GIC LogoWashington State Geographic Information Council

August, 1996 Meeting Minutes

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The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. From Lacey, Tom welcomed guests from the five other video conferencing sites: Seattle, Vancouver, Mt. Vernon, Pasco and Spokane.


Clare Donahue presented, Steve Hillesland, with a desk clock momento in appreciation for his two years of service with the GIC as its past Chair.

Tom noted a name correction in the last minutes under the sub-paragraph entitled "NWCAMA ACTIVITIES and CONFERENCE PARTNERSHIP." The speaker was listed incorrectly as Greg Selve. His name correctly spelled is Greg Selby.


Jeff Holm presented an overview of the software capabilities of the Geospatial Metadata Management System tool. Jeff presented a detailed breakdown of the software that covered the Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) Metadata Content Standard (MCS). This software was developed as an integral part of the 1995 GIC/NSDI grant project. The GMMS employs a graphical interface to the MCS hierarchical structure allowing the user a more intuitive method of navigating the standard and entering the metadata. The successful user of GMMS needs an understanding of the MCS - (The Green Workbook). MCS has its complexities but a useful tool like GMMS will support many organizations metadata collection efforts.

The GIC's metadata project group recognized a need to provide a migration path for those organizations who wanted to start describing their geospatial data holdings along FGDC's standards. To address this, the project group identified two subsets of the MCS that can serve as a migration path to eventual full FGDC compliance. Combined, there are roughly 70-80 "basic" and "working" elements in it that have been developed as part of this upgrade.

The Basic Level is intended to provide awareness of the existence of the data and some contact information; the Working Level is presented as a sparse minimum for managing and sharing of data. GMMS Ver 1.0 is a flexible tool that supports the collection of; Basic, Working and fully compliant FGDC's metadata.

Jeff Anderson from Snohomish County supported this tool in reference to capturing smaller and a different levels of metadata in its data sets. He also stated one needs only have a basic understanding of its application to support local business functions effectively.


Framework Data Activities Report - Rod Holeman (DNR)

Larry Sugarbaker and Ron Holeman have been involved with a group of approximately 40-50 people who are participating in framework activities and have been asked by the Federal Government to come together and look what they have proposed as framework guidelines. This group involves individuals from cities, counties, educational arenas, federal institutions, states, private GIS software vendors and others.

In the first of three meetings to date, the group reviewed framework documents FDGC put out. The meetings that followed action plans for technical tasks pertaining to framework for example write ups on integration of data within the theme of multi-organizations, developing incentives for participation in framework, business plan outline for framework activities, models for framework organization structures.

These works in progress will be wrapped up at the Seattle meeting on the 1st of September. An end result of these activities, hopefully, will be published in a handbook for framework activities and maybe come out as part of the bluebook Development of the National Digital Geospatial Data Framework will be updated with some of these ideas.

At the July 17 meeting held in Lacey, the Washington Framework Management Group reviewed the Cadasteral Framework proposal and the Street Center Line Framework proposal, which were the two grant requests that were developed, the Framework business plan, the Framework Vision for the State of Washington, and discussed the future continuation or disbanding of the Washington Framework Management Group . Unfortunately, information was received early on August 15 that neither were accepted. The group resolved that the WFM group would remain, meeting quarterly, focus on framework data activities, be opportunistic and be open to other efforts, and continue as an interim group. The next meeting of this group will be October 1 at the Puget Sound Regional Council. Contact telephone number for more information or to get on the mailing list is 360-902-1532.

Jay Clark: Nancy Tosta was contacted this morning by the USGS with regard to the Cadasteral and Transportation Framework proposals and was notified that 7 of the 17 grants that were proposed were funded. The reasoning behind the funding was the maturity in the development of the framework projects and the peculiar funding arrangement of our transportation package proposal. For future proposals DOT has offered to provide some assistance and other funding opportunities will present themselves in the future.

Rod Holeman: Discussion within the WFM regarding the possibilities of not receiving funding for these grants was held during the last meeting and all agreed that we would carry on with the matching funds that were available.

Standards Workgroup Activities - Joy Denkers

The standards workgroup has continued to meet on a monthly basis. At the August 7 meeting project progress reports were reported. The three projects are:

Project plans for these Standards Workkgroup activities are available at the GIC's Web Site (http//

Projected dates for completion of these three projects are within 18 months of their start dates.

