Strategic Business Plan: Comments on the First Draft

Comments on the first draft of the Strategic Plan were received from eleven individuals.*  This page offers a summary of the comments received, and issues which will be discussed with the Planning Committee for additional attention in the next draft.  This second draft will be available for review January 8, following review and discussion at the upcoming Geographic Information Council meeting (December 17).

Summary of Typographic / Editorial Corrections Noted

  • Several people pointed out errors in punctuation and word usage; these will be corrected.
  • Several reviewers suggested specific helpful re-wordings of sentences, or addition of key words and phrases.  Others suggested revision of certain poorly written passages, but did not provide new language.

Summary of Comments on Plan Content

  • One reviewer proposed that the first part of the document needs a succinct statement of "what the document is all about."  Others agreed with him that lay readers will benefit from more easily understood examples illustrating "What's GIS?"
  • One reviewer suggested that the document appears "heavy" on issues related to natural resources and the environment, and relatively inattentive to the needs of the private sector.
  • Several reviewers noted concerns that the draft document is very broad, and is not clearly focused on addressing any one of the several "audiences" which have been identified for this Strategic Business Plan.
  • Many comments noted that the Goals and Objectives enumerated in the final section of the document are not linked to the "higher level" discussion on the earlier pages.
  • One reviewer summarized a concern stated by several others: "Most stated objectives are not operationalized in terms of the time frame for completion, who will complete the task, and what is expected of the final product.  This is critical if these objectives are to be achieved."  Another pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the wording of the multiple objectives, and provided helpful suggestions for improvement.
  • One reviewer suggested that "overseas potential business partners have a need to find out where the products/services are located in the State. . . .I did not see any mention of this."

Complete Text of Comments and Suggestions

*    Thanks very much to Harvey Queen, Stephen Rush, Carrie Wolfe, Karl Herzog, David Jennings, Glenn Patrick, Dave Steele, David Buckland, Lynn Singleton, Joy Denkers, and Gene Thorley for their comments, which are available for review (in detail) below.

Subject: GIS Strategic Plan Comments
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 09:44:14 -0800
From: Harvey Queen <>


The GIS Strategic Plan document appears to cover a wide diversity of
potential issues and tethered stakeholders with need to use a spatial
display/data analysis tool.  The plan speaks to who and what at high levels
in State government.  The plan speaks to who should be involved as citizens
and interested parties.

I see an excellent beginning for a central, top-down, proscriptive design
for another state system which requires its own inertia to be overcome
before any benefit comes to the ultimate end item the data represents.

On reading the plan,  it is difficult to see what the direction is for
including different players - customers having data, but no direct GIS,
managers of GIS, IS Shops-having to "support" data transport or storage,
etc... in the initial steps of defining how GIS can be made available;
enabling GIS in Washington State.

I had the great pleasure of meeting the GIS manager of DC Metro Police
Dept. and discussing the implementation of GIS in all systems of Washington
DC by the District's governing committee.  The BJS/NIJ/JRSA intern and
project manager used the District in a presentation at a USDOJ GIS Workshop.
Their approach is unique for their situation, however, it has great promise
for modeling an approach.  A contact point is:  Emmanuel Onwukwe, GIS
Analyst, Information Services Div. Metro Police, Wash DC.  Phone (202)


Subject: Plan comments
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 11:24:55 -0800
From: "Rush, Steven F" <>

I read the draft and I like what I see. No technical changes, it is
readable. However, it seems that when starting "wordsmithing" a person
can go on and on. Therefore, I have no comment....except under "State of
Goals" the bold is inconsistent.....

I feel the most important points are "Statement of Objectives". I was a
little confused with the structure. Perhaps modifying the format would
help. For example, FRAMEWORK DATA DEVELOPMENT starts with 1. (bold) 2,
and 3. Next is PARTNERSHIP GROWTH, then 4. I like the tasks, we went
over that at the workshop. Didn't we have 50 or 100? Of course we
couldn't include all, and there were duplications. I like the filtering
you did.

I am happy with the content, my comments are more for structure and
readability. Does this help? I am looking forward to the second draft
and feel good that we are on the right track.

