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Home > Meetings > February 8, 2006

February 8, 2006


February 8 - 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Burton M. Cross Building – Conference Room 105

1. Strategic Plan Update

2. Funding (results of Feb 6 meeting)

3. Reports from Committees

  • Financial
  • License Pooling – Bob Marvinney
  • Technical
  • IMS – Don Katnik

4. Meet with AITDs on how GIS is being used in their agency</p>

  • We need to try and schedule this
  • Is it beneficial to discuss funding of GIS with them?
  • Is it beneficial to present them with overview of where we are headed?
    i. If yes we need some time to prepare.

5. Sharing resources across agencies

  • Mentoring program volunteers

6. Need to meet with David and Dan regarding the CIO’s vision to address training.

  • Discuss the GIS executive committee’s training priorities

7. Other Business/Updates

  • Setting up meeting with the AITDs
  • Using GPS

ONGOING TASKS - These tasks need a person to take responsibility for seeing that they get done, or that they are determined not to be necessary.

  • Develop Strategic Plan
  • Develop stable funding for MEGIS and funding to support GIS
  • Meet with AITDs on how GIS is being used in their agency
  • Use of GPS and how the state as a whole could benefit
  • Research data stored in other agencies and let Seth/Christopher know
  • If there are specialized services that need GIS application, we need to identify those and pass them on to Dan or David.
  • If you know of Federal sites or clearing houses that someone in the community can access and it points back to your agency, share this information with Seth and Christopher.
  • Agencies need to identify what their GIS resources are and how they can share with other agencies.
  • We will focus on architecture and infrastructure and put a draft out to folks.
  • Will send an E-mail out to folks asking what metrics we could use to negotiate with ESRI.
  • David Blocher offered to research ESRI master agreements other states may have.
  • Need to look at other agencies that may need to secure GIS data.


Christopher Kroot, Chair; DEP
Matthew Bampton, Co-Chair; USM/GIS Consortium
Don Katnik, IF&W
Joe Sukaskas, PUC
David Kirouac, OIT/GIS
David Blocher, Representing the CIO's Office
Maria Jacques, PUC/E911
Nancy Armentrout, DOT
Liz Hertz, SPO

Prior to starting the meeting for business, Dave Blocher brought up some housekeeping issues regarding the minutes for the Council. Minutes will basically include action items, discussions, and conclusions, to include any tasks that need to be addressed. The Council also agreed to review them minutes of a meeting and approved them at the next meeting. If any changes are need to the minutes please send them to Christopher Kroot, Matthew Bampton, and Carmen Fournier.

1. Strategic Plan Update

The Council completed reviewing the template of issues that needed to be addressed in the Strategic Plan which included: Integration with national efforts; Infrastructure; and GPS.

Integration with National Efforts Discussions:

One of the primary objectives of this is to provide a means for state agencies and academic institutions to share our data with the world, and to find out what other agencies and organizations are doing with GIS. We may find that other agencies and/organizations have already implemented projects that we just beginning. It is a good way to learn about GIS and how it is being implemented. .

Task: Include this URL and others in the Strategic Plan. Talk with the Geolibrary board to consider having the Geolibrary portal connected the the geography network. This site may alos provide the Geolibrary board with ideas for the Maine portal.

  • Bringing this information back to the GeoLibrary Board to let them know once the Maine GEO portal becomes available could partner with other GIS portals/networks out there.

Task: Liz offered to bring this up at the next GeoLibrary Board meeting

  • It was noted that we do need to follow the national standards if we are going to partner with national GIS portals/networks.
  • Another recommendation was building links into New Brunswick and Quebec and other viable data warehouses out there, and possibly working with Canada .
  • We need to stay aware of other data sets we can connect to/link to.

Infrastructure Discussions:

  • Work to get an inventory on enterprise architectures available in state agencies.
    • Document what is available for servers; software, and applications
    • Will also be doing this with the University system
    • Look for redundancy and for possibilities of disaster recovery
    • This will help with the security, sharing of resources, clustering of resources
    • Not sure where this will lead but will be beneficial to have this inventory
  • PCs and Mobile devices: We will not get into these there are too many of them out there.
    • Work with OIT / Client Technologies (Sheldon Bird) to see if there are some recommended standard device specifications that OIT will support.
    • Dave Peter's group at ESRI provides a white paper that contains the minimum specs required to run their software. Bring this information to OIT/Client Technologies for recommended devices.
  • Replacement of PCs
    • Agencies are getting upgraded PC equipment but are not being allowed to keep the new monitors.
    • Folks were asked to bring this to the attention of their agency's AITD.
    • If your agency is having any issues that are limiting your ability to do GIS work please bring this information to the attention of Christopher Kroot. These issues will be incorporated into the Strategic Plan to be addressed appropriately.

Strategic Plan

  • A recommendation was made as we do the Strategic Plan we need to look at the business side too. It is important to document the requirement for more and more GIS and Business databases to be linked and we need to plan for the required infrastructure to support this need.


  • Christopher and Matthew will be setting aside some time to write a draft of the Strategic Plan.
  • The overall plan for the Strategic Plan is to address all the needs of all the agencies.

Action Item:

  • Council members are asked to review the outlined template for the Strategic Plan and get their comments to Christopher and Matthew. It was also recommended that AITDs be involved.
  • Put together a "Draft" of the Strategic Plan and bring back to the Council (all agencies) for review/comments.

  GPS Discussions

  • There are various GPS devices out there and it might be worthwhile to set up a subcommittee to do research.
  • Need to develop standards for going into the future. These standards would contain specifications for each class of GPS unit that the OIT will support in the future. IT would need to include a broad range of GPS units to meet everyone's requirements.
  • Will also need effective and efficient support
  • Need to focus on standardizing the infrastructure and avoid duplication and allow for consistency statewide.
  • Research sharing devices - The University system is doing something like this.

Better Relationship with ESRI

  • What do we hope to gain by building a better relationship with ESRI?
    • Access to more products for less cost
    • Better training capabilities
    • Future plans of their technology and where they are moving into the future.
    • Target functionality at a lesser cost
    • Where will ESRI be in 2 years with ArcServer and what are their plans; need this information for the Strategic Plan.
    • Training is too generic with ESRI



  • Cost and training issues implement GIS usage.
  • There are differences among agencies on the usage of GIS.
  • Acceptance of the value of the GIS tool(s) and elements of culture would need to be addressed.
  • We have folks within agencies that are "doing GIS" and folks that are "using GIS".
  • A cultural shift is needed in the GIS arena.( This needs to be clarified, I do not remember exactly what was meant here.)
  • GIS use on the University campuses includes brown bag lecture sessions. Could build lateral structured user groups.
  • Need accessibility to training.
  • Work with ESRI for a statewide license for their virtual campus - could learn how to use the tools - help with solving problems/issues folks are having - provide the ability to do the training on your own; class model; access on the phone (folks would need to sign up).
  • Could use the Universities for training classes.
  • From the business side to we have any data/information for GIS demands?

It is an exciting concept to find a way to deliver GIS training and support to include developing a training network; connecting more deeply with the University System and working with the universities.


Dave Blocher was asked to speak to the Council regarding funding for GIS. The following items were noted:

  • MeGIS is a warehouse containing major data layers
  • Using services available from MeGIS has been funded by agencies via Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Shared services within agencies are defined as if you use it pay for it.
  • Who are the users of GIS? Nearly every agency is using it.
  • What services within GIS are enterprise services; what services are shared?
  • GIS exists in the State of Maine in Enterprise , shared and agency services, however, there is a trend of moving elements of shared and agency GIS to the enterprise model.
  • There are three components of cost 1. People; 2. Services; 3. Administrative overhead.
  • "People" - build people out at direct cost = whatever it takes to have that person with no overhead.
  • "Services" - what part of this could be considered enterprise and move some over to the administrative overhead and call it "Enterprise Overhead". This could leave a smaller pot for the SLA charges and folks can see what they are paying for.

GIS funding goals

  • Take overhead out of the people costs
  • Look at the core part of services, what is agency, what is shared, and what is enterprise
  • Enterprise Overhead get another source of funding

Action Item

  • The GIS Executive Committee needs to look at their total costs.
  • What parts of this cost could be an enterprise cost and remove from the SLA .
  • Possibility of coming up with a funding mechanism that will work
  • Need to get to where cost is not a barrier
  • Also work with ESRI to reduce costs

Subcommittee Updates

Financial Subcommittee: The above report on funding covers where the subcommittee is at today.

License Pooling : David Kirouac sent out an E-mail asking agencies to make sure there is proper use of ArcInfo and ArcView within there agencies and when not in use to turn it off. There was also some discussion of monitoring usage within agencies.

Technical Subcommittee: No update at this time.

IMS Subcommittee :

  • Will be meeting on March 7
  • There are not a lot of people available to help maintain the IMS site. The State of Maine requires dedicated staff for IMS that are trained in all aspects of web delivery services, specifically, IMS, Arcmap Server, and ArcServer.
  • There is a fear of losing the staff support for IMS as resources get assigned to other areas, capability and a fear of having contractors developing internet mapping applications in IMS, and then not having the resources to maintain the applications. This could be a money issue, or the contractor who developed the application may not be available and may not access to the compiled objects used to create parts of the application.
  • There are some things that are broken (not working) in IMS; have asked Tom Lynch to give us an overview of what is broken. Custom objects that MEGIS does not have access to may be the issue
  • We do not have access to the object codes, in the future we need to insure that we will have access to objects used in developing internet mapping applications
  • Within IMS, if you go out of the box and have custom applications developed then maintaining these applications may become a big issue.
  • OnPoint software which sits on top of ArcIMS and allows the development of web applications and a robust SQL query, reporting, and cartographic capability without programming will be reviewed to see if it may be usefull.
  • What are we doing now? Some things are broken - nothing is being done. We need a plan to resolve issues of broken applications.
  • Out of the box ArcIMS does not do much; do you invest the money to get it customized?
  • Agencies got involved; got customization done, but no maintenance is available.
  • IMS is a good solution for basic web applications, but there are some problems with it.

Action Items :

  • Christopher will have a demo of OnPoint at the April meeting. Need to invite IMS users.
  • Need a dedicated IMS person (state employee) at OIT; need web server and IMS server at OIT and full time IMS person dedicated to that.

Sharing Resources across state agencies:

  • Christopher will be doing a pilot study for a mentoring program with folks at DHHS and will report back to the Council.

Other Action Items

  • Set up meeting with ATIDs to bring aware to GIS usage in agencies
  • Talk about the CIO's vision on training
  • Work on funding issues for GIS
  • Survey of GIS uses/needs/projects = Liz to check with Dan
  • List of agencies that need assistance with GIS

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.