Local Government Workgroup Activities - Robin Trenbeath

This group is still rewriting the outreach strategy and working on the conference planning. The group is working on a new appointment for a Southwest Region Coordinator. Currently working with local legislators in Snohomish County to educate them on GIS , what it is about and the upcoming conference. We hope to get some of their peers to attend the conference, it would be valuable. The next Local Government Group meeting is in the City of Spokane on September 11.

GIC BOOTH - Jeff Holm (Booth/Exhibit is set up in Lacey and 'on camera')

This is the booth that DIS put together for the GIC. We have had an opportunity to take it out on the road to the Association of Washington Counties meeting in July. Thanks to Steve Hillesland we were able to get a spot to put the booth up and talk about the GIC.

It was interesting to take the booth out in the field, by and large the folks at that meeting were elected officials at the County level, their interest in GIS/GIC is a little different than I imagined, but the booth was very helpful in talking about what the GIC does and why they might be interested in it. A general overview, the walls of the booth measure ten feet by eight feet, there are lights across the top, and the graphics are mounted on velcro. The booth can be tailored to a particular audience. The wall of the booth fits inside two containers that are wheeled together, so it is fairly portable. The one thing that I did not put up was the two pedestals that stand in front of the booth. One pedestal holds a VCR/ monitor combination that allows us to play a continuous looped GIC video.

On the other pedestal we had a PC hooked to the internet featuring the GIC internet site. These were quite popular at the Washington Association of Counties meeting. We expect the exhibit to be at the October ARCINFO Users Conference. Plus, we had some handouts that we make available to the people. Some utilities for the Metadata collection. We would like to make people aware of Metadata guidelines and the revisions they are going through right now.

We expect to have the exhibit up at the November conference. There will be focus on a membership drive for the GIC. The booth has been a useful tool and we would like to let the people know that if they are attending a conference and are interested in promoting the GIC ad we can make the booth available or parts of the booth available. We are scheduling through the WIT Communications Group and the contact person for that is Donna Wells.

Steve: I just wanted to comment on the feedback I received form people who attended the conference. They were drawn to the booth, enjoyed the video, and liked talking with you. So it worked really well.

Jeff: This is another piece of the outreach strategy the Local Government Workgroup has been working on. It's going to be real effective. It is going to be up to us to make use of it. It is a DIS asset and there will be other usage. I think with early notice we can make it available.

Robin: I have a couple of ideas that I would like to talk to you about off-line: October 2 is the Association of County Officials and also the Association of County and City Information Systems is meeting October 24 and 25

Tom: The theme- I think there's a lot more to it than just sharing DIS data. What do you think about it?

Jeff: There is more to the GIC than sharing data, but it was one of the major focuses that we came up with at the Strategic Planning Sessions last year. The emphasis will be changed over time, after we get a sense of what kind of vehicle we really have. Then we would certainly be in a position to change the content.

VENDOR PRESENTATION - Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. -ESRI - Scott Royer and David Buckland

Scott Royer, an ESRI representative and colleague of David Buckland presented ESRI's new MapObjects development tools.

What is MapObjects? It is a very new tool.

Contains only about 40% of the functionality of ArcView but simple. Is approximately 40K in size. Creates applications with minimal learning curve.

MapObjects Features

What Can It Do?

What Do You Need To Use It?

ArcView vs MapObjects

A "timed-out" version evaluation copy is available at a cost of $120.00 available in mid to late December. It can be ordered through the 800 line (800-GIS-XPRT). That will include a full copy of MapObjects. This is a cost effective way to take a look at it. All of the information that was featured here is on our web site (

For more information about MapObjects of other ESRI products and services contact: David Buckland (Olympia Office) (360) 754-4727

Jeff Anderson: Snohomish County is excited with the prospect of using MapObjects since it fits in with ESRI's plans with using JAVA, but admits to facing a large challenge of upgrading their 1200+ PC network from 286, 386 and 486 machines to meet the 32 bit operating system requirements for this program. They believe that they are not the only entity facing this challenge.

Ion: After purchasing 50 client license kits and developing several applications over the last couple of weeks on a Pentium Pro, we found the response time to be exceptionally quick by reporting information in 5 second intervals.

