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Home > Meetings > February 28, 2007

February 28, 2007


  1. Report from subcommittee developing an upgrade plan to version 9.2 of ESRI software products
  2. GIS Stakeholders Group Charter
  3. Process of transitioning from GIS Executive Council to GIS Stakeholders Group
  4. GIS Roadmap
  5. Web services subcommittee update
  6. Document comparing the GIS E.C., MEGIS, and the GeoLibrary


Members Present

David Kirouac, Chair, OIT/MEGIS

Nancy Armentrout, DOT/AITD

Matthew Bampton, USM

David Blocher, OIT/Policy & Strategic Planning

Victor Chakravarty, OIT/Policy & Strategic Planning

Mary Cloutier, OIT/Policy & Strategic Planning

Liz Hertz, SPO

Maria Jacques, PUC/ESCB

Nate Kane, DOT

Don Katnik, IF&W

Christopher Kroot, DEP

Bob Marvinney, MGS

David Maxwell, DEP/AITD

Jason Sardano, SOS

Amy Spelke, PUC

Elaine Stanley, MSL

Dan Walters, OIT/Applications Director


Agenda Item #1: Report from subcommittee developing an upgrade plan to version 9.2 of ESRI software products

At a previous GIS Executive Council meeting a subcommittee was charge with documenting a plan for migrating the state's ESRI software to version 9.2. The subcommittee consisted of: Seth Barker, Don Katnik, David Kirouac, Marc Loiselle, Tom Marcotte, and Mike Smith. The conclusions of the subcommittee were presented to the GIS Stakeholders in the “Maine GIS Stakeholders Upgrade Plan for ESRI 9.2 Products” document. David Kirouac furnished a high-level overview of the relevant document that he circulated with the agenda.

There was some concern that all users will need to know the timeframe for testing and the timeframe for the production upgrades. David Kirouac proposed pushing back the upgrade timeline by a month. Members suggested that problems/information related to testing 9.2 should be collected and shared. David Kirouac suggested utilizing the Listserv. Nate Kane reported some issues of backward compatibility with previous versions. Christopher Kroot inquired about agency testing plans, contingency provisioning, etc, David Kirouac promised to follow up on it. DEP intends to hold training for the new Desktop in its regional offices, but DEP is uncertain on the fate of its existing web-based training material. MEGIS intends to hold its training by the end of August. David Blocher cautioned against agencies unilaterally upgrading their SDE instances, lest external users are adversely affected. David Kirouac acknowledged the challenge of reaching out to standalone license holders, and especially those that do not connect to the MEGIS SDE.

It will be necessary to successfully upgrade all ArcGIS and ArcIMS applications before upgrading the SDE database. The upgrade sequence is first ArcGIS Desktop and IMS, and finally SDE. DOT, DEP and MEGIS have all done some amount of testing. Few isolated incompatibilities have been discovered so far, but nothing major. A Service Pack 1 is now available for the Desktop. Anybody in need of the software may please contact David Kirouac. IMS testing at MEGIS has gone smoothly so far. Don Katnik has been running IMS V9.2 for a month without encountering any issues. DEP has just started testing its custom scripts, and the very first one ran into incompatibilities. But DEP confirmed that the out-of-the-box functionality is seamless. Don Katnik asked about compatibility between GeoDatabases based on files and MS Access. Both Christopher Kroot and Jason Sardano stated that the compatibility is seamless, although there exists a file size limitation.

Outcome: The upgrade plan will be altered to push the timeframe back one month. Testing will continue until April 1, 2007 and June 1, 2007 will be the target date for the 9.2 production implementation. All parties agreed to coordinate their upgrades to accomplish them as synchronously as possible.


