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Home > Meetings > March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

AGENDA

 Draft” Strategic Plan

  • Infrastructure
  • Web services
  • Training

 Committees Reports

  • Financial
  • License Pooling
  • Technical 
  • IMS

OnPoint update

Update on ESRI ArcServer

  • Need to schedule presentations by ESRI – tentatively set up for April 11th.
  • Technical demo
  • Demo of existing ArcServer sites

April meeting

  • May need to make longer to accommodate demo’s by ESRI and OnPoint


Need to begin plan for testing and rollout of ArcGIS 9.2

Other Business/Updates

  • Sharing resources across agencies – report on pilot study for a mentoring program with folks at DHHS
  • Setting up meeting with the AITDs
  • At the last GeoLibrary Board meeting there was some discussion on how to better engage the regional planning councils with GIS
  • Match DHHS money to complete the orthos

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.

  • Meet with AITDs on how GIS is being used in their agency
    • Agencies need to identify what their GIS resources are and how they can share with other agencies.
    • Need to look at other agencies that may need to secure GIS data.
  • Work on getting a dedicated staff person for IMS
  • What is the CIO vision on training
  • Survey of GIS uses/needs/projects – Liz to check with Dan
  • Set up a list of agencies that need assistance with GIS

NOTES

Present
Christopher Kroot, Chair; DEP
Joe Szakas, Professor UMA/Coordinator for the UMA Computer Information Systems
Nancy Armentrout, DOT
Don Katnik, IF&W
Joe Sukaskas, PUC
David Blocher, Representing the CIO’s Office
Maria Jacques, PUC/E911
Nancy Armentrout, DOT
Liz Hertz, SPO (via conf phone)
Robert Marvinney, Conservation
Dan Walters, OIT/Office of GIS

1. “Draft” Strategic Plan

Christopher reported the infrastructure for the strategic plan will be done next week to include a report on the GIS architecture being used in the state and USM will be providing the GIS architecture for the campuses with the exception of Orono (are working to join the consortium). We will also be working on GIS infrastructure for applications servers and data servers.

Knowing the available GIS architecture out there in state government will give us an opportunity to consolidate; there will be redundancy; give us an opportunity to do backups for disaster recovery purposes. Once all this information is available (GIS architecture) we should meet with the CIO Council and decide what to look at for going into the future. The strategic plan needs to fit into the framework of the CIO’s plans into the future.

Conclusion: Christopher will check with David Kirouac on OIT infrastructure for GIS.

The GIS Executive Council needs someone to take responsibility of the data plan for inclusion in the strategic plan. Need an inventory of what exists now; plans for the new year; what are the objectives for the Office of GIS and for state agencies; address needs of agencies; look for overlaps and join resources to get things done. Work to identify areas where agencies could share resources in preparing for the CIO’s vision on what is shared and what is enterprise.

Conclusion: Dan Walters volunteered Kate King to work on the data inventory with David Kirouac. Need inventory of existing data and data needs.

Agencies need to take responsibility in identifying their data. We also need to take confidentiality into consideration. Some data, where things are in process, may not be able to be released. Dan recommended looking at the Resolve 23 that was done for the GeoLibrary and update the report.

We could get the University involved in relation to data needs; what is/is not confidential. There may be stuff out there on servers this is not secured that should be; need to look inside/outside the WAN. Someone should contact Mark Kemmerle on security policies, etc. There is a lot of distance between what confidential is and what we practice; need to follow the law.

We could draw from the agencies’ security plans; David Blocher will research the OPEGA report on security issues as they relate to GIS.

The strategic plan will be a living document; we are identifying things we need and do not already have to be included in the plan.

GIS Applications will also be included in the strategic plan. We will start by listing out of the box software; have agencies provide a list of custom applications. What are the out of the box tools? What is the basic infrastructure needed to support everybody’s needs? How does out of box interact with other tools – we would like to know that.

Liz noted there is currently underway an assessment for Marine GIS needs.

Is there anything in the web environment related to GIS? What is available; need to identify agencies currently using web services/web applications related to internet mapping. Dan Walters brought up the “Address Validation Service” available on the Internet (address geocoding based on E911 road mapping).

