The Maine Geolibrary’s Fifty States Initiative
By Larry Harwood, GIS, OIT
The GeoLibrary* recently received a matching grant from the US Geological Survey in support of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Fifty States Initiative. The work to be completed includes two tasks. Task 1 will update and enhance the GeoLibrary Strategic Plan and bring it into alignment with the goals of the Fifty States Initiative. Task 2 will recommend a conceptual framework and functional specification for an Integrated Land Records Information System for the State of Maine . Two thirds of the effort of the project will be concentrated on Task 2.
On January 16, 2008 the Geolibrary Board voted to accept a proposal from the James W. Sewall Company to provide services in fulfillment of this grant. The Sewall Team includes: Reference Standard, Somers-St. Claire, GIS Management Consultants and Fairview Industries. The kick-off meeting and presentation was made to the Board on February 20.
The focus of the Strategic Plan update (Task 1) is to be on the following criteria. First is coordination of local governments, academia and the private sector GIS planning. Second is developing sustainable funding sources to support GIS activities. Third is cultivating political champions to grow support for future geospatial initiatives.
The Integrated Land Records Information System model will integrate deed and plan records at the county level with Municipal tax assessor parcel geometry at the municipal level. In addition, ideas for attribution data will be solicited from a wide range of participants.
The majority of the work on the project will be completed by late June. Data gathering will occur primarily in the beginning followed by analysis and proposed solutions. Presentations will be made to the Board throughout the process.
The GeoLibrary Board is anxious to solicit input from the Maine GIS community, municipal, county, state and the federal government, county registries, the bar association, the real estate, the surveying community, and other impacted and interested stakeholders across the state of Maine. To register for announcements and information, and take an online survey go to this Geolibrary page: http://www.maine.gov/geolib/projects/fiftystates/index.htm
Four forums on the project have been held. The first was in Auburn and took place April 29th. The second in Augusta on April 30th was held at the MDOT building and was primarily for state agency personnel. The third was held at the Bangor Public Library on May 6th and the final forum was held in South Portland at Southern Maine Community College.
Attendees were given the opportunity to identify their GIS needs as well as help outline a path for improved statewide GIS Coordination in Maine . In addition, they learned about the efforts underway to develop a framework for an Integrated Land Records Information System and were given the opportunity to provide insight into how it might best be designed to meet their needs and protect and serve their interests.
* "Maine Library of Geographic Information" or "library" means the statewide network officially sanctioned by the Legislature through this Act by which data custodians or their designees organize, catalog, and provide access to public geographic information to all levels of government and to the public.