Agenda Item #2: GIS Stakeholders Group Charter

All parties agreed that any diagram representing the inter-relationship among MEGIS, the GIS Stakeholder Group, and the GeoLibrary only belongs in the relevant MOU, as opposed to the GIS Stakeholder Group Charter. Bob Marvinney pointed out inconsistencies in the current draft between advisory and delivery functions. Bob Marvinney volunteered to offer new language to clean up such inconsistencies. Dan Walters stated that the scope of the GIS Stakeholder Group extends far beyond advising MEGIS to include GIS activities in Maine State Government as a whole. Christopher Kroot pointed out that the current draft does not include collaboration & coordination, and that it should. Liz Hertz elaborated along the same lines: this Group needs to steward not just the technology and the OIT-end of the business, but also inter-agency, non-technical collaboration in GIS. David Blocher reiterated that the objective was not to change what is already working, but to change the language to reflect the successful behavior. All parties concluded that even though this Group's business extends beyond technology, that it was still acceptable for the CIO to charter it. Nate Kane read aloud his own Purpose definition from his earlier email, and everybody approved Nate's statement. Matthew Bampton pointed out that rebranding the term GIS is self-defeating since it has already accumulated some cachet. David Kirouac wondered if the term GIS itself is somewhat intimidating to customers. To which, Christopher Kroot pointed out that customers are not the target audience for this charter. Nancy Armentrout spoke out on the importance of completing the Strategic Plan, and involving the entire Stakeholder Group in the process, since the process is just as important as the end-product. Nate Kane proposed that the Charter should explicitly require the AITDs to reach out to the respective Agency Administrations in deciding on the nomination to this Group. Maria Jacques and Matthew Bampton wondered if the meeting frequency should be specified in the charter, and it was decided to keep the charter agnostic. And the same was decided re: governance ground rules. David Maxwell asked if the current draft was ready to be shared w/ the AITDs.

Outcome: It was decided that any further comments should be forwarded to Bob Marvinney, Nate Kane and David Blocher, who will create the next draft, which can then be shared w/ the AITDs.


Agenda Item #3: Process of transitioning from GIS Executive Council to GIS Stakeholders Group

Ground rules will need to be established for the group. Meeting frequency and member substitutes were briefly discussed.

Outcome: David Kirouac will cc meeting minutes and agendas to the state's AITDs. A list of active and inactive participants will be sent to the AITDs to assist with their decisions for appropriate nominations.


Agenda Item #4: GIS Roadmap

Christopher Kroot updated the Group re: the two-day ESRI GIS Infrastructure Roadmap Workshop over Jan 24-25. It was a success, especially considering the wide participation from the Core Tech Directors. While wikis have been established re: Applications, Data & Infrastructure, participation has not been encouraging so far. Christopher recommended face-to-face meetings in order to facilitate this process. Christopher also stated that a fourth focus area, viz, Governance, will also be looked into. Nancy Armentrout inquired on the connection between the Strategic Plan and the GIS Roadmap Workshop. Christopher answered that the output of the Roadmap Workshop will constitute the infrastructure portion of the Strategic Plan. David Maxwell inquired if there was any time-stamped component to the Infrastructure Roadmap. Christopher pointed out that it was a work in progress. Mary Cloutier wondered if Dan Walters alone could have served as the liaison between the GIS community and Core Tech. It was concluded that even though Dan is indeed a strong liaison, it was really useful to get direct participation from the Core Tech Directors. Maria Jacques and Liz Hertz commented on the effectiveness of web-based meetings in further polishing the Strategic Plan.

Outcome: It was decided that Christopher will email out parts of the Strategic Plan to seed the discussion. David Kirouac will contact the GIS Roadmap leads to suggest that further meetings will be needed to complete the roadmap.


Agenda Item #5: Web services subcommittee update

Don Katnik updated the Group re: the risks of making new investments into ArcIMS, and the status of the ArcGIS Server project. DOT is proceeding with the MHPC project, while our vision is to create a statewide library of re-usable ArcGIS Server objects in collaboration w/ ESRI. Agencies will create the visual map components of their project requirements, and then approach OIT re: the rest of the application programming. ArcGIS Server is still relatively immature in its security model. There is no defined migration path from ArcIMS to ArcGIS Server and staff time has been limited for testing. All parties agreed re: the hazards of custom programming. The decision was to wait on the existing ArcIMS applications unless the impending upgrade compromised existing functionality. There was a spirited discussion re: the exact nature of the future statewide library of re-usable ArcGIS Server objects. Christopher Kroot cited the most obvious example, the GeoCoder. Jason Sardano pointed out to ESRI's own on-demand, for-pay library, ArcWeb.

Outcome: There was no change to the current direction.


Agenda Item #6: Document comparing the GIS E.C., MEGIS, and the GeoLibrary

There was no time left to discuss this document.

Outcome: The item was tabled until the next meeting.