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Home > Meetings > August 8, 2007

August 8, 2007


  1. GIS Web Services
  2. Review Minutes of July 11 Meeting
  3. Review the Comparison of the Roadmap Documents to the Strategic Plan; Review the Latest Strategic Plan
  4. Implementation Plan
  5. GIS Impact of the Recent Oracle Outage


Members Present

Nancy Armentrout, OIT-DOT

Seth Barker, DMR

David Blocher, OIT-DHHS

Victor Chakravarty, OIT-OCIO

Maria Jacques, ESCB

Nate Kane, DOT

David Kirouac, Chair, OIT-MEGIS

Don Katnik, IF&W

Christopher Kroot, OIT-DEP

Bob Marvinney, DOC-MGS

David Maxwell, OIT-DEP

Greg McNeal, OIT Core Tech

Greg Miller, Forestry

Jason Sardano, SOS

Mike Smith, OIT-DEP

Amy Spelke, PUC

Joe Sukaskas PUC

Dan Walters, USGS

Leigh Wilkinson, OIT-OCIO


Agenda Item #1: GIS Web Services

A recent email thread engendered much discussion.

Outcome: A dedicated meeting will be held on this matter on Tuesday 08/14, from 2:30 to 4:00 PM. Invitees will include the GIS Stakeholders, the Web Services Subcommittee, and Greg McNeal. Topics will include web service requirements, technology options, security and personnel resources. David Kirouac will determine a venue, and send out the invitation.


Agenda Item #2: Review Minutes of the July 11 Meeting

Outcome: The minutes were unanimously approved w/out any modification.


Agenda Item #3: Review the Comparison of the Roadmap Documents to the Strategic Plan; Review the Latest Strategic Plan

David Kirouac introduced the work of the subgroup, comprising of David Kirouac, Nancy, Nate, and Seth, that compared the four Roadmap documents, ie, Data, Applications, Infrastructure, and Organization, to the latest draft of the Strategic Plan. The items highlighted in yellow on the handout reflected those that were added at the Objective and Strategy levels, originally from the Roadmap documents. Conversely, items on the handout that did not have parenthetical citations, mostly re: Goal 5, reflected those that were not covered in the Roadmap documents. David Blocher pointed out that Goals 2 and 3 should be bolstered with their rationale as to why they were important. Specifically, David Blocher stated that Goal 2's rationale is "to achieve mutual benefits", and Goal 3's rationale is "in order to ensure stable and evolving GIS services". Christopher questioned the scope of Goal 3, Objective 1. Specifically, should the Stakeholders attempt to prioritize agency GIS work? It was decided that Goal 3, Objective 1 should be limited only to "shared" services. Dan wanted to ensure that funding was properly covered, and he was satisfied with Goal 1, Objective 6. Christopher questioned some of the verbiage in the background material accompanying the Goals, Objectives, and Strategies. For instance, on Page 5, do web-based technologies "obviate" the need for "universal high-level education"? And on Page 6, do web-mapping tools "significantly reduce education and maintenance costs"?

Outcome: It was decided to eliminate such controversial verbiage. David Kirouac will incorporate all these modifications, and email out the next draft.


Agenda Item #4: Implementation Plan

The Stakeholders brainstormed several models for facilitating the Implementation Plan, viz, online drafting at the next meeting, starting with the Strategy level items; breaking out into subgroups for each Goal and coming back together for further vetting; each agency identifying their top priorities, and then the Stakeholders moderating among them; etc. There was some discussion about resourcing the requirements of smaller agencies without dedicated GIS personnel. Dan pointed out his original model of growing more GIS resources within ADAM. There was some more discussion about who should manage vendors in case of outsourced contract work. One option is to develop strict statewide standards and then allow the agencies to manage their outsourced contract work. An alternative model is for MEGIS to do the actual contracting with the outsourced resources. Everybody agreed that all parties should do everything in their power to prevent duplication of effort.

Outcome: As for the Implementation Plan, the agencies will identify their top priorities and email it to David Kirouac by Aug 29. David Kirouac will put together a first draft and bring it to the next meeting.


Agenda Item #5: GIS Impact of the Recent Oracle Outage

Leigh Wilkinson kindly stopped by to gather agency feedback on the GIS impact of the recent Oracle outage. Christopher and Mike commented on the impact to DEP enforcement and compliance work, especially to the Drinking Water division. DEP has about 200 GIS users, and the efficiency of their work was seriously compromised. Don Katnik pointed out that wildlife habitat mapping ground to a halt at IF&W. Nancy and Nate stated that updating road centerline at DOT was compromised. DOT does have some redundancy built in, therefore, their work did not come to a standstill. Seth pointed out that DMR too has some redundancy, therefore, their work continued at a slower pace. However, the bigger challenge at DMR was to review and validate the edits post-recovery. Maria pointed out that at ESCB, three persons were out of commission for the entire time of the outage. The E911 impact to the public has serious consequences. Nate pointed out that even though the email communication was better this time compared to a previous outage, the status page update was sluggish. Don pointed out that everybody has come to rely on GIS, and such outages are not acceptable to the business stakeholders. There should be complete redundancy in the future. Mike proposed that there should be separate storage for the vector data, the low resolution aerial imagery, and the high-resolution aerial imagery, thereby facilitating a triaged restoration. David Maxwell inquired about the next steps. Leigh indicated that he and Paul Sandlin were finalizing their report, for submission to the CIO and the CTO. Greg pointed out that this is not a witch hunt, but an exploration of lessons learned and future risk mitigation. Greg also wants more "English-oriented" messaging. David Maxwell pointed out that OIT should tap into agency resources in future outages. Leigh pointed out that this was a real wake-up call, the only saving grace being that there was no natural disaster.

Outcome: Leigh will be setting up a meeting in September to further discuss the Oracle outage as it applies to GIS and to discuss possible methods to better architect the OIT GIS database and backups.