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June 1995 Meeting Minutes

June 15, 1995

A. Opening, Recognition of New Members

Steve Hillesland welcomed the Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane, Pasco, and Mt. Vernon sites. Steve announced that Joy Denkers is now officially a Council member.

Clare reported that a logo for the Council has been chosen and showed an example of the new letterhead.

B. New Member for Peninsula Region, Robin Trenbeath

Robin introduced Andrew Kinney, representative for the Peninsula Region, as a nominee for the Council.

Andrew stated he works for Thurston County Geodata Systems and has been talking with the counties in the peninsula area. They are all interested in becoming familiar with the ongoings of the Council. He felt that it would be good to start getting that "voice" in the Council.

Robin made a formal motion to elect Andrew to the Council, it was seconded and it passed.

C. Modifications to Bylaws, Clare Donahue

Clare read the proposed language change to Article VII, Section 2, of the bylaws.

The purpose of the revision is to meet the need to be flexible due to the increasing interest in chairing the workgroups. It reads as follows:

"The Chair, with Council's concurrence, will appoint work group chairs. The work group chair may be a Council member or any other person who the Council Chair feels is interested and committed to leading the work group. The Council Chair may appoint work group co-chairs when a strong interest is shown on cooperatively leading a work group. The work group Chair will then appoint work group members.".

Steve felt that the change reflected the comments made in previous discussions. It was unanimously accepted.

D. Local Government Workgroup Report, Robin Trenbeath

Geographic Information Outreach Strategy - Robin stated that all members should have received a copy of the Geographic Information Outreach Strategy and asked for comments on it. Only Clare voiced her concern about the use of DIS' name and what will be expected of them, but Robin assured her that it will not cost money without prior approval. Robin made a motion to approve it, it was seconded, and unanimously accepted.

Geospatial Data Initiatives - Robin referred to the Geospatial Data Initiatives that, if adopted, would ensure that data is developed consistently, will adequately represent the real world, can be shared, and will add value to the decision-making process. It goes through a description of the current situation and sets out some strategies, is grouped by data architecture, data awareness, and data accuracy. Any feedback should be received by Robin or Mike Brackett by mid-July for the final to be presented for adoption at the August 17 meeting.

Council meets Surveyors - Robin mentioned that the relationship between the Council and land surveyors was discussed at their last meeting. It was suggested that a forum or conference be planned to bring together GIS professionals and surveyors to get to some common ground. His opinion was that each group has a misunderstanding of what the other is after, but that there is more commonality than not. There is at present some discussion going on, with both groups being represented. Tom Sturm supported Robin's idea. He stated that this is not only an issue in Washington and that action should be taken at the local level. Steve added that our intent is not to "step on toes" but to try to promote coordination, cooperation and discussion.

E. Standards Workgroup Report, Joy Denkers

Joy stated that they will meet in September with the intent of reviewing the objectives and tasks the group has been assigned and get input about what they want to accomplish. She also wanted to raise the concept of integrating and coordinating with the other workgroups.

FGDC Metadata Workshop - Joy gave an overview of the FGDC Metadata Workshop held on Monday, June 12. Bill Tolar, of USGC FGDC in Reston, Virginia, spoke about that National Spatial Data Infrastructure and what changes in technology they feel are responsible for some of the developments. The major usage of the metadata standards and the ability to provide information to data catalogs and clearinghouses were also discussed. Joy stated that they helped simplify, by way of graphics, some of the information that has been received. She also reported that the FGDC will provide assistance to individuals who want to know how to go about documenting their metadata.

Don Edginton mentioned that local governments are looking at software tools that are compliant with the FGDC standards. He felt that there is an evolving framework of how you organize databases and that more local governments would want to be involved if they knew how it works. He added that the Standards Workgroup can play a key role in this.

Joy responded that Bill Tolar tried to impress on them that the USGC and FDGC are concerned with the content and understanding of what it is, as opposed to the mechanism by which it is used. He said that not many of the software tools offered currently are meeting the intent of the standard completely, however, this is because the intent of the standard is itself developing.

Tim Brown asked about the Guidelines Report for the Standards Committee. Mike Brackett said that he will print it now that a logo has been chosen.

