GIC LogoWashington State Geographic Information Council

June, 1996 Meeting Minutes

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The meeting began at 1:30 p.m. in Lacey, Tom welcomed guests from five other video conferencing sites: Mount Vernon, Pasco, Seattle, Spokane, and Vancouver.

GIC Video Presentation - Jeff Holm

The new GIC promotional video titled "The Newest Frontier" was prepared in a storytelling format by WIT for an audience of people who did not understand GIS technology and for people not aware of GIC. It has been well received by reviewing parties. Key players involved in its production were WIT, DNR, and ESRI. Members interested in checking out a copy of the video need to call or send an Email to Jeff Holm. He will send a copy of the video with a survey and return postage.

Clare Donahue, the executive producer of the video, stated that they had great cooperation from the Tenino Train Museum. In reciprocation of the museum efforts, a video was made of the artifacts at the museum and was placed on a long lasting tape for their archives.


Greg Selbe described NWCAMA membership as a group that includes education and GIS service providers. NWCAMA has formal and informal affiliations with URISA, WAGIC, and AMFM International. Of particular interest to the GIC is the anticipated partnership with NWCAMA to produce the November Washington State GIS '96 Conference.

Member and membership communications can be found on the NWCAMA homepage in a newsletter format. Vendor information is published through an outline directory with links built into their pages.

Mr. Cal Van Zee (NWCAMA) made a few remarks about NWCAMA involvement in conference planning to date. He stated that there was a meeting of the Education track committee preceding this one regarding the Washington State GIS '96 Conference in November.

The Thursday evening Education night events will include K-20 programs to discuss and demonstrate what is currently being done in the academic arena. Charlie Fitzpatrick ESRI Director of Educational Support Programs is a potential keynoter for the Education track at the November conference.


Standards workgroup - Joy Denkers (Ecology)

The Standards Workgroup has been moving along and are continuing work on three projects. The three projects are:

Chair Tom Nolan mentioned that the issue may not be one of the use of a standard platform rather, one of using platforms that support a community of export/import methods for exchanging geospatial data. Joy Denkers responded that the Standards workgroups was looking at this issue.

At Mt. Vernon, Don Eginton from Snohomish County stated that they are about to release their production version of a GIS Starter Kit. This is a GIS tool that includes data and data viewing package that Snohomish county is making available on CD-ROM. The kit includes a run-time version of ARCVIEW II and many of the more requested data themes for Snohomish County. Don noted that the Snohomish County product was built on some original work by Pierce County.

Jeff Holm indicated he has some experience with the a beta version of the Starter Kit and stated he was impressed with the ease of use and the variety of included data.

FRAMEWORK REPORT - Jeff Holm (DIS) for Larry Sugarbaker.

On June 2, 1996, a meeting was held at the Olympic National Forest Headquarters in Olympia. Representation was very good with 28 entities present which included State, Federal, Local and Private groups. One of the principal outcomes of the meeting was an agreement to put a grant proposal together to create a Framework demonstration project.

Subsequent to the June 2nd meeting a grant proposal was created by Ron Holeman (DNR) Andy Norton (PSRC) and Jeff Holm (DIS). The Framework activities grant seeks $125,000 of Federal funds to put a demonstration project together that will focus on creating a process for, and implementing, a Cadastral framework data layer for the State of Washington. (Copy of the proposal is available at

One of the challenges with the framework initiative is putting together a series of agreements between various jurisdictional levels within the State to collect, distribute, and maintain these data themes. Named partners in the proposal include: DNR, PSRC, DIS, Clark County, City of Seattle, King County, Snohomish County, Bureau of Land Management, Spokane County, Weyerhaeuser, along with anticipated smaller partners to be brought in later in the process using funding that has been set aside.

Don Eginton (Snohomish County) indicated they are very interested in working through the challenges involved in creating state wide data layers. Cities and counties are interested in street centerline layer and cadastral layer accuracy on data sets and integrating these layers to the State and the Federal level. He also see potential cost savings associated with finding a way of coordinating the maintenance of these layers across jurisdictions.

Tom Nolan noted that they have a good relationship with King County in maintaining their parcel layer. He stated that their goal was not to put it all together in one mega-data set but to look closer at how much connection for street center line files for emergency response is really needed for a happy and peaceful union.

Jay Clark (PSRC) in Seattle indicated that PSRC and King County had also submitted a Framework demonstration project proposal. Their proposal is to create a Transportation Framework layer for the Puget Sound Region. Andy Norton asked if the Puget Sound Regional Council, which represents four counties in our region, i.e., Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, and King, transportation proposal might compete with the cadastral proposal. (The US Census Bureau and State Department of Transportation are also involved.) The consensus was that these are complementary proposals and if successful will serve as a launching vehicle to put Washington state well on it's way to creation of a statewide framework initiative.

Tom Nolan added that they are also involved. He stated that It's similar to graphic data versus the tabular data. People in Seattle question maintaining the traffic signal information when linkage is the key rather than scrambling the data together. Tom stated that they are interested in a different approach in getting there.

