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Home > Meetings > September 13, 2006

September 13, 2006


  1. Subcommittee updates
    • Technical committee
    • Pooled Licensing
    • Financial
    • Enterprise Licensing Agreement (ELA) with ESRI
  2. Review of “Draft” ESRI Enterprise Agreement with State of Maine (attached)
  3. Review of the “Draft” GIS Executive Council 2006 Strategic Plan (attached)
  4. Discussion of the GIS Executive Committee & GeoLibrary Board combined meeting
  5. Review the GIS Executive Council Vision and Goals statement (attached)


Members Present
Christopher Kroot, Chair - DEP
Nancy Armentrout, DOT
Seth Barker, DMR
David Blocher, OIT/Policy & Strategic Planning
Maria Jacques, PUC
David Kirouac, OIT/MEGIS
Bob Marvinney, Conservation
Dan Walters, OIT/Applications Director

GIS Executive Council Subcommittee Updates

IMS Subcommittee: They are awaiting direction from the GIS Executive Council for tasks they can under take at future meetings. If there are any issues around internet mapping (or other work for this subcommittee) please pass them on to the IMS Chair, Don Katnik

Are there any future needs for IMS? Are people still developing IMS functions? Have they completed their work at this point? They seem to have gotten to a plateau. There is no reason for IMS meetings without charges to do.

There are a few IMS developers in some agencies with good developing skills; do we want to have .net skilled developers? Is there an editing limitation with IMS? Is this something they could look into? Could they develop a document when to use Arc Server and when to use IMS? If you want a particular outcome do you use Arc Server or IMS? Could the IMS group set up a matrix on what software to use?

Resolution: Charge the IMS group to:

  • Work on a common look and feel for IMS applications.
  • Work with other IMS users for a standard IMS developing process.
  • Work on internet mapping services
  • Broaden the committee
  • Set up a matrix on what tools to use (Arc Server vs. IMS)

Technical Subcommittee: Should there be a technical subcommittee at this time? This current subcommittee may not be able to serve current functions. We may need to restructure the technical subcommittee. We may want to have technical issues assigned to folks that have the needed skills/responsibilities (Ad Hoc committees)

Resolution: The GIS Executive Council will re-evaluate and re-structure the Technical Subcommittee at one of its future meetings.

Web-based delivery of GIS products and services: How does this relate to the GeoLibrary for their responsibility to deliver internet GIS Services? GeoLibrary vs. agencies delivering GIS services to the public = they are different and this does need to be resolved. If done right one could support the other.

Resolution: Take the IMS subcommittee and move over to Web-Based Delivery of GIS Products and Services. Membership: Seth, Don, Tom, Cindy; Dan Walters and David Kirouac will send names to Don Katnik.

The IMS committee should take a self-evaluation and decide if they need to broaden the membership.

Christopher reported on a product known as Instant Atlas out of England and Great Britain. This product is greed toward presentations and doing analysis of your business data; not based on ESRI. Does presentations like health statistics and is aimed at people that are not GIS technicians. See or is the company. This product does have some interesting possibilities. They are looking to move into the US; provide software for free and are willing to do a presentation for the GIS Executive Council if interested. It is a very high end, easy to use presentation software (something like power point). It is a data presentation tool.

A suggestion was made that this may be more appropriate for the Web Services subcommittee.

Resolution: Christopher will pass the information on to Don Katnik.

Doing away with the Technical Subcommittee: Could we disband the Technical Subcommittee and set up Ad Hoc committees as needed for particular issues? What is lost by not having a Technical committee? You lose the relationships that have been built.

The current membership of the Technical committee (those folks attending the meetings) is not technical people; mostly the data users and scientists have been attending the meetings; they are not interested in the technology and what is behind it.

Could we set up separate User Groups and keep them separate from the Technical committee? Have a users group for networking with open membership.

If there is going to be a standing Technical Subcommittee we need to make sure the right people are involved.

The GIS Executive Council needs to understand what is needed for committees. Another one could be a GIS Developers Group. We need to encourage uses to get involved in statewide users groups.

We could focus on the Strategic Plan first and decide from the outcome of the plan what committees are needed.

Resolution: The GIS Executive Council needs to get through the Strategic Plan and find out what are the needs out there for agencies and set up committees accordingly.

GIS Executive Council Strategic Plan Discussion

Christopher opened the discussion for the GIS Executive Council Strategic Plan noting the notes from the work session had been incorporated into this draft document.

Those present at this meeting started to review the “Plan” and agreed the Introduction was okay as written.

It was noted that some of the item from this plan would probably go into an implementation plan or a work plan.

Questions/Comments/Recommendations to the “Plan”


  • Identify who is producing it and for whom
  • Should be written in the third person
  • Refer to the GeoLibrary in the guiding principles
  • How broadly are we defining the GIS community for Maine or for Maine State Government?
  • Is the Council comprised of ALL agencies?
  • Under Guiding Principles change the first bullet to read “To address the needs of Maine State Government”
  • Under the Vision-Oriented Plan
    • Change “five” measurable outcomes to “four”
    • Bullet one: should this information be in the agency’s portfolio?
    • Work on rewording the entire bullet
    • What are we expecting down the road
    • We will promote and support agency plans
    • Need more coordination among the agencies
    • We should be setting visionary GIS strategic plans (David write up a fifth bullet)
    • Should there be a bullet about GIS career ladder – what make GIS different
    • The classification of folks who do GIS need to be reviewed. Need to work on recruiting and retaining GIS staff.
    • 3 full-time positions in MEGIS: case is not made in this document for this bullet; a lot of agencies do not have their own GIS staff; remove this bullet and discuss as we move through the document
    • Education & Training Program: do we need a full-time GIS training coordinator; move to the implementation plan; may not need a full-time position
    • RESOLUTIONS: David will re-write the first bullet; Dan will re-write the 3rd bullet; for the 4th bullet reword goal to have the training program; partnering with the Univ of Maine System is a good idea. Nancy will rewrite the 4th bullet and send to Christopher.