F. Census Workgroup Report, Carol Jenner

2000 Census Presentation, Census Bureau - Carol Jenner and Jay Clark, co-chairs, introduced Rick Campbell, a geographer for the Census Bureau . He gave an update of what the Census Bureau has been doing since the 1990 census. Some improvements have been made to the TIGER and Address Control Files (ACF) but that more needs to be done. Up to this point, resources have been limited. They are very interested in working closely with local governments and state agencies. Congress passed PL103-430 to improve the accuracy of census and survey information. Under the new law, the U.S. Postal Service will provide periodic address updates to the Census Bureau (they are currently the single source of address information updated daily).

Don Edginton and Ken Palmer both expressed the challenges that local governments have in using the TIGER files. They differ from other information files being used. Ken expressed an interest in seeing a pilot program for areas that want to be involved. Andrew Kinney, Thurston County, stated that they are looking to improve their files and would like to use the Census Bureau's standards. Rick will give them a contact at the Census Bureau.

Clare asked what involvement there was at state level. Rick responded that there are no agreements at state level with anyone; only with local governments.

Carol and Jay stated that Census Workgroup has not been formed yet. Their aim was to first get a pilot or live example going in coordination with the Census Bureau, and hopefully, federal.

G. Electronic Communications Workgroup Report, Ann Bregent

Ann stated that the new Electronic Communications Workgroup met to discuss their short- and long-term goals. One short-term goal was to develop a Home Page for the GI Council.

Home Page Demonstration, Jeff Holm - Jeff demonstrated the prototype of the Home Page. To develop it, the objective and the audience was identified-to enhance GIC communication and education between members and local, state, regional and national GIS professionals. Next, the page content and format-a welcome page and the 4 major categories of information deemed appropriate: About GIC, Washington State Geospatial Data, Other GIS Related Information and What's New. A prototype was developed utilizing local files-but with the "look and feel" of being connected to the Internet using the Web browser tools. They are looking for approval to proceed with revisions and implementation. Implementation of Phase I (without site maps) is expected in July, Phase II (with site maps) in August, and Phase III (with Washington State Geospatial Data) in late 1995 as available. Copies of the pages, background information and the actual address for the Home Page will be included in the next GIC mailing. Jeff asked that any comments or suggestions be directed to him or Mike. He also stated that DIS can provide access to and help develop a presence on the Internet for any interested organization.

H. Georeference Workgroup Report, Dave Steele

Dave is replacing Frans Arnold as the Chair. This group is currently focusing on what kind of metadata to define their GPS measurements with. Each user group uses different standards in gathering and using the data. Dave hopes to have more information to share at the next meeting.

Ron Cihon, DOT, filling in for Frans Arnold, wanted to bring an issue to the attention of the Council. Advisors whose salaries are subsidized equally by DOT and NGS. Congress is looking at the Chrysler Bill which will dismantle the Department of Commerce, and possibly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ron stated that DOT is willing to continue to subsidize 50%, however, where the remaining 50% will come from is uncertain. He requested, if the Council feels this position is important enough for the state, a letter of support from the Council. Steve asked him to provide Mike a draft of the letter outlining the benefits of this position. Clare stated that the Council should get more information about the bill and felt that DOT might have a more effective link to D.C., through Sid Morris. More information about the bill will be provided by Gary.

I. Grant Status, Jeff Holm

Jeff reported that the NSDI grant is still under consideration. Originally, the response was expected by the first week of July. The reply he now received is "sometime in July."

The outcome of the TIIAP grant, offered by the Department of Commerce, is now uncertain due to the situation at DOC reported earlier. Jeff stated that we will have to wait until October.

J. Federal Liaison, Larry Sugarbaker

Larry was unable to attend the meeting.

K. Closing Remarks

Steve gave an overview of upcoming events. He drew attention to the August and October meeting times changed due to a conflict.

Frank Marek announced that, due to changes in his organization, he has to resign from the Council. He is impressed with the progress of the Council in the 3 years he has participated.

Clare stated that she has not forgotten the guidelines on accessing data. She suggested that Council review what is to be accomplished by it.

Clare committed to doing another Ellensburg central site meeting. She would like to receive feedback about whether the issues have changed, and what problems have been encountered with the procedures put in place.

L. Adjournment

For information contact the GIC Coordinator
Jeff Holm--DIS
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Last updated: December 19, 1995