2. OnPoint Update

OnPoint will be doing a demo at the April 12 GIS Executive Council meeting along with a technical demo from ESRI and a demo of existing ArcServer sites.

OnPoint will do a demo that sits on top of IMS showing general mapping and reporting. This is an application that does not require programming.

Conclusion: Need to invite the IMS sub-committee

ESRI will report on ArcServer. There are fundamental decisions we will have to be making and there are outcomes to achieve through web-base mapping. Pricing for a statewide ArcServer license is $25,000.00 and we can create as many applications as needed.

Conclusion: Need to have staff from E-Gov attend; need to invite technical folks.

GIS Web Services

What GIS web services are available? Need to describe those models in the strategic plan.

To utilize the Address Validation Service:

State of Maine Address Validation Web Service

To utilize the Address Validation service, you’ll have to be able to invoke a “Web service” from your backend application. This service can be invoked by any J2EE or .NET platform.

This document will address how to statically bind the service into your applications. First, you’ll need the WSDL document which is located at:

Development:
https://portalxtest.bisoex.state.me.us/jav/gis_AddressValidation_test/addressValidation.address?WSDL

Production:
https://portalx.bisoex.state.me.us/jav/gis_AddressValidation_prod/addressValidation.address?WSDL

From this you can create a stub file (reference your IDE) from which you can instantiate the service and invoke it’s methods.

The methods available to you are

containsValidData(String[])

Input: an array of String variables
String [0]: account
String [1]: password
String [2]: house number
String [3]: street name
String [4]: city
String [5]: state

Output: Boolean

Purpose: accepts street information and returns true if the number and street information is valid for the town. This method also sets the base attributes of the class so that other methods can be invoked.

SetClassAttributes(String[])

Input: an array of String variables
String [0]: account
String [1]: password
String [2]: house number
String [3]: street name
String [4]: city
String [5]: state

Purpose: accepts street information and primes the base attributes of the class so other methods can be invoked.

getErrorMessage()

Output: String

Purpose: Returns the error message for any non zero status code.

getCoordinate(String[])

Input: an array of String variables
String [0]: house number
String [1]: street name
String [2]: city

Purpose: Invokes a locator method to find the address in the State’s GIS database. Once located, the latitude and longitude are noted and made available through the getLatitude and getLongitude methods.

getGeocode()

Output: String

Purpose: Returns the State standard 5-character geocode for the given town. Format is xxyyy where xx is the 2-digit county code and yyy is the 3-digit town code.

getLatitude()

Output: Float

Purpose: Returns the Latitude of the address in decimal degrees. Must invoke the getCoordinate() method first.

getLongitude()

Output: Float

Purpose: Returns the Longitude of the address in decimal degrees. Must invoke the getCoordinate() method first.

getStatus()

Output: String

Purpose: Returns the status code.

isValid()

Output: Boolean

Purpose: Returns true/false depend on whether the address can be validated or not.

Here is a Java example

1) Instantiating the service by invoking the stub file class you created

AddressValidationAddressStub myAddress = new AddressValidationAddressStub();

2) Define the input array

String[] streetData = {"AO0000","password","222","oak street","oakland","ME"};

3a) Verify the address via the “containsValidData” method and invoke methods for obtaining location attributes.

if (myAddress.containsValidData(streetData).booleanValue()) {

System.out.println ("Valid Address!");
System.out.println ("Longitude: "+myAddress.getLongitude());
System.out.println ("Latitude: "+myAddress.getLatitude());
System.out.println ("GEOCODE: "+myAddress.getGeocode());

3b) Verify the address via “setClassAttributes” and “isValid” methods before invoking methods for obtaining location attributes.

MyAddress.setClassAttributes(streetData);

if (myAddress.isValid().booleanValue()) {

System.out.println ("Valid Address!");
System.out.println ("Longitude: "+myAddress.getLongitude());
System.out.println ("Latitude: "+myAddress.getLatitude());
System.out.println ("GEOCODE: "+myAddress.getGeocode());

4) If address doesn’t verify, obtain status code and message via the “getStatus” and “getErrorMessage” methods.

