drafts of these and forward
to the Chair for review. It was also suggested that a press release
could be written and distributed.
6. Subcommittee reports
There were no changes to the previously submitted financial report.
Policy and Marketing
Rather than a report per se there was a discussion of new promotional
materials in general and in particular in support of the latest bond
request. Marilyn Lutz suggested it was time for a new Geolibrary brochure
and this was well received. The Policy Committee will develop a conceptual
framework for the new brochure and a budget for its creation and bring
this back to the Board.
On the more specific matter of promoting the bond request, the Policy
Committee will write a short one page justification for the bonding
request for general consumption. It was also suggested that the Board
solicit letters of support from towns and other non-state entities
in support of the bond request. Gretchen Heldmann agreed to write
a template or generic letter of support that can be provided to municipalities.
Status of the GeoPortal
The appropriation of $8,000 to pay ESRI to encrypt the password for
the GeoPortal in the event will not be needed. There remains also
enough funding to set up the ESRI 9.3 version of the portal after
which the metadata upload interface will be installed. By the end
of the year there will be a fully functional beta site running.
The USGS has funded a temporary position to help the University of
Southern Maine (USM) with the loading of metadata from municipalities
and other non-state organizations. This is the beginning of setting
up data and metadata stewards – outside of state government
- for the portal.
Q: Can we get this in writing?
A: Certainly but remember we are just getting started. We should have
a firm schedule soon.
Q: The details of the Web Mapping Services are complicated. Can people
use the GeoPortal to view these?
A: It can be done. We would not need anything more than the existing
Additional Item – USGS Grants
Dan Walters, Maine USGS liaison, announced that requests were being
accepted for the Fiscal Year 2010 round of Cooperative Agreements
Program (CAP) grants in seven categories. There is $375,000 in funding
available. The Geolibrary is well established with the current CAT
3 grant project and is also the ‘state coordinating group’.
A match is not necessarily required but it depends on the proposal
and the more partners the better. What Dan wanted was a small ad hoc
committee to help craft proposals.
The Chair called for volunteers. In addition to Dan Walters the committee
will include Marilyn Lutz, Mike Smith, Vinton Valentine and Joe Young
(who was ‘volunteered’ in absentia). The committee will
try to have recommendations for the next Board meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:13
James W. Sewall Company
Project Update Report
Client: Maine GeoLibrary Board
Project: Strategic Plan and Integrated Land Records Information System
Monthly Status Report: October 15, 2008
This document provides a summary of ongoing activities relating to
the Strategic Plan and Integrated Land Records Information System
for the State of Maine. Its purpose is to provide a monthly snapshot
of ongoing developments of this project.
• Data Gathering Forums – Forums were held in Auburn,
Augusta, Bangor, and South Portland in late April and early May. Summaries
of each Forum as well as an overall summary were made and submitted
to the Board. The Forum reports have been posted on the website.
• On-Line Survey - The survey was completed on June 4, 2008.
245 folks participated in it and 188 completed the entire survey.
A full report on the survey was provided on June 17, 2008 and is posted
on the GeoLibrary web site.
• Project Outlines
o The strategic plan project outline was submitted for approval on
April 15, 2008. Minor comments were received on May 15, 2008 and May
28, 2008. Additional comments were received in June. Notification
of the final comments was received July 3, 2008. A revised outline
was forwarded on July 8, 2008. At the request of the Sewall Team,
a final discussion on the outline was held in Augusta on July 15,
2008. Client approval was received on July 22, 2008.
o The Integrated Land Records Information System Research Phase outline
was submitted on May 18, 2008. Comments were received in June. Notification
of the final comments was received on July 3, 2008. Client approval
was received July 14, 2008.
o The Integrated Land Records Information System Promotion Phase draft
outline/document was distributed on September 16, 2008.
• Project Schedule
o The project schedule was submitted for approval on April 15, 2008.
Client approval was received on May 21, 2008. It was updated again
June 9, 2008, September 15, 2008, and October 14, 2008. The majority
of the deliverables will now be made in the fall.
• Items completed in the past 30 days:
o ILRIS Promotion Planning Document Outline – September 16,
2008 - (Sewall Team)
o Presentation to the GeoLibrary Board on Strategic Plan – review
of findings (issues & gaps) and discussion of implementation strategy;
ILRIS project update – September 17, 2008 - (Sewall Team)
o Research Document – Report Draft #1 of the Integrated Land
Records Information System Task – October 4, 2008 - (Sewall
o Presentation of Strategic Plan and Land Records Research to Counties
and MEGUG, Presque Isle – September 26-27, 2008 – (Sewall
• Items due in the next 30 days:
- ILRIS Research Findings final document – Modification of
1st Draft subject to Project Team comments; (Sewall Team) (Awaits
comments from Project Team)
- Conceptual Framework Strategy Outline of the Integrated Land Records
Information System Task. (Sewall Team) (Awaits approval of Research
Findings Document prior to proceeding per Project Team request)
- Strategic Plan Update (Sewall Team)
• Comments and/or approval of the ILRIS Promotion Planning Document
Outline (Project Team)
• Comments and/or approval of the ILRIS Research Findings document