Steven Rush


Subject: Comments on 1st Draft Strategic Business Plan
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 13:31:51 -0800


I just have a couple quick comments regarding the first draft of the Strategic Business Plan:

1)  Grammatical/Typo comments:
     a)  Page 2, first bullet  should be "affect"  not "effect"   ....factors affect where growth occurs.
     b)  Page 3, 4th paragraph last sentence  - ...Washington's's public agencies,.....  two "'s" on Washington

2)  Content comments:
     a)  Page 4, 1st objective, 3rd action item - How about if we state the action
item as follows;  "The Framework Management Group should develop a FW
funding model for development, support, and distribution of framework data."
     b)  Page 5, Information Exchange & Education objective - Can we
include outreach to schools (K-12) in the statement?  "....and outreach
to citizens, schools, business, and government."  If we don't feel it is
appropriate for WAGIC to develop an ed. plan that addresses K-12 audience,
at least we could promote programs that do  (#22).

Take Care,

Carrie Wolfe
WA Framework Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources
Information Technology Division
PO BOX 47020
Olympia, WA  98504-7020
Phone:  360-902-1639
Fax:  360-902-1790


Subject: Strategic Plan comments
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 09:38:28 -0800
From: "Herzog, Karl" <KarlH@IAC.WA.GOV>
To: "''" <>

Hi Bruce,

Sorry for getting my comments on the Strategic Plan in to you right at
the deadline. I have some overall comments on structure, flow, and
content, with only minimal detailed comments due to my own time
constraints.  Here goes:


1.  Need to add a short introduction describing what the document is all
about, e.g.  "This strategic plan develops a vision and specific
objectives for GIS in Washington.  It is the product of.....  It is
organized into three sections... etc."

2. The "What GIS is" section on the first page needs a lot more beefing
from a layman's perspective.  More on geography based information with
some common real world examples that people are familiar with.  Would
weather maps work?

3. I'm not sure as much time needs to spent on defining WA
policy/environmental issues, which is now most of page 2.  This could be
summarized in one paragraph. It is not the focus of the document.  If
this stays, it needs to focus on the specific GIS components / potential
contributions for each issue.

4.  The "Building a Geographic Info Infrastructure for Washington"
section initially leaves me befuddled.  After getting to the end of the
first  paragraph, I'm left with the questions - so what's missing,
what's the big deal?  In this section, I'm still not sure what the
strategic plan is targeted at - what's the problem?  This section is
critical - it needs to articulate the promise and barriers in a direct
way, with real world examples - as this is the foundation for all our

5.  There is a major gap between the first three pages and the goals and
objectives.  Many of the issues, terms, players, etc. in the objectives
are not introduced adequately in the first three pages, so a general
reader may have no idea what the objective means.

6. Overall, I think we need less "fluff" on the first three pages, more
on what GIS is, why we're doing this, and setting up for the second


page 1, line 9:  add "local" after "statewide"

page 1, lines 31 and 32:  other italicized questions could include:  "What
are the impacts?"  "What are my options?"

be careful of too much emphasis on natural heritage throughout the
document, or this will be viewed as a commy/enviro conspiracy document.
Bias is evident in placing natural heritage/resources as the first item
in lists throughout the document, etc.

on page 3, need to include business/private sector needs more

I disagree with the first goal on page 4.  We are already doing this!
Need something more tangible for the future here.

the objectives re: the 1999 session are probably insider stuff that
doesn't need to be in the document - this document will hopefully be
presented to the Legislature, eh?, so we don't need to let them know our

Hope this helps.  Sorry for the brevity.

Karl offered further comments following the December 18 WAGIC meeting. . . . .

Subject:         comments on the draft strategic plan
Date:         Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:17:17 -0800
From:        "Herzog, Karl" <KarlH@IAC.WA.GOV>
To:         "''" <>,
        "''" <>

I only have a time for a few comments on the draft plan (1.3).  Overall,
I think the plan is moving in the right direction - good job Bruce and
work group.  However, I would still echo my earlier comments about too
much environmental focus.  I think folks at the GIC meeting were
sensitive to this as well.  I agree with the discussion initiated by Don
E. at the meeting revolving around how GIS can help serve the day to day
business needs of agencies.  If emphasis in this area is increased, it
will serve to better balance the document.

On page 2, lines 86-88, please add "land ownership" to the list!! This
is my life!  (Cadastral folks' too.)

I still have difficulty with Goal #1 on page 4.   In my earlier
comments, I said we are already doing this (ie. we already use WA's
growing GIS investment to address the listed issues.)  It's like saying
our goal is to use a hammer to build a house.  Doesn't excite me too
much.  But, if someone told me their goal was to fabricate a better
hammer in order to build a better house - that gets me excited.  Maybe
Goal #1could be rewritten to say something like:  "Improvements to
Washington's GIS systems and infrastructure provide better and more
accessible information to decision makers and citizens as they address
growth management, environmental protection, transportation, economic,
and quality of life issues facing our state."

