GIC LogoWashington State Geographic Information Council

February, 1996 Meeting Minutes

February 15th, 1996 10:00am - 12:00pm

The GIC Home Page is at:


The meeting began at 10:00 AM. From Lacey, Steve welcomed guests from the other WIT video conference sites in: Vancouver, Spokane, Seattle, Pasco and Mt. Vernon.

It was announced that Mike Brackett has stepped down from his position as GI Council Coordinator. Steve expressed thanks on behalf of the Council for Mike's efforts as coordinator, and asked the Council to welcome Jeff Holm as the new coordinator.


The Council went through the process of formally adopting the updated GIC Purpose and Goals statements. The updated statements reflect the Council's desire to move to the next level of effectiveness in coordinating and facilitating the use of GIS technologies and were developed at the strategic planning sessions held late last year in Wenatchee and Spokane. These revisions are captured in Articles Two and Three of the GIC Bylaws. The text of the adopted changes was circulated to Council membership in the January '96 mailing.

Steve read the statement aloud and invited comments from those present. Following a brief discussion, a motion was made to formally adopt the updated GIC Purpose and Goals Statement. It was seconded and unanimously approved. The current bylaws will be so amended.


Standards - Joy Denkers

The Standards work group has met twice since the last council meeting. At their last meeting they identified the following goals which they expect to focus on over the next 18 months:

Following their last meeting, it came to Joy's attention that several members had not received the hard copies of the meeting minutes which had been mailed. In addition to re-mailing the minutes, the group decided to focus on their goal to publish the meeting minutes on GIC Home Page.

Steve commended the Standards work group's use of the Home Page. Jeff Holm has created a place for work group meeting minutes on the GIC Web site and has offered to post the minutes as long as they are provided in a Word or Word Perfect format.

GPS Liasion for Council - Dave Steele

Dave attended the GPS Users Group meeting in Portland on January 16th. They combined their meeting with State of Oregon GPS users group and agreed to cooperate in their efforts towards publishing a GPS resource directory. The first step was to send 150 questionnaires. The mail list included; private companies, vendors, local government, state and federal agencies, tribal groups and educational institutions.

The purpose of the survey is to establish an inventory of GPS capabilities within the surveyed group with particular focus on Community Base Stations and/or Continuous Operating Reference Stations (CORS). After the questionnaire results are compiled, and a GPS resource directory is completed, the GPS User Group plans to publish their data on the Internet.

In the interim, the GIC is publishing some preliminary CORS information on its Web site at: .

The next GPS Users meeting will be held April 16th, at the Washington State DOT materials lab in Olympia. Dave reminded everyone that the meeting minutes from this and future GPS Users Group meetings will be made available on the GIC Home Pages.

Local Government - Robin Trenbeath

The next Local Government work group meeting will be held on March 1st at the County Road Administration Board (CRAB).

TECHNICAL PRESENTATION - Marie Mills and Shari Schaftlein of Washington State Department of Transportation

Marie presented an overview of a grant project that DOT is initiating that will create an ARCINFO database for Washington State for:

Marie indicated that they are early in the first phase of what they expect will be a three phase project. She's interested in making contact with others in the Council that may have similar projects underway or know of existing data sources.

The project focus is on DOT's needs, but they are very interested in obtaining input from state and federal agencies, and from private companies as well.

Marie stated that some data exists in a digital format, but she'll look at any data resources she can obtain, and will upgrade the format if necessary. Joy Denkers stated that similar work has been started by Department of Ecology, and they would be interested in comparing data and possibly working together on a project.

Tom Storm indicated that the USGS water office in Tacoma could provide some good resources regarding sensitive water areas throughout the State of Washington, and Marie agreed that, time permitting, she would like to include the entire state in her study.

Shari Schaftlein indicated that she hopes that this proves to be a successful collaborative effort between DOT and other state agencies. She is eager to obtain information about other agency's needs for ground water data as they develop their priorities on projects.


Jeff spoke briefly about the need for a GIC List Serve Administrator. Several months ago, DIS made an offer to set up GIC List Serve (Internet based e-mail discussion group for the GIC). The list needs an administrator. Jim Cooper of Benton County had offered to take on this project, but has recently changed job status and is unavailable. Ann Bregent offered to serve in the capacity of GIC List Serve Administrator. Jeff and Ann will get together to work out the details and announce how to 'subscribe' to the list at the next GIC meeting.


Steve announced that his term as GIC Chair is ending effective April 1996. Robin Trenbeath agreed to chair a nomination committee; Carey Anderson and Larry Sugarbaker agreed to participate as well. Nominations will be submitted to Robin via E-mail or mail prior to March 6th (there will be a place on ballots for write-in candidates). Steve reminded the members that the Council Chair doesn't have to be from Lacey or Olympia, and also doesn't have to come to the Olympia area to run the meetings.