Jay Clark introduced a new member, Nancy Tosta (not in attendance), who will begin working on July 15. Along with GIS, her role will include transportation growth management issues. GIS is going to be a tool that she is advocating to use. Nancy Tosta will want to see some of these data sets at a more regional focus than just at a microscopic focus in and around the area.


Robin introduced Representative Val Stevens. Val Stevens replied that she was on a learning curve that was "straight up" but that she looking forward to learning more about the council. Tom Nolan commented that what decision makers and elected officials like about the GIS is that it forms a common bond.

Robin Trenbreath began with Local Government Workgroup information. At the Wenatchee planning session, the group looked at several different subjects that they wanted to work on including the November Washington State GIS '96 Conference, moving the GI Council to various sites, the GIC video, and the rewriting of the outreach strategy answering the question of how the GIS fits into the business perspective of the clients Local Government serves. The next meeting of the Local Government Workgroup is July 12 at 10:30 am at Snohomish County in Robin's office. Everyone is invited to attend.


Lynn Singleton - Washington State Department of Ecology

Lynn presented information on integrating their information systems. It's an agency wide initiative that involves many of their IT systems and reflects on how their GIS are being impacted by the integration activity.

The Department Of Ecology, like many organizations, has maintained its organization along programmatic boundaries and historically implemented it's GIS along those boundaries.

The business drivers boil down to having Ecology's programmatic information accessible by geography so that they could tie activities to places in the state. What this does is reemphasizes the need for DOE to invest in integrated GIS as it never has done before and it places an emphasis to partner as we've never had to before.

Ecology's GIS information is used in decision making and regulatory reform activities. They anticipate that there will be increasing need to answer environmental questions that have statewide or regional impacts that push the limits of the current program focused GIS . Consequently they expect that the IT integration efforts will help them deal with those kinds questions in the future.

Lynn indicated that he sees a renewed interest on part of U.S. Dept of Ecology to partner with state and local entities in watershed and hydrology related data activities. This might represent an opportunity for the GIC to get the regional office involved with statewide framework efforts.

Robert E. Lee Phd. - Green River Community College

Next, Bob Lee opened his presentation by recapping his background in program development at Green River Community College and in working with Gray's Harbor College developing rationale to connect research and forestry for grant funding.

Bob related that in his experience GIS requests of educational institutions fall along the following lines:


The following educational objectives address these needs


Today's Situation:

Green River Community College model

Gray's Harbor Community College model

To get to this level, corporations and industry involved at the community college level need to work together with support in training at that level, as well as, at the commercial and industrial levels. The GIC could be one of those organizations that is a central peg and an influence in the entire region up to the State level.. Right now, there is no coordination because no one has taken the initiative. What we do today will measurably effect or not effect what happens to GIS in the future.

One of the tracks of the November Washington State GIS '96 Conference (will be in education. Educators who have had and have given intensive training to others will meet there in a forum format will need to address that question. Managers in the field who have solved business level problems concerning this issue will also be present. This will be the opportunity to get the two groups together to answer the question of how our educational arrangement in this state is addressing those problems. They will also be able to spend some time on how we can do a better job in coordinating the education to meet the business needs.

Bob continued by stating that he did not see the council coordinating training but more as a forum within the region or state boundaries that would encourage GIS training in a variety of organizations, a variety of institutions to meet a variety of needs.

Robin Trenbreath from Mt. Vernon talked about an educational workgroup under the GIC format being available at the November Washington State GIS '96 Conference to develop some strategies to deal with such a situation.

Tom Nolan concurred, stating the speed at which this industry has been moving. He stated there is a need for more training for people to learn how to apply GIS within their field including those occasional users as part of the program. Prospective students would include neophytes as well as a large number of well educated with vast backgrounds.

Ion Van Esson from Spokane added that at a recent Palm Springs conference, the attendees were excited about the new technologies and in training in all of the arenas.


GIS's technical services group has been sharing information over the last year.

The group was formed in 1994 and provides mapping and analysis assistance to various groups and organizations. Within Ecology, GIS technology is used widely in support of the agency's geographic based approach to environmental management. Staff expertise combined is a total of 30 years of direct experience with ESRI's ARC/INFO software. This experience includes project and data management, programming and applications development, spatial analysis and modeling, user training and cartographic design. Examples of some of the environmental projects are the contaminant Plume modeling for Hanford Environmental clean up, Standard Automation Procedures for Updating USGS Land use/Land cover data, statewide dairy farm layer creation, and GIS Data naming standards and technical standards. In addition, DOE has been doing a multi-year Stillaguamish wetlands restoration and feasibility study (EPA/Ecology), a 1995 Environmental equity study for Washington State, and Archive applications development for facility/site database and training documentation.

Hardware/software needed for these activities include:

In the area of Standards Development:

In the area of Data Distribution:

In the area of Applications Integration:

In Site Sample Selection:

In Environmental Justice:

With Standardization:

In Applications Development:

In Mechanism of Assistance:

For more information, brochures are available by contacting Joy Denkers at 360-407-7128.


August 15th at the six various locations from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

MEETING ADJOURNED - 3:30 p.m. Tom Nolan, GIC Chair.