Washington State Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)

April 17, 1997 Meeting Minutes

Videoconference meeting originated from: Lacey, WA

Introduction & Site Welcome- Tom Nolan, WAGIC Chair

  • From Seattle, Tom Nolan welcomed members in Vancouver, Spokane, Pasco, Mount Vernon and Lacey. Tom chaired the meeting from Seattle, but most of the presentations originated from Lacey.

    Ben Gassaway (Vancouver) announced the appointment of Bob Pool to fill the GIS managers position left open by Matt Beckstead's departure. Ben is now looking for a new GIS analyst to fill Bob's old position. Anyone interested in this position can contact Ben Gassaway or Bob Pool at Clark County.

  • Legislative Update- Paul Taylor, Senior Policy Advisor, DIS

  • Update on bills from the last meeting:
  • Tom Nolan asked if bill 1721 might come back. Tom heard that it was in special study. Paul said that we will probably see this bill or one that looks like the original in the 1998 session.

    Tom asked if Paul has heard anything about SB6094 that deals with the Growth Management Act. Paul stated that currently it looks like the GIS language is no longer in the bills that passed out of committee.

    Paul checked on the status of amendments to the Growth Management act as it relates to cost recovery and GIS. There are provisions in these amendments that local jurisdictions may have to implement, but the amendments don’t speak directly to the systems or cost recovery, and there is no surviving language that reflects the place holder language that was circulated in January. (Update 4/27 - bill sent to Governor for signature).

    Planning Ballot Results and Next Steps- Jeff Holm, WAGIC Coordinator, DIS

  • At the Strategic Planning Workshop in December the planning group came up with 5 major project candidates. Through a balloting process WAGIC members indicated the two major projects they would like to focus on over the next 12 to 18 months. The members were given two votes to indicate their preference. Additionally, the Transitional Funding Recommendation was also on the ballot. Results of the voting were:

    The two Major Project Candidates receiving the most votes:

  • Transitional Funding Recommendation:

  • Next Steps for Major Projects:
    1. Fund the development of a Statewide Strategic Plan for the collection, maintenance and dissemination of Geospatial information.
  • A planning committee will be convened to provide definition for the plan and determine how to proceed. Criteria for this plan (as developed at the planning workshop) include:
    1. Continue to support framework activities.

      3.    Transitional Funding Method for the Council.

  • Voting Memberships
  • Sponsoring Organization $5, 000 & up
  • Supporting Organization $2, 000-4, 999
  • Associated Organization $500-1, 999
  • In May, member organizations will receive a letter asking if they would like to be billed and what level of membership they want their organization to participate at. Invoices will be generated based on the responses.

    Ian Von Essen (Spokane) suggested that the private sector should be involved in developing the strategic plan. Jeff Holm said that the private sector will be involved. Ian also suggested that the framework activity updates and results should be published on the internet (GIC Web site).

    WAGIC WebSite Plans:

    Tom Nolan Tom asked about the status of the GIC short-term web plans (as discussed at the last meeting). Jeff reminded everyone that a motion was passed at the February meeting to continue to work on several communication based activities - the Web site upgrade is one of those activities.

    Staff is working with WIT on the upgrade project which will include a new look and feel and new sections. Because of the limited resources our existing site has not been updated while the new site is being created. The new site should be available in the middle of May.

    A person commented that they would like to find current information about the bi-monthly meetings and directions to the WIT sites on the web site. The new Spokane site is not on the web site. Jeff said this information needs to be on the web site and he will make sure it is. (Update - see new web site http://www.wa.gov/gic for directions and maps to each of the video-conference sites).

    Report from Standard Sub-committee- Andy Norton, Puget Sound Regional Council

    The Standards Sub-committee has developed recommendations regarding file format standards for the transfer of GIS metadata. Andy Norton and Gordon Kennedy from the Standards Sub-committee are presented the proposal to the larger Council for adoption.


    1. The Council recognizes the advantages of portable, platform-independent metadata. We would like to be able to exchange our metadata around the state, and right now most of the formats are not compatible with each other.
    2. The Council recognizes that a predominance of Washington State organizations can create and use text-format data without significant additional investment.
    3. The Council encourages digital metadata exchange as part of the larger effort to create framework data for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Clearinghouse. We would like Washington’s metadata formats to be compatible with the Federal Clearinghouse format.
    4. The Council endorses the substance of the DRAFT Encoding Guideline for FGDC Metadata as published on the FGDC Clearinghouse web site, and encourages its adoption as a standard for the exchange of Geospatial metadata. (item 4 as orginally proposed, read on for ammendment)
    5. The Council recommends that FGDC clarify and strengthen their commitment to the Encoding Guideline by continuing support of the public domain metadata parser (mp), promoting the encoding standard, and offering training in its use.
    6. The Council recommends that ANSI or ISO standards covering Geospatial metadata exchange formats be carefully coordinated with FGDC encoding guidelines to prevent further substantive incompatibilities.
    7. The Council recommends that the Standards Work Group investigate development of a Geospatial Data Thesaurus to promote the discovery and use of GIS data in Washington State.

    It is important to note that this recommendation focuses on the physical format of metadata files (what file formats the metadata is saved and exchanged in). The intent is to facilitate the exchange of FGDC compliant metadata.

