Washington State Geographic Information
August 21, 1997 Meeting Minutes
Videoconference meeting originated from: Lacey, WA
Introductions, Tom Nolan, WAGIC Chair
From Seattle, Tom Nolan welcomed members viewing this meeting
from Mount Vernon, Pasco, Spokane, Lacey, and Vancouver.
Department of Fish & Wildlife update on the awarded NSDI
grant for the development of a Biological Clearinghouse Node, Jim Eby, Dept. of Fish &
The Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has made a decision to
become more involved with the WAGIC. Currently GIS in the agency is highly decentralized,
as they have four or five centers of GIS activities. Jim Eby said he views his role
as being a coordination point and communication facilitator for DFW and the WAGIC. He is
looking forward to working with the council and he said people could contact him if they
have any questions about GIS at DFW. (360-902-2512,email@example.com)
The Department has been awarded an NSDI grant for the activity of creating a
biological clearinghouse node. DFW is initiating this activity in October, and they want
to become part of the existing clearinghouse node activity already initiated by WAGIC and
DIS. Jeff Holm (DIS, WAGIC Coordinator) told Jim that the WAGIC would look for ways
to coordinate with DFW in this effort.
ESRI Introduction and Product Update, Eric Bishop, ESRI
Eric Bishop is the new Washington State sales representative
for ESRI. Also with him at the meeting was Julie Keller, a new inside sales ESRI
Eric announced that the
Northwest Arch Info Users Group conference will be held in Seattle on October 7-10, 1997.
On the 7th there is a pre-conference workshop on Internet mapping. This workshop will show
how the ESRI Tool Kit can be used for mapping, plus case studies from users in the
community and snapshots of the users codes or applications. People can learn more
about this conference by accessing the Conferences Web site
www.pan.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/gis/home/html, or you can e-mail Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESRI is expecting 400-600 people from the user community to attend the conference and they
plan on registering approximately 26 vendors.
Eric mentioned that ESRI is considering holding some Spatial
Database Engine (SDE) Seminars around the Northwest. These seminars would cover areas such
as the integration of ESRI technology and the new technology of map objects (VB
programming & Arch Info 7.1.2).
Eric asked for feedback from the WAGIC concerning the NW Arch
Info Users Group Conference and the possible SDE Conferences.
Jeff and Tom have asked John Schlosser (Schlosser,
Inc.) to come talk to the WAGIC about map info at their next meeting in October. The
Council welcomes the opportunity to learn more about the products and services offered by
- Jeff Holm said he would put a link on the WAGIC Homepage to
the NW Arch Info User Group Conference sight for anyone who wants to learn more about the
- Tom Nolan said the SDE seminars are very good idea, but he
recommended expanding the conferences to some of the other WAGIC sites in Washington
(possibly Pasco or Mount Vernon).
- Don Eginton (Snohomish County) said he appreciated that Eric
came to Snohomish County and introduced himself. Snohomish County is concerned about
getting enough software maintenance support from ESRI. They would appreciate it if Eric
can continue to come to the different sites and provide his support.
- Larry Sugarbaker (Dept. of Natural Resources) mentioned that
DNR likes that ESRI keeps coming out with new products. But because ESRI is continually
developing new products the issue of migration is a large concern for many people. Larry
suggested that ESRI answer the question what migration strategies do people need in
order to move forward with the new technologies that keep coming out?, at the
conferences. Larry also added that SDE is a big move for many of ESRIs
- Eric commented that ESRI a paper topic for the NW Users Group
Conference is focused on the issue of migration. This topic will cover migration of new
technologies as well as migration from Unix to NT or how customers integrate traditional
AML applications into the new environment. Eric said ESRI is addressing this issue,
but what he heard at this WAGIC Council meeting is that people would like a specific
seminar focused on the issue of where are we going and how do all these technologies
fit together. Tom Nolan said this statement is correct. People would like to
hear specifically from ESRI how all these technologies fit together.
- Ian Von Essen (Spokane) said when he attended the San Diego
conference he was surprised by all the 3rd party vendors developing products. He would
like to see some of these 3rd party developers participate as vendors at the NW Users
Group Conference. Eric is trying to get representation of these vendors at the conference
and he is really trying to make people aware of the 3rd party vendors.
Discuss ideas on how to continue to improve the Local Government
Workgