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June 1994 Meeting Minutes

Members in attendance, (Olympia); Jim Haskett (Chair), Lisa Nordberg (rep. for Gary Bodeutsch), Ann Breghent, Tim Brown, Senator Emilio Cantu, Clare Donahue, Ron Cihon (rep. for John Doyle), Steve Hillesland, Eric Inouye, Frank Marek, Sara Steel, Larry Sugarbaker, Carol Jenner (rep. for Gary Robinson), Gary Bohren (rep. for Tom Strum), John Tooley Spokane: Ken Palmer. Seattle: Robin Trenbeath.

Others attendees (Olympia); Mike Brackett, Liz Caldwell, Jim Foster, Chip Holcomb, Jeff Holm, Sam Hunt, Curtis Mack, Dennis McDonald, Peter Swade.

1. Call to Order

Chair, Jim Haskett, welcomed sites in Seattle, Spokane, and Pasco and called attention to the following handouts at each site: 1) agenda 2) executive order from President Clinton, and 3) announcement for DIS broadcast "New Directions, New Technology, Improving Access to Government". He acknowledged written proxies for Ron Cihon, (DOT) and Gary Bohern, (USGS). Minutes for April 14, 1994 were not available.

2. Social and Health Services GIS

Tim Brown, Department of Social Health Services (DSHS), reported on the GIS system recently developed by Office of Research and Data Analysis (ORDA). He was assisted by Curtis Mack and used electronic slides and hard copy map sets earlier distributed to all sites.

Use of the 1990 Census Tiger Files has enabled the state for the first time to create a base map for human services. ORDA's needs assessment system uses UNIX as the operating system, ARC/INFO for the GIS, and SAS for data manipulation. Since data resided in multiple systems, one of the first challenges was to unduplicate individuals. This totaled a million clients per year.

Zipcode translations were done for zipcode to county, legislative districts, cities, towns, CDP and census tracks to 1990 zip codes, 1990 Community Service Offices (CSO), legislative districts. Accuracy was within one percent for census tracks greater than 1,000. Problems included census tracts split across zipcodes, poor address fields in data sources, incomplete address ranges in the Tiger files, and only a 35% coverage of the state with the Tiger Files. Private sources of zipcode conversions were price prohibitive at $350,000. Hand cleaning was required for thousands of unmatched records.

Future translations include zipcodes to school districts, congressional districts and census tracts to 1994 Community Service Offices and school districts.

ORDA's zipcode translation enabled geographic mapping of ratios of DSHS clients to total population using census variables. The primary objective was to map human service clients in relation to estimates of the population at risk

A prototype data retrieval system is designed to facilitate for user independence. The system uses push button menus to retrieve data in a variety of combinations. Output may be on the screen or files in SAS, ASCII, or EXCEL format. MAP output is planned for a later version. Access to system is currently limited to a particular individual and his workstation. LAN access would require higher speed network communication.

Future Possibilities

Such potentials could enable a Human Services GIS with conversion between various administrative and political areas. DSHS will begin working with the Department of Health next year on youth violence.

A follow-up discussion dealt with zipcode problems of change over time and postal splits of census tracks. Ideal least common denominator would be a statewide common cadastral base map. In the meantime, conversion routines will continue to be important. DSHS plans to update zipcodes every other year, but is still left with the larger problem of how to handle time in a GIS.

3. Federal Activities

Larry Sugarbaker, Department of Natural Resources(DNR) and chairman of the National Research Council Mapping Science Committee, gave a report on Federal Activities. He reported a heightened awareness of working with state agencies to develop partnership relationships and shared 1994 plans presently in the works.

Inter-Organization Resource Information Coordinating Council (IRICC) - Group of Federal agencies developed data sets for spotted owl boundaries and forest plans. They are trying to get Washington, Oregon and Northern California to define requirements for spotted owl framework data. Natural Resources has a composite of national parks, natural resources and forest service areas. IRICC is experiencing minor shakeups. The timber industry has filed suit against the forest plan. The status of participation by non-federal agencies is uncertain and problematic if excluded.

National Research Council, Mapping Science - A report on partnerships which defined recommendations for cooperative projects.

Priority Data Report - Efforts to define framework data and set a definition that supports the nation in replacing the national mapping program.

Federal Geographic Data Committee

Committee formed in 1990 composed of federal mapping and GIS. Involved in developing standards such as survey standards currently out for review due back June 17th, adopted on June 18th. Copy available upon request. They are trying to define what other activities will happen.

Presentation to Federal Geographic Data Committee chaired by Babbit-Prospective developing opportunities; ecosystem management, operational efficiencies, REAL need for common data, building sustaining relationships,

Improvement of data quality.

4. GIS Open Records

Clare Donahue, Department of Information Services (DIS), reported on the status of the GIC open records initiative. DIS compiled the issues forwarded by council and compiled a summary. Liz Caldwell reviewed these summary items which had been distributed to all sites along with a copy of the current legislation. Clare asked if were any other issues. One was identified as protecting yourself from misuse of data given to others. Clare reported a preliminary meeting with the Attorney General's office. She said more in-depth discussions remain which DIS will do. She called for a special working meeting devoted to open records and centrally located in the state. Liz will make arrangements. Clare will report back with options at the October meeting.

5. Election and Installation of Chair

Jim Haskett moved that nominee Steve Hillesland, County Road Administration Board (CRAB), be accepted as Chair. The vote was unanimously. Jim reminded the council that the Vice Chair and Secretary positions no longer exist.

6. Closing Remarks

Steve presented a plaque to Jim Haskett for his hard work as chair. Jim responded by saying that a year ago he had almost no hope, but that the GIC council has pull through and performed a terrific job. He stated a large part of this was due to Liz and Clare's efforts. His expectations now for GIC are great!

7. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

For information contact the GIC Coordinator
Jeff Holm--DIS
Send E-mail to Jeff Holm

Last updated: December 19, 1995