Maine's Geolibrary and The Fifty States Initiative
By Larry Harwood, OIT
The Fifty States Initiative is a partnership between the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). It is designed to bring all public and private stakeholders together in statewide GIS coordination bodies that help to form effective partnerships and lasting relationships. There is a critical need to coordinate statewide GIS activities to eliminate waste and improve efficiency in government. Agencies at all levels of government need to coordinate with other stakeholders to keep from duplicating geographic data and systems at taxpayers' expense.
In May the Maine Library of Geographic Information (MLGI) was awarded an FGDC Category 3 (CAT 3) matching grant for $50,000. The MLGI is contributing $15,000 as a cash match. Additional non-cash matches bring the total for the project to $77,500. A Request for Proposals to select a vendor for the project was issued on September 19th.
Maine presently meets most of the NSGIC criteria as a result of a long history of interagency and interjurisdictional GIS planning and implementation. This CAT 3 project will help complete this undertaking by directing activities toward coordination of local governments, academia and the private sector, as well as cultivating political champions to grow support for future geospatial initiatives.
The main thrust of this effort will be to produce a sustainable technical and political architecture to capture and maintain statewide property data to the parcel level. For nearly two decades Maine counties, municipalities and the Office of GIS have worked piecemeal to standardize and assemble this essential resource. This initiative will seek to codify procedures in such a way that integrates deeds records at the county level, municipal tax assessor parcel geometry and attribute input from a variety of additional stakeholders.
Geolibrary Leadership Change: In September 2007, new leaders for the MLGI Board were elected. For the past three (3) years, the MLGI Board has been chaired by James Page and co-chaired by Marilyn Lutz. Initially elected in September of 2004, Jim and Marilyn consistently demonstrated leadership by encouraging consensus among the Board members on contentious issues. In addition, they each authored major policy documents and the extensive annual legislative reports. Both have been effective and eloquent in meetings and in testimony to the legislature on behalf of the MLGI. Here is some information about these outgoing officers:
James Page is CEO of James W. Sewall Company, a multi-disciplinary consulting organization with a specialization in mapping and GIS with offices in eight states and headquartered in Old Town. Marilyn Lutz is Director, Library Information Systems Planning for the University of Maine System Libraries where she has been instrumental in the development of digital libraries as fundamental to research in all disciplines.
In September 2007, new officers were elected. Here is information about these incoming leaders:
William Hanson was elected Chair of the MLGI Board. Mr. Hanson is a practicing attorney with Rudman & Winchell in Bangor and represents real estate and development interests on the Board. He practices chiefly in commercial transactional law, with an emphasis on loan documentation and real estate matters. His real estate practice includes timberland and forest practices work.
Daniel Coker was elected Co-Chair of the MLGI Board. He is Conservation Information Manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Brunswick, a position he has held for the last 5 years. He represents environmental interests on the Board. Before joining TNC, he was the GIS Manager for the Maine Natural Areas Program in the Department of Conservation.