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Home 2004 Annual Report
2004 Maine Library of Geographic Information Annual Report to the Legislature & Joint Standing Committees on Natural Resources and State and Local Government
Prepared in accordance with Sec. 1. 5 MRSA c. 158, SUBCHAPTER II-B MAINE LIBRARY OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
1. THE GEOLIBRARY
The importance of accurate geospatial data for public planning at all levels of government cannot be overstated. Traditionally, Maine state agencies, municipalities and other public entities have developed data to fit their individual needs, but have not been in position to coordinate their efforts or to make their data commonly available and useful to others. The Maine Library of Geographic Information (“the GeoLibrary”) is a virtual library created by the Maine Legislature and governed by an effective partnership of public and private stakeholders to provide cost efficient, web-based access public to public geospatial data.
1.2 Legislative Background
In 2001, the Legislature instructed the State Planning Office to convene what came to be called the Resolve 23 Steering Committee to study the use of GIS in statewide strategic planning. The Committee developed a needs assessment, the conclusion of which formed the basis for the GeoLibrary, its method of governance, and its strategic focus. The Legislature acted on the Committee’s recommendations to create the GeoLibrary in its present form. The Maine Library of Geographic Information was established in April 2002 by L.D. 2116 "An Act to Establish the Maine Library of Geographic Information (Chapter 649)". It is governed by an independent board of public and private stakeholders, it is staffed by agreement with MeGIS, and its projects are funded by a 2003 State bond of $2,300,000 matched with a variety of Federal grants
1.3 Mission / Vision / Strategic Focus
As defined by the Board in consultation with L.D. 2116, the mission of the GeoLibrary is to create an electronic gateway to public geographic information, and to expand and promote the value of geographic spatial data through widespread distribution and innovative use for the benefit of Maine’s citizens.
The GeoLibrary’s vision is to provide state-of-the-art, comprehensive, and ever expanding access to public geospatial information and services, and to facilitate the availability of collections and access for all citizens. This vision encompasses:
To realize its mission and vision, the Board has identified four areas of strategic focus:
1. the development and implementation of statewide data standards to ensure data quality and to enable common use;
2. the development of a web-based distribution system to facilitate access to statewide data holdings;
3. the provision of funding and management for high priority data and database development to support community and regional planning, smartgrowth, and community preservation;
4. the provision of coordination, outreach, and education in support of better public use of geospatial data and to enhance Maine’s position as a national center for GIS research, education and industrial growth.
1.4 GeoLibrary FAQ
Responding to commonly asked questions, the GeoLibrary will not:
The GeoLibrary is governed by a Board of Directors structured in accordance with L.D. 2116. Its members are appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the UM Chancellor, the Director of the State Planning Office, and professional organizations representing the major stakeholder groups identified in the Resolve 23 Study. A noteworthy strength of the organization is that the Board is independent, term-limited (with the possibility of reappointment) and drawn from public and private sectors. It is therefore uniquely positioned to represent all stakeholders fairly and in a way most likely to foster efficient cooperation and mission success. It’s current membership is:
The GeoLibrary Board meets monthly. Agendas and meeting notes can be found on the GeoLibrary website: http://www.maine.gov/geolib/ Beginning in 2004, the Board organized itself into three standing subcommittees with responsibilities as follows:
A. Finance Committee, with responsibility for:
B. Policy Committee, with responsibility for:
C. Technical Committee, with responsibility for:
The GeoLibrary is staffed by The Maine Office of GIS, Dan Walters, Director, an arm of the Department of Administration and Finance, Bureau of Information Services. MeGIS manages and operates the GeoLibrary website, GIS database and data access facilities.
1.6 Library Structure
The Board views the GeoLibrary’s portal as the central node in a distributed system linking its stakeholders via the web and, in particular, as providing the central point of connection between state agencies and the public as well as other public entities. At the same time, however, it is important to recognize that State agencies have operational requirements that are independent of the Board’s central mission. The Board therefore envisions that state operations will continue to be served by MeGIS using the State’s intranet. The GeoLibrary would then be the central connecting point linking stakeholders to one another and to the State’s data. Schematically:
One commonly asked question is whether MeGIS and the GeoLibrary are redundant. They are not. The GeoLibrary maintains no technical staff, using the MeGIS operations structure already in place to serve its needs. At the same time, the public / private structure of the GeoLibrary Board makes it the most technical and policy effective interface between the state and other GIS users.