Vancouver reported that they are in the process of converting a 120 PC's from ArchView to MapObjects due to the fact that they also agree to the quick response time and they appreciate the layout of information.

Tom Nolan: We've looked at MapObjects at the city too. The city appreciates the level of customer service support of this software noting a strong selling point to be its linkage to STD. On the downside the pricing schemes are not clear. To try to remain impartial , the GIC offers to other vendors equal time in presenting similar software packages.


The dates and location of the 1st Annual Washington State GIC Conference is November 21-22, 1996, at the Bell Harbor, Port of Seattle area. We have, at this point, invited four keynoters. Mayor Norm Rice, Charlie Fitzpatrick, Nancy Tosta, and Joel Morrison.

Our emphasis is to provide content that's not being duplicated with all other GIS conferences. There is a significant emphasis on educators in the use of GIS technology in the classroom. There are several people who are working on that track, Ron Cihon from DOT, Sandra Barr from DNR, and Cal Van Zee from Eden Systems. Another major track that are being addressed at the conference is a track that addresses startup GIS efforts.. The other two areas that we are emphasizing are data sharing and that's going to focus heavily on workshops that the FDGC's committed to putting on for us. Specifically another Metadata workshop, how to set up a Clearinghouse Node on the internet workshop, Framework Data Layer Workshop that we will tailor to not only what's going on the national level, but what's going on with the Washington State Framework Management Group. The Census Bureau is going to present an overview of Census 2000, but maybe more importantly they are going to provide workshops on the cooperative efforts they have underway right now to update the Tiger Line Files and the Master Address Files. These are two components that need to be updated and accurate to ensure an accurate census in the year 2000. And as many of you know, the work gets done at the local jurisdiction level. It will be a great opportunity for local jurisdictions to get a heads up of the kinds of things they could be doing right now to ensure an accurate census. The census count is important for a variety of reasons. There are Federal funds and some state funds that are allocated based on census data. If there is an under count that can impact a jurisdiction financially.

So, we, talked about the K-20 educators. The group we are focusing on are from kindergarten to higher education. The evening of the 21st there is a two hour program focused on how some Seattle are K-12 programs have successfully integrated GIS programs into science, sociology, and environmental programs. This should be a real interest for educators and GIS practitioners in the field. Although there's not a hidden agenda here with the educators focus, I think we can all see the advantage in using this technology and having some understanding in the general populous of what this technology is and how it is used. One of the other major features of the conference is that there will be a hands on lab set up with 10 to 12 network desktop machines that will be available for the various tracks to demonstrate and actually use the GIS software. I might tell you that there are six time slots, four of them are already filled up , so if any one is interested in providing/presenting at the conference particularly in terms of startup of GIS and GIS in the classroom. If you are interested in this you need to talk with Betty Marshall or Ron Cihon from the DOT. I'd be glad to get you these numbers. There will also be opportunities for vendors and state and local GIS programs to exhibit information about their products and services. Joy Denkers (Ecology) is in charge of that program. You can anticipate getting a flyer. They should be out near the end of next week. We have room for roughly 25 vendors and programs.

NWCAMA has been fairly pivotal in our planning process. Betty Marshall has been involved with our planning committee since very early on. She's been able to bring several other NWCAMA people on board. I mentioned Cal Van Zee is very involved with the educational program.

NWCAMA was considering a formal financial involvement in the Conference. This is a decision their board would have to make and there's some real challenges relative to that. There was a presentation made to the NWCAMA board and their vote suggested they would not be involved financially. We're interested in having involvement in the group by providing staff resources to help produce this. It's a significant contribution because they have done this before. GIC has people who have been involved in conference production before, but the GIC has not done this kind of thing before. We welcome NWCAMA's involvement.

The sheet I've been using for notes is the initial flyer that's going out about the conference. It will be going out the same time as the call for exhibitors material.

We are using a variety of mail lists. Let me apologize in advance if you get more than one copy of this, we are going to make an extra effort to manually remove duplicates. People have been very supportive in letting us use their mail lists. The initial distribution of the flyers will be 2000. There was an offer made from National stating if GIC will send 1000 flyers and they will distribute them.

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 12 noon.

Next Meeting: October 17th.