Subsequently, ballots will be prepared and mailed to voting members prior to the April GIC meeting. Ballots will be collected at the various WIT sites and the results will be announced during the April meeting.


Steve asked for an informal, impromptu update from Tom Nolan at the Seattle site.

Tom gave the following recap:

REPORT FROM 2/1/96 PLANNING SESSION - Steve Hillesland and Jeff Holm

1. GIC Funding Opportunities - The issue of funding opportunities has been discussed at each of the two strategic planning sessions held in October and December. The Council is a volunteer organization with no other source of funds. It exists solely by the willingness of the participants who support it. DIS will continue to support the Council. Steve pointed out that it is appropriate for the GIC to take a look at long term funding options to ensure its viability.

The purpose of the discussion at the 2/1 planning session was to identify funding opportunities, realizing that there is a long term goal and approach, as well as things that can be done short term.

Due to the time constraints of a brief meeting, the goal was not to review all the issues and possibilities, but only to begin a discussion. The bottom line is that GIC needs to put together an ad hoc committee to specifically address this topic, review various options, and make recommendations on how best to proceed.

Several ideas were put on the table for future discussion:

1. Implement voluntary sponsorship fees based on a tiered structure, with 3-4 tiers of sponsorship levels:

2. Apply for more grants.

3. Legislative appropriations

The Council also recognizes the need to make people aware of what GIC has done and what it plans to do. There are activities underway right now to spread that word, but there is not currently a coherent marketing plan. To be effective in dealing with GIC funding opportunities, the Council will want to be able to articulate the benefits of belonging to the organization and supporting it. Additionally, the council will need to have a plan for how the funds will be used.

Some concerns were expressed about soliciting funds, what kind of money it takes to keep GIC operating, and whether the structure of an organization could be changed by contributing a huge donation. Many organizations can budget for it, and now is the time to address this issue since budgets are being prepared at this time.

DIS estimates that it's GIC support costs run approximately $100,000 per year. Costs include video conferencing, cost of sites, staff support, administrative services, annual events, GIC video etc. Clare expressed the need for at least $100-150,000 to keep it going, and to do it right. The ultimate goal is to secure a reliable source of funding to enable GIC to carry out its objectives.

Steve asked for volunteers to join a workgroup to tackle this funding issue. There is a tentative meeting set for April 9, from 10-2 at the Natural Resources building. Additional information will be sent in the next couple of weeks.

2. GIC Statewide GIS Conference -

This portion of the February 1st discussion centered around the possibility of GIC sponsoring a statewide GIS conference.

DNR has sponsored their own GIS fair for the last several years, which have been well attended and of excellent quality. It has been a 2 day affair which featured GIS poster topics the first day; the 2nd day focused on users groups. Larry Sugarbaker offered to partner with GIC to sponsor a similar affair this year. Clare Donahue offered to arrange for funding from DIS for such an event. It was agreed that the GIC should sponsor at least a 1 day event to include state agencies and local government groups which are interested in participating. Other areas to be discussed are:

It was decided after a brief discussion about location and timing, that the event would be held sometime in November 1996, and would be more successful and easier to plan if it was held "close to home" in Olympia, Tacoma or even Seattle.

Sandra Barr (DNR) and Jeff Holm (DIS) volunteered to head up a committee to create a statewide GIC event proposal by mid-March, to be distributed and posted on the Internet site. Those members viewing today's conference via satellite who are interested in participating on the planning committee were urged to do so.


Steve asked for another informal update, this time from Ken Palmer at the Spokane site. Ken's recap is as follows:

Ken asked about the rumor going around regarding CD data.

Larry Sugarbaker stated that it's not a rumor, it's really happening. It has been quite successful, however there are doubts about mass producing on CD's because of the difficulty in keeping data current. There is also a concern over the difference in required formats.

Tom Nolan in Seattle stated that they published CD data last year, but they didn't stockpile it in order to keep it current. They found that over 70% of the business chose CD as the preferred format. Tom encouraged anyone to contact him if they'd like more information.


Steve asked Tom Sturm from the US Geological Survey to give an informal update on what was new. Tom stated that he was glad to see the NSDI development, and emphasized that the 1996 NSDI program is out, and encouraged people to contact him directly if interested in a cooperative agreement application. Larry Sugarbaker noted that the Council is particularly enjoying Tom's GIC participation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS - Steve Hillesland

1. The next GIC meeting will originate in Vancouver, WA on April 18, 1996.

2. Please take a look at the Home Page and provide feedback or suggestions.

ADJOURNMENT - Steve Hillesland

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 AM