    The FGDC Clearinghouse nodes utilize three different types of metadata formats: 1) text, 2) HTML, and 3) SGML. The Standards Sub-committee believes that producing all three formats for Washington State is the way to go.

    The Standard Sub-committee requests that the GIC adopt these standards and send a letter to these agencies to show their support for these seven items.

    Responses and comments from membership:

    If the second half of item # 4 (and encourages its adoption as a standard) was taken out and the Council agrees to endorse the recommendations without this statement... would this be acceptable? Andy and Gordon responded that it would be acceptable.

    A motion was made to make the proposed change to item #4 and accept the amended proposal. The motion was seconded and passed.

    Andy Norton will draft suitable language for a letter from the WAGIC Chair and Administrator. Formal letters of adoption will be sent to appropriate FGDC agencies.

    Meeting Format Discussion - A Discussion about how we might utilize the video-conferencing time to improve workgroup participation.- Tom Nolan & Members

  • Tom stated that the council wants to make the meeting times as valuable as possible for all the members. One idea was to possibly have workgroup meetings during the bi-monthly meetings.
  • There are three active workgroups:
  • Local Government Workgroup
  • Standard Workgroup
  • Framework management workgroup

  • Discussion Question 1: What does everyone think of having workgroups meet at the bi-monthly meetings?
  • Discussion Question 2: If we were to do this at the next GIC meeting which workgroup would we like to spend time on (Standards vs Framework)?
  • Tom said we will tentatively schedule a working session for the framework workgroup for the next Council meeting.

    Council Business- Jeff Holm for Clare Donahue, Administrator the Council

  • Tom's first term as Chair of WAGIC is coming to the end in June. It is appropriate to entertain motions for a call for a voice vote to re-elect Tom for a second year. There was a motion and a second to call for a voice vote. Jeff called for the voice vote, and Tom was unanimously elected for a second term.

    Jeff suggested the Council may want to think about modifying the Bi-laws to make the Chairs elected term two years instead of the current one. Tom indicated that that kind of change may limit the number of people willing to serve as chair - a two year term may be too long of a committment for many potential candidates. A suggestion was made that it could be a two year term with the second year being optional. (Discussion was tabled to be taken up at a future meeting if necessary.)

  • Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) - GIS Update - Mike Grady, Chief Planner for Growth Management

  • The Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP), and Growth Management use to be in the same division but they are now separate components of CTED. The agency has purchased 2 Sun workstations, one in Historic Preservation and one in Growth Management.

    OAHP uses it's GIS to digitize and input information to track and monitor historical and cultural sites for tribes. They’ve worked close with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation and have gotten money from the Department of Defense to help with this effort. They are working closely with Growth Management on monitoring historic sites and structures, which relates to Growth Management, as one of the goals in the Growth Management Act is to try to preserve these historic structures. Growth Management is responsible for helping the local government develop the plans, reviewing the plans and providing technical assistance. They are monitoring Statewide whether or not the Growth Management Act is working.

    Where Growth Management is today:

    We have purchased a workstation and we have a person helping to get ArcInfo 7.1 up and running. We have access to all the information developed within the various Growth Management plans. Mike expects that in the next few weeks they will be able to aggregate data and physically produce a map.

    Through the legislative process they had some money in the budget to work with other natural resource agencies to share water resources information. The ideal was to share information dealing with land use, water use, critical areas in habitat from fish and wildlife, and water availability from the Department of Ecology, so when the Department of Ecology makes their decisions they are not doing so in a vacuum. At this point in time it is unclear whether this money will be in the budget. Internally they are dealing with indirect costs.

    Mike is looking for his IS staff to take a more active role in overseeing GIS applications into other CTED divisions. Their department distributes grants and loans for a large number of activities which need monitoring with a Geographic based format. The Public works trust fund is also a key player. Their program provides money for water, sewers, and roads infrastructure. Mike sees opportunities to apply GIS technology to help the agency track their investments statewide. In the next year or two Growth Management expects to be able to call up by jurisdiction levels of investments they have provided, and what the current activities and the results have been.

  • Nies Mapping Group, Inc. highlights their work with USGS and One Meter Orthophotos- John Meade, President of Nies Mapping Group (206) 869-4026 (See enclosed presentation)


  • Tom Nolan- Did Nies use a different plane, altitude or lens when they shot downtown Bellevue or Seattle? John said the scale of these photos was 1 to 30 thousand, and John does not believe this was an issue, so they did not use a different altitude. Projects are normally engineered by asking the question "what is the smallest thing that you want to see in the image and how accurately must that object be presented in terms of its real world coordinates". This data helps Nies engineer projects appropriately to scale. John has copies of the state of Washington map or brochures detailing the Seattle information. If anyone is interested call (206)869-4020 for this information.

    Andy Norton (PSRC)- Many of the Kitsap County members are interested in this kind of imagery. He asked John when would it be economically feasible for Nies mapping to do this area as well? John said if there were enough people who would license this data and utilize the data he would not have a problem doing this. John is interested in talking to those people in Kitsap County who are interested in this area. Andy stated that the Puget Sound Regional Council is already in contact with the Nies Mapping Group.

  • Closing Remarks- Tom Nolan

  • Round table visit of sites:

    .Adjournment: 12:00 pm - Next Meeting, June 19th, 10a.m.