} else {

System.out.println("An error occurred validating your address!");
System.out.println("Status: "+myAddress.getStatus());
System.out.println("Msg: "+myAddress.getErrorMessage());
}

Status codes:

0: Valid Address
100: Missing account
101: Missing password
102: Missing house and street information
103: Missing City/Town name
104: Missing State Information
105: Too many parameters
106: Out of state address validation is not available at this time.
200: Invalid user account. Please contact megis@maine.gov for an account
201: Invalid password for account. Please contact megis@maine.gov for
assistance.
202: Road not valid for town
203: Not a valid street number
204: Address is outside the range for this road
1000: Oracle Exception: [oracle message]
1001: SQL Statement Error: [message]
- - - - - -

Another example of web services is the process developed by IMS to track the cell phone dead zones, the link is http://megisims.state.me/website/wireless_dz/viewer.htm

Statewide Incident Management System (SWIMS): The contact person is Bob White and/or Mike Francoeur.

Conclusions:

  • Christopher will put a list together of web service examples and send out the URLs on free ones before the April meeting.
  • Christopher check with DEP applications group and contact Mike Francoeur re: address validation web services.
  • Other issues/ideas that need to be considered re: web services please send them to Christopher and Matthew.
  • Nancy will get IMS applications being used at DOT; those that can be accessed and get them out before the next meeting.
  • Dan provide a list of all IMS running on GIS servers
  • Agencies/departments using IMS need to include this information in the OIT portfolios

Training

There is a high level of interest at USM to work with Maine State Government on GIS training. Joe Szakas (Professor from UMA) attended the meeting representing Matthew Bampton, Vice Chair to the GIS Executive Council. Joe has a background on the computer side training folks who have computer knowledge in GIS.

A recommendation was made to have a dedicated state employee to customize, develop, and plan GIS training and train within Maine State Government; we would need to prioritize, work with the University and be more productive.

What is the cost of ESRI training now? The state should work toward getting a master agreement with ESRI like the University of Maine has that would enable all State employee’s access to ESRI Virtual Training classes. It would be very useful to have permission form ESRI to ESRI help documentation to create training classes and simple how to documents. The type of training (product oriented or generic) would depend on what the agency needs are. Individual agencies would have to decide what they require for training. Then opportunities for shared resources in the area of training could be identified.

The Office of GIS (MEGIS) does provide technical support to a lot of people. MEGIS does not have the ability to go out to agencies. It would be productive to have a State GIS Trainer go out to agencies and assist them with specific problems.

We need to first identify what the need is, quantify the need, and justify the need for a state GIS trainer.

ESRI is looking to develop a new model to do enterprise licensing within a state; this will provide opportunity for negotiations.

In assisting GIS users, keeping track of FAQs for technical support would reduce the amount of calls we get for technical support. A tool that will help make it easier for people to find answers to FAQ’s would be useful. Another option would be for state employees to take classes through the University system; the classes are application based not tool based; would be focusing on spatial reasoning. The University is focusing on how effective their training is and how they can make it more effective. Would attending University classes be on the employees own time or work time? The DEP classes are all web-based, very effective, work quite well, and are free. The most difficult part of training would be to provide training for the advanced students. The USM does run advanced courses. Need to work out a plan with the University and customize for state agency needs.

We should provide technical training on how to integrate GIS data with non-spatial data. The PUC could use this process; need training for DBAs and Programmers. Web Service Administrators do have web programming experience. The GIS community needs to work with those who manage the web services and help them understand the needs for GIS. InforME: the current contract has been extended for another 18 months; we need to bring the E-Government and GIS folks together and it will take some training.

Conclusion: Dan provide type of training currently available and cost

Subcommittee Reports

Financial: Discussion on taking a portion of the GIS infrastructure and moving it to overhead. This will be discussed at the IT Budget Committee on March 16. Consolidation: Starting to look at consolidation of GIS applications like licensing.

Dan reported on licensing use for ArcInfo and ArcView; we are monitoring the statistics very carefully; there are 160 connections to SDE. We are working to join the University; negotiating with ESRI (get them to be flexible and consider new alternatives and minimize the details). What is the bottom line that we would like to pay for unlimited usage?

