Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)

April 18, 2002

Teleconference originating from

DIS Interactive Technologies, Spokane, WA


Introductions – Ian Von Essen, WAGIC Chair – From Spokane, Ian opened the meeting and welcomed council members in Tri-Cities, Bellingham, Seattle, and Lacey. 


Meeting Theme: WAGIC Session on Current GIS Activities of the Federal Government.


Please visit the WAGIC Website to view presentation slides

§         §         U.S. Census’s TIGER Modernization Program – Wendy Hawley

§         §         U.S. Geological Survey’s National Map Program – Tracy Fuller

§         §         Other Federal Initiatives – Gene Thorley (I-Team, Geospatial One Stop, etc.)


Business Items

Initial Meeting of the Information Services Board (ISB) GIS Subcommittee – Jeff Holm

Jeff updated council members on the initial meeting of the ISB Geographic Information Technology Subcommittee. In December of last year, the WAGIC Planning Group approached the ISB with a proposal to create a subcommittee on GIS technology.  The Board accepted that proposal and on March 26 the first meeting took place.  Subcommittee members include Representative Glenn Anderson; Bonnie Bunning, Executive Director of Policy and Program Administration (DNR); Emilio Cantu, Retired Senator; Tom Fitzsimmons, Director (ECY); Paula Hammond, Chief of Staff (DOT); Jeff Koenings, Director (DFW); Major General Tim Lowenberg, Adjutant General (MIL); Dr. Gene Thorley, (USGS); Frank Westrum, CIO (DOH); and Ian Von Essen, Chair (WAGIC). There are currently also three unfilled seats: two for local jurisdictions (a city and a county representative), and one for tribal representation.  The DIS Director will serve as Chair.


At that meeting the subcommittee adopted a proposed charter that essentially states that the purpose of the subcommittee will be to represent the strategic interest of a coordinated enterprise approach to utilizing geographic information technology and to provide leadership for the implementation of collaboratively developed and cost-effective spatial data management solutions. The subcommittee asked the staff to provide details about how coordinated budget request would be put together for the ’03-’05 legislative session and how that request would address funding for digital ortho-photography in Washington State.  The subcommittee hopes to develop recommendations around appropriate policy and standards related to geographic information technology for adoption by the Board by the end of the year.


Ian Von Essen, George Spencer, Carrie Wolfe and Jeff Holm also provided an overview regarding WAGIC activities.  Pre-meeting briefings were provided to the subcommittee members. The subcommittee is scheduled to meet quarterly and the focus of the next meeting will be the coordinated budget request.


Update on Washington’s Statewide Ortho-Photography Partnership Survey – George Spencer

The coordinated budget request for a statewide ortho-photography survey will be presented at the next ISB Subcommittee meeting.  In preparation for that, determinations must be made as to the anticipated cost, the specifics of the data and potential partners.  In order to gather this information, a survey was sent out on the WAGIC Listserv.  The intention is to use this survey as a tool to identify potential partners and determine what the specifications are for this imagery.  Again, the results will be presented to the ISB Subcommittee at the next scheduled meeting.


Walla Walla County GIS/Ortho-Imagery Consortium – Cathy Udenberg

In the last year several southwest Washington counties came together to form a partnership to purchase ortho-imagery for GIS systems.  Ortho photography is very expensive but to meet local needs, the necessary accuracy made this endeavor even more expensive than first anticipated. It was determined that the most affordable way to build GIS was by getting the most accurate imagery possible and the only way to develop repeatable strategies for future needs was by creating a partnership with other local users who are also looking to improve systems. The consortium now includes six county jurisdictions and two states whose territory covers over 3,000 square miles.


Partners in the consortium include Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Hanford Reservation, The Bureau of Reclamation, Adams and Franklin counties, the city of Milton Freewater Electrical Service Department, the Umatilla Tribe and the Walla Walla Irrigation District.  Local partners include WSDOT, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Ecology, the city of College Place, South Columbia Irrigation District, Gardena Irrigation District, and Columbia Rural Electric Agency.


One of the biggest challenges to forming this consortium was in the area of funding. It was assumed that the larger the agency, the larger their budge.  The approach was to implement different levels of financial commitment. The goal was to make the project happen and no contribution was too small.  The hope is that this cooperative effort will also foster cooperation on vertical data integration from local to the federal level of government. 


Washington State E-Safety Summit Meeting & the Washington State Transportation Framework – Tamilee Griffin

Over several hundred participants attended Washington State’s first E-Safety Summit, which was hosted by Governor Locke and Senators Cantwell and Murray.

Sharing geographic data across jurisdictional boundaries was a reoccurring theme throughout the day.  Other topics of discussion included identifying barriers to the best use of the technology and the need to train emergency management personnel in technology.  Tamilee had the opportunity to share information regarding WSDOT’s current transportation framework project.  This project deals with sharing transportation data and working across jurisdictional boundaries. It deals with geographic data and maps which are key for E911 entities.  There was discussion around forming a coordination committee.  A follow up meeting has been schedule with the Washington State Emergency Management Services to discuss further opportunities.


Election of New WAGIC Chair – Jeff Holm     

Next month, organizations with voting memberships will cast a ballot in the election of a new WAGIC Chair whose term begins July 1st.  Ballots will be sent out in May and the name of the newly elected chair will be announced at the June meeting, Ian’s last meeting as chair


The Washington State Remote Sensing Consortium (WARSC) and the EROS Data Center (EDC) is sponsoring a full day (9:00 – 3:30) videoconference workshop on Remote Sensing Data on May 29th.  The workshop is free and will provide an overview of remote sensing principles and digital elevation models.  EDC is providing the instructor.  The morning part of this session will be devoted to General Concepts of Remote Sensing focusing on LandSat7. The videoconference will originate from Lacey and be available in Seattle, Tri Cities, Spokane and Bellingham. 


Jeff also shared that Joy Paulus (Denkers) (ECY) has accepted a position with ESRI.  Joy has served in a variety of capacities with WAGIC, including chair of the Standards Committee, and participated in the Strategic Planning Group and the Remote Sensing Data Consortium. Joy has been a valuable member of WAGIC and the good news is she will be serving as the state government representative from ESRI and we look forward to working with her in her new capacity.


Closing Site Roundtable – Ian Von Essen


Next meeting – June 20th at 10:00 a.m.