2. GOALS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2.1 2004 Initiatives / Major Projects
In support of each of the areas of strategic focus, in 2004 the GeoLibrary undertook the following projects or initiatives:
1. To support the development and implementation of statewide data standards to ensure data quality and to enable common use; the GeoLibrary established statewide standards for parcel data.
2. To support the development of a web-based distribution system to facilitate access to statewide data holdings the GeoLibrary created a web application to access data on line.
3. To support the provision of funding and management for high priority data and database development to support community and regional planning, smartgrowth, and community preservation, the GeoLibrary
4. To support the provision of coordination, outreach, and education in support of better public use of geospatial data and to enhance Maine’s position as a national center for GIS research, education and industrial growth, the GeoLibrary staffed a booth at the Maine Municipal Association’s 2004 - Technology and Local Government conference; staffed a booth at the 2004 Maine Municipal Association convention featuring a live demo of the Maine Aerial Photography Viewer internet mapping site; sponsored a display at the Maine Science Teachers Association conference promoting GeoLibrary data and projects; and distributed CD sets of GIS data to fifty municipalities containing all the GeoLibrary data holdings, complete metadata, a free GIS software and instructional manuals.
2.2 2005 Initiatives
Pending adequate funding, in 2005 the GeoLibrary plans to undertake the following projects or initiatives in support of each of the areas of strategic focus:
1. To support the development and implementation of statewide data standards to ensure data quality and to enable common use; the GeoLibrary will insure data standards for the GeoLibrary;
2. To support the development of a web-based distribution system to facilitate access to statewide data holdings, the GeoLibrary will create an enhanced web-based portal as the its “front door” for public access to statewide data; and facilitate the development of a virtual GIS network that links statewide geospatial data holdings;
3. To support the provision of funding and management for high priority data and database development to support community and regional planning, smart growth, and community preservation, the GeoLibrary will continue the statewide orthophotography project as well as the municipal grant program to create and upgrade digital tax parcel data.
4. To support the provision of coordination, outreach, and education in support of better public use of geospatial data and to enhance Maine’s position as a national center for GIS research, education and industrial growth, the GeoLibrary will continue to disseminate information about the GeoLibrary and GIS generally, as well as provide geospatial datasets to its constituents.
It is crucial to note, however, that financial contingencies could cause the GeoLibrary to curtail or cease operations in 2005 unless adequate support is found to fund staffing and data maintenance costs.
3.1 2004 Expenditures
The GeoLibrary Board serves pro bono, and, as noted, its staffing is funded by arrangement with BIS through FY2005. The Board was given authority to administer $2.3M in State bond funds for GIS capital investments in November 2002. The Board then entered a series of cooperative agreements with Federal agencies to garner the required $1.6 million federal match for the approved bond funds. This effort resulted in a number of federal partnerships that have provided federal dollars for Maine GIS initiatives as noted in the following summary.
3.2 Projected Budget Requirements
The Board will continue to serve pro bono . Because of State budget requirements, BIS will be unable to provide funding for staff beyond the level required to support State data after 30 June 2005 . Should this occur, the GeoLibrary 's long-term strategies may be compromised . The Board is eager to work with the Legislature, the Governor's Office, and State Agencies to avoid this situation by identifying alternative long-term revenue sources of $250,000-450,000 annually.
The Board also expects to spend or encumber all its bond funds in 2005. It requests consideration for $4,150,000 in new bond funding for FYs 06-07 for the following projects.
4. REQUESTED LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
The Board requests that the Legislature:
Standard Grants: 54 towns applied, 21 awarded
Rapid Grants: 27 towns applied, 24 awarded
Attachment C: 1’ Orthophotography Sample
Attachment D: 2' Orthophotography Sample
Attachment E: Acronyms & Selected Definitions
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