Software Applications

  • Remove the word “coverages”
  • 2nd paragraph on page 4 – do we need it – remove or put it in the data section
  • Do not list actual names of software – use web-based mapping products that integrate with business data; include custom applications (Christopher will reword)

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Utilizing GIS software resources that we have more efficiently and effectively – move to Software Applications
  • Integrate GIS with IT: integrate in desktop; get the data out there and used regardless of the application; exploit our resources more fully
  • What is the point we are trying to make with all this under “Challenges and Opportunities?
  • Need to talk more about where we want to be before getting into those opportunities. Rework the first paragraph.
  • What are the challenges on what we are trying to do? What are we trying to do?
  • Software is needed to serve the application; need to leverage our assets; have reusable functional components
  • Issue: getting custom applications developed and own the code we pay for
  • David will work on this section
  • Need to develop appropriate situations for the users
  • Foster operability by conforming to GIS standards; eliminate barriers like cost as it relates to software
  • We have not described the current status

All this document is doing is bringing together all the comments from the brainstorming session. Where is the structure? What are our 5 key strategies? What would happen if we pull out what is the implementation plan and work plan?

This “Plan” is currently broken down into:
1. Software Application
2. Data
3. Personnel
4. Infrastructure
5. Funding

What is the top outcome - Remove barriers for using GIS? We don’t have a vision/mission statement. Need to research the goals from the September notes.

Resolution: Nancy will revamp the GIS vision and goals and send out to all GIS Executive Council members

In three to five years what are the key things we need to see accomplished that will make a difference by this Council? Strategic Plan = while we are doing everything else we want to specifically focus on these areas. How will this Council get funding? We need goals in the document and use as a structure to follow; need to tie the goals to the strategic plan. We need to agree on the goals and need to decide on the structure or keep what we have here (by topic area). An option would be to layout the goals; what we will do to meet these goals and include challenges and barriers.

Resolution: Rewrite the goals; send out to everyone for review; incorporate the goals into this document. A recommendation was made to go back to revamping the goals from the September 2005 meeting and send out to everyone for review. The goals would be the foundation and we will build on that.

Format of Strategic Plan

  • Goal Statement
  • Objective

Resolution: Review the goals from the September 2005 meeting and rewrite as needed. Take one goal, revamp using the current strategic plan document and send out for review.

Review the ESRI Agreement

Christopher, David Kirouac, Dan Walters, Tom Marcotte and Don Katnik spent time working on this agreement.

ESRI will provide us with additional services. We will have 100 desktop licenses and use any of the available software (ArcView, Arc Editor, ArcInfo). We will repackage what we already have at no cost. We will take existing numbers and allow users to use in anyway needed. We are looking to trade surplus desktop licenses for desktop Extension licenses.

We may want to include in the agreement a sentence or two on what are our goals are and what we are trying to accomplish. Architecture Planning and Design: who and why and what are we doing; who is the real target. Software maintenance: first year stays the same. They will provide these services in 2006 and 2007 and if successful we will revisit the agreement into the future. Planning up to that point is at no cost.

ESRI Training Level:

  • Executive = outcome based
  • Technical = maintenance needs
  • Users = how to use

We need to define who the three groups are. How can we get more ESRI training for a better price? Hold agency GIS seminars; do we have a specific audience in mind? Seminars and What’s New: need to leave us with documentation after the training.

What about technical support – they were strict for a while; we do not call very often; we call if something in the software is actually broken not how to do something. ESRI needs to make their technical support better.

Work on an ESRI proposal for 2006-2007 at not cost; than re-evaluate where we are and where we want to go.

Set up a Pilot Project: Need to discuss and needs to be done in a short period of time; include some agency developers that have an interest to do on an ongoing basis. Whoever wants to learn can participate. DOT has project and resources available.

Arc Web Services: Do we have a need for remote hosting? Need a cost analysis benefit; ESRI will provide the hosting at AT&T (triple redundancy within each center). OIT is starting to look at web hosting and starting to look at setting policies.

We may want to think about the development of web-based applications and services; pay per unit not per year; ESRI does have GEO coding services which we use a lot but we do have our own. We can put our own data behind services if we want to, it is an alternative that is out there and available.

The State is looking at the CMCC redundancy and disaster recovery; compare ESRI to CMCC. There are a lot of other options out there for licensing and we may need to look at other opportunities. We may want to try it in another technology and see what the outcome is. Systems are becoming more and more open and allow choice of other applications.


  • Nancy will redo the 9 goals
  • Send to GIS Executive Council members for review
  • Christopher, Dan, Matthew and David will come up with an outline using one goal and flush it out and send it out for review.