September 28, 2001


Dear WAGIC Colleague,


As we all try to come to terms with the horrific events of September 11th, I reflect back to that Tuesday morning as Jeff Holm and I sat in on a National States Geographic Information Council meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, where the presentation we were listening to was repeatedly interrupted by one startling report after another.  First a plane had flown into the World Trade Center, then a second, then another into the Pentagon.  I remember thinking, “What the heck is going on and how can this be happening in America”, and I'm still incredulous of it all.   However, at some point we will get beyond our grieving and our anger, and just like the Oklahoma and Columbine School disasters of a couple years ago, we will find proactive ways to learn from this experience and for our GIS community it will be to find new ways in which GIS technology can be applied.


In the case of the Oklahoma disaster it was 3-D crime scene mapping.  With the Columbine school disaster we found a positive preventative use through such GIS based systems as Pierce County’s Public Responder where existing schools and public buildings could be photographically mapped and documented, thereby providing critically needed information to our police and fireman in a times of crisis.  Obviously we are going to be facing increased security in every aspect of our lives -- our work, our travel, even attending a Mariners game.  But perhaps something positive can come out of this as our GIS community finds innovative ways to apply GIS technology to protect and enhance the lives of all of us.


Thanks to all of you who attended and participated in August's theme-based WAGIC on GIS and Transportation.  I would especially like to thank the presenters, Tareq al-Zeer, Carol Kenstowicz and Ron Cihon from the Washington State Department of Transportation and Jim Giacolone & Jim Oyler from the Washington State County Road Administration Board (CRAB).  All of you did a great job!  It is always enlightening to see the many uses GIS is being put to in our various organizations. 


This month's WAGIC meeting, scheduled for October 18th, will be split into two parts.  First, the theme-based portion will be focused on GIS and the Cadastre, which will be followed by a WAGIC business meeting.  On GIS and the Cadastre you will see four presentations.  To lead things off, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources will update us on the Washington State Cadastral Framework efforts. The next two presentations, one on a statewide web-based survey control database and a second on a utility-based Cadastral Mapping Project, will be from the Seattle Public Utility.  The last presentation will be by the Spokane County Assessor's Office on converting land records to GPS based control. These presentations should be lively and informative, so please remember to invite interested individuals from within your organizations. Thanks in advance to all of those presenting during this special cadastral-related session.


During our business portion of the meeting, Jeff Holm and I will update you on a variety of topics including WAGIC’s strategic planning process, our LandSat 7 Data Consortium, to the recent NSGIC meetings and the upcoming Framework and Geodata Alliance meetings.  Plus we will discuss developing our own I-Team Plan for our framework activities, which will be further explained at the meeting.


Thanks again to each of you for your support of WAGIC.  Your attendance and support is appreciated.  If you have any questions, or would like additional information about this meeting or WAGIC in general, please call either Jeff Holm at (360) 902-3447 or me at (509) 477-6344.


We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.





Ian Von Essen