Might as well list the three Framework projects in the Framework Box on
page 4, lines 137-143.

Buildable lands is really a subset of growth management - maybe these
terms could be combined on page 5, line 147?

That's all for now.  I won't be able to participate in tomorrow's
conference call, but I wish you the best over the holidays.


Karl Herzog
Manager, Public Lands Inventory Project
Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation
PO Box 40917
Olympia, WA 98504-0917
(360) 902-0352


Subject: Fwd: Re: GIS Strategic Business Plan
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 98 10:15:09 -0800
From: "Jennings, David" <>
Organization: WA State Dept of Health

Hi Carol: two minor edits to the draft document:

1) Preservation and thoughtful use of Washington's water resources are
the keys to being able to address both growth management and salmon
recovery. We must be able to identify XXXXXXXXXXXthe availability of
drinkable water supplies across the stateXXX, the water quality of all
our streams and lakes, and legal rights and protections associated with
each water resource.

 identify and protect drinking  water supplies across the state--

2) PARTNERSHIP GROWTH -- Expand the levels of cooperative activities and
information exchange between governments, tribes and business

Promote the design, development and implementation of GIS infrastructure
that supports key governmental business issues like
Salmon Recovery
Growth Management
Buildable Lands, and
Public Lands Inventory


David Jennings
WA State Dept of Health


Subject: Strategic Plan Comments
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 11:28:09 -0800
From: Glenn Patrick <>
Organization: Washington State Department of Health

Hi Bruce,
Good job on pulling together all the info. from the planning meeting at
Snoqualmie Pass.  Just a couple of comments;
1. The paragraph under "What do we need to do?" could be written
clearer.  Initially one of the benefits of GIS analyses will be to
affect policy development, which addresses critical issues.
2. Under the listing of problems, public health should be included.  GIS
will likely become a significant policy development, implementation, and
assurance tool for both DOH and local health jurisdictions.
3. Under "Partnership Growth" specifics are missing regarding improving
coordination between state agencies, and for the inclusion of county GIS
4. On a general note, many/most stated objectives are not
operationalized in terms of the timeframe for completion, who will
complete the task, and what is expected of the final product.  This is
critical if these objectives are to be achieved.


Subject: Re: GIS Strategic Business Plan
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 12:13:19 -0800

I'm sorry that this is so late, but at least completed.

The Strategic Plan is well written (at least, up to the Objectives) and
seems to attempt to cure all.  I was surprised that GIS doesn't somehow
cure cancer through the marvels of interconnectivity (this is intended
as humor not slander).  I'm a believer and supporter of GIS and am
impressed by the lofty goals of this plan.  It provides a strong, but
fairly broad direction for WAGIC and GIS in general.  I'm not at all
surprised at this with Larry Sugarbaker in a lead position.

Beginning with the Statement of Objectives section, there are some comments.
This may be intended to be a bit more informal, yet there is some
inconsistency in wording of some of the 26 items.  Not everything indicates
who will lead or do the work and what the time frame is.  I will make
direct comment about the objectives by their number and only use line
numbers if the item number is not clear.

Objective 2.  Some definition of "the Washington Framework" should be
provided either in the objective or elsewhere.  I don't know what this
is and would guess that it is a collection of all Framework themes or
the overall cooperative connection of agencies and the public through GIS.

Objective 4.  extra spaces after development and after implementation
(line 139) and Who will promote? WAGIC

Objective 5.  reword -WAGIC ??? Workgroup will determine what the
data needs are that meet the key governmental business issues
(described in Objective 4) by May, 1999.

Objective 6.  WAGIC will develop a workgroup by May, 1999, which will
locate key environmental data in a quick and efficient manner.  (I'm not
sure if this is the intent, but as worded, it is very confusing and
indicates that the workgroup will collect data quickly and that just
isn't going to happen).

Objective 7.  Who and when?

Objective 12.  Who? WAGIC

Objective 13.  Who?  WAGIC

Objective 14.  I'm unsure of what this is intended to accomplish.  Who
will review and revise statutes for mapping and why?  We certainly need
a purpose or outcome rather than to just review and revise laws.  This
may be a big ticket item requiring significant time and effort.

Objective 16.  Who?  WAGIC

Objective 17.  The Framework Management Group will develop and distribute
a standard data sharing agreement with support of the AG's Office by the
end of 1999.

Objective 18.  This objective has three different goals and should be
separated.  1) WAGIC should create a Policy Workgroup tasked with working
on the various policy objectives.  2)  The Policy Workgroup should
establish precise and practical thresholds between cartography and land
surveying and to review and recommend a course of action to certify GIS
technicians or to have the data collected and processed under the guidance
of a Land Surveyor.  The Land Surveyor's Association of Washington (LSAW)
is currently tasked with this objective and should be interfaced with
WAGIC for a meaningful solution.  3)  The Policy Workgroup should review
state agency public disclosure law and draft amendments to address the
special needs of GIS.

Objective  20.  rewording this one since it is confusing.  WAGIC will
devise methods of tracking data and application development efforts to
assist partnering and avoid duplication.  Note:  this objective will
need assignment to a workgroup rather than WAGIC and will need a date
or else it is just a statement and nothing will be done.  Maybe examples
will help i.e. by using a data resource collection tool and posting to
the WAGIC Web Page for easy access by agencies and the public.

Objective  22.  who and when

Objective  23.  WAGIC will promote information exchange through the
Framework Management Workgroup and the Local Govt. Workgroup and
education seminars on the following activities on an on-going
basis:  a...thru.. d.

Objective  24.  who and when

Objective  25.  who and purpose.  WAGIC will become prepared to educate
the GIS community in the legislative process of funding new GIS
initiatives during 1999 and actively disseminate that information
through its outreach program in 2000.

Objective 26.  WAGIC shall enlist....existing statement...followed by...
and to foster partnerships with framework projects and other new
initiatives during the next year.

David Steele, PLS
DNR Survey Manager
voice 360-902-1181
fax     360-902-1191


Subject: GIS Strategic Plan
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 13:22:41 -0800 (PST)
From: David Buckland <David.Buckland@West.Sun.COM>
CC: David.Buckland@West.Sun.COM


I understand you are collecting comments about the proposed GIS Strategic Plan
for the State of Washington.

I have been involved in GIS in the State since 1990 when I started at ESRI in
Olympia. I worked there for 6.5 years, and the majority of my accounts were
the State/Local accts in WA. I got to know many of these accounts on a
personal basis, and have kept up with the major GIS users now I am their
Account Rep for Sun Microsystems Inc.

During one of my conversations with Governor Locke when we were discussing web
access and Access Washington he showed concern that overseas potential
business partners have a need to find out where the products/services are
located in the State.  In reading the initial draft of the recommendations I
did not see any mention of this. In fact it seemed to be much more of an
"Intra-State" GIS than an "Extra-State" GIS.

I believe that CTED could and should be responsible for authoring and
maintaining this data in the GIS, and that Tim Douglas would welcome the idea.
GIS needs to be used to influence the product sales and economy of the state,
to put us ahead of the other entities on the west coast doing business around
the Pacific Rim.

I am very willing to discuss this with you further, please do not hesitate to
contact me.


David Buckland.

     /\       David J.B. Buckland
    \\ \      Sales Representative
   \ \\ /     Seattle District                          Olympia:
  / \/ / /    Sun Microsystems Computer Company
 / /   \//\   10210 NE Points Drive, Suite 200          407 S Adams, Suite 208
 \//\   / /   Kirkland, WA 98033                        Olympia, WA 98501
  / / /\ /
   / \\ \     Phone:  425.889.1362                      360.786.0776
    \ \\      Fax:    425.827.9723                      360.786.9247
     \/       E-mail:
              Pager:  888.793.1050


Subject:         Comments on the Draft Plan
Date:         Wed, 23 Dec 1998 18:30:18 -0800
From:        "Singleton, Lynn" <lsin461@ECY.WA.GOV>
To:         "'westcott,bruce--bspatial'" <>

I do have a few questions and comments for your consideration.  It is getting late so I will just give you my direct comments.

The natural resources, water resources and the fishery issues that we all
face in Washington are prominent in the introductory comments--page 2, but
specifics are essentially absent from any of the objectives--aside from the
references to Salmon Recovery.  Perhaps if Salmon Recovery was amended to be
Salmon recovery and Water issues I would feel better.  There are two reasons
to consider this change--the issues are intermixed and one or the other are
hot with the legislature, the entire states and all local governments, the
natural resource agencies, and the public.  Some might argue that Salmon
Recovery is not a statewide issue.  The debate can be avoided if water is
included.  The second reason is that there has been a lot of activity
already started in the water area that should be acknowledged and fostered
to some completion stage.

The water related efforts that have been ongoing for a few years now are one
of the few where we have made significant progress.  It is not mentioned.  I
wasn't at day 2 of the workshop so perhaps I am missing some part of the
discussion or reasoning but, I believe that completion of the hydro layer
and the needed infrastructure is critically more important and a much closer
success than trying to sort through all of the habitat classification
schemes in place throughout the nation and the state.  I agree that habitat
is a need but I do not hear a consistent voice for habitat clarity and
consistency.  I am not aware of a champion either.  Regardless of the
merits, the reference seems misplaced among the items included in number 8.
You have several general infrastructural
items and then the specific environmental data standards reference.  Perhaps
a separate grouping and the addition of some others--like water?? I also
think it is appropriate to include water in the Framework Data Development
section.  If the section's goal is to only mention those things that aren't
underway then a section might be added to acknowledge the things that are in
process and need ongoing support. If dollars are limited, I would rather
finish initiated work than start something new and have snail progress on
all fronts.

A point that seems missing and should be included somewhere is the notion
that agencies still need to and will collect information for their own
purposes/mission.  This will not change and it is why we do what we do.
Framework is not about supporting the whole and not getting your own needs
met.  It is about including an additional objective of making your work
available to others so that their needs--the secondary users' needs are
supported in their business needs.  You then also have the potential to
benefit.  As you know the real cost is in the wasted efforts and re-work
that occurs every day.

I would like to see references to the Department of Ecology included in the
appropriate sections with other agencies.  We have been active in the GIS
community, have a large investment in the business outcomes of Framework,
have championed progress in the area of standards and collaboration, and
have prominent roles in the resolution of the environmental issues of
importance in the state.

Lastly, I printed the document and the Statement of Goals printed as a size
1 font--so I didn't review them.  Also you may want to add FW and IT to your
list of Acronyms.  You will need to add ECY for the Washington State
Department of Ecology after you add us in the appropriate places--per
comments above.

Thanks again for the opportunity to review this and I apologize if some of
my comments were a bit blunt--but it is now 6:25 and I am suppose to bring
pizza home--and I am late.

I will be working this next week so if you have any questions about my
comments I can be reached at 360-407-6610.

Have a great holiday

Lynn Singleton
Washington State Department of Ecology


Subject:         WAGIC Strategy
 Date:         Mon, 14 Dec 1998 14:48:03 -0800
 From:        "Denkers, Joy" <JDEN461@ECY.WA.GOV>
 To:         "''" <>
 CC:         "Monn, Bob" <bmon461@ECY.WA.GOV>
These represent the combined comments of myself and Bob Monn, Information
Resources Services Manager.

General Comments:
Regarding the introductory pieces ( Vision, What do we need..., Building a
geographic ...) ---
There seems to be an emphasis on natural resources in the first three pages
of the document.  Given the audience that we're hoping to entice, it might
be advantageous to broaden the scope and nature of GIS uses to include such
things such as health, education, and welfare type examples.

The "Statement of Objectives" piece lists numerous things that need to be
accomplished.  In some cases these numbered items have an identified group
and delivery time while others are not identified with a "who" or "when."
For consistency, it may help to identify  a "who" and "when" for each of
these items -- even if we just identifies WAGIC and date-to-be-determined.

Specific Comments:
Improved Data Sharing.  Number 8 has an "a" through "e" list .  Is this a
list of examples or rather ones that were specifically identified by the
Strategic Planning participants as needing to be addressed?  If it's the
latter, then it would help to add some language to # 8 that would indicate
that business area experts would be used to help develop data specific
standards like "Environmental Habitat Data Standards."   I view the
Standards Workgroup (SWG) efforts more in the area of a, c, d, and e.
We've had this discussion in the SWG in the past.

Number 9 has listed specific standards to be developed.  What is the
significance of these?  Were they specifically identified by the Strategic
Planning participants or just listed as examples?  If examples, then it
would help to identify them as such.  The Framework group and especially the
Standards Workgroup members wouldn't necessarily have the appropriate
members to tackle some of these area specific standards.  But, the SWG could
provide coordination assistance and/or guidance along with the business area experts.

Policy Review and Advocacy  there are specific agencies listed in #12 and
#13.  Is this list exclusive or just a representative sample?  It might help
to help to clarify this since it seems to exclude others that are all ready
involved in these activities.  Or rather, are the listed agencies the ones
that have been identified as the "who" referred to above in the general comments?
If you have any questions I can be reached at (360) 407-7128.   Otherwise, good luck on the document!

Joy P. Denkers, Manager
GIS Technical Services
WA Department of Ecology
(360) 407-7128
FAX (360) 407-6493
GIC Standards Work Group Chair  

Last Updated: December 29, 1998

Contact: Carol Pendleton, WAGIC Administrative Support