Conclusion: David and Dan will report at the next meeting on the financial aspect of GIS.

Technical: There is a meeting scheduled for March 22.

IMS: Don reported the team met yesterday. Matt did a demo on print tool; DOT demoed a lot of their sites; there was a discussion on support for developing and maintaining sites for smaller agencies that do not have programming staff; discussed using the Footprint System for questions;

Freeance vs. OnPoint: Christopher gave a report on the capabilities of both Freeance and OnPoint noting that OnPoint was more mature. We can load data and test it out for free for 60-90 days with OnPoint. He noted OnPoint does have a lot of promise; can do modifications; do not need to do programming; agencies do not have the resource for programming.

ArcServer: A core foundation of ESRI GIS enterprise technology in the future; it can be implemented using visual studio; while a programmer can drag and drop objects for the basic functions of the required application; some programming needs to be done. This required a moderate to advanced level of understanding of object programming; this provides a very robust amount of functionality; at the next meeting ESRI will do technology demo/example of how this product is being used in other places. You can go out to the ESRI website http://www.esri.com/ to research and provide Christopher with any questions you may have.

ArcServer Licensing: A statewide license would cost $25,000.00. Can put the license on a server and create as many applications as you want; can create and share at no charge; users connect for free; get one license for the state. All SLA members and University would be able to use it. Gives capacity to implement standards and document components that are created.

ArcIMS vs. ArcServer: There is a large difference in functionality; works better in Oracle applications; need to reprogram ArcIMS so that it calls the same libraries that other applications do. Christopher will be meeting with ESRI on March 31 to discuss what other states are doing. He hopes to have a slide show set up to send out to the GIS Executive Committee. Will get contacts in other states and models to look at.

Testing and Rollout of ArcGIS 9.2

ArcGIS 9.2 will be a significant change. DEP will test to make sure everything works. We need a thorough testing plan for all agencies. Will be released in July (version for the Conference) and probably available in September. ESRI is setting up a quality team to work with us to develop testing procedures to make sure everything works. Christopher will put together a strawman plan and send out for review/comments.

What is changing? Cartographic representation will be a major change in cartography, it will enable users to have access to adobe illustrator like tools that can be used to provide multiple representations of a feature that will be stored in the Geodatabase. There will be changes in SDE, a primary one being SDE for workgroups that will use MS SQL that will be provided as part of the ESRI product and may be used by up to 10 users. This will enable similar functionality as Enterprise SDE, limitations will be a 4gigabyte database size and a smaller number of editing connections. There will be numerous changes in the geo processing environment, some of which are batch processing and real looping. There also other changes that are far to numerous to mention.

Are there existing things that will go away? Consistency in layers; all training classes at DEP will have to be rewritten; pushing to get the ESRI campus classes; based on improving usability.

DEP is beta test 9.2 now.

Other Business

  • Develop draft of strategic plan for April meeting
  • Meet with AITDs
  • Work with regional planning councils; share resources; be more effective; include this into the strategic plan;
  • A recommendation was made that Liz Hertz work on the regional planning councils task.

Dan reported on the orthos using a colored map of Maine to show the status of various areas. The GeoLibrary Board is working with USGS on a budget to complete the work. Homeland Security will pick up half of the tab; how can we raise the $350,000 match to complete the orthos? Maybe we can piece this together. Look to the Forest Service and LURC to provide funds; DEP has sites that are significant in the areas that are not done; Christopher will check with the folks at DEP for funding; contact at EPA for funds. We should also contact Bangor Hydro and Maritime and NE Pipelines for available funds.

The GeoLibrary is focusing on the second round to get it done this year. We need to provide education to help folks understand the benefits. The URL below is a link to the results of a survey that was done showing organizations that have accessed the orthoimagery supplied by the Maine GeoLibrary to download from the website, used internet browser to view aerial photography, and/or brought the aerial photography viewer into GIS software as a data layer.
http://www.maine.gov/geolib/orthosurveyresults.htm

April meeting agenda: the April meeting will be from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

1:00 – 2:00 = GIS Executive Council meeting
2:00 – 3:00 = ESRI demo
3:00 – 4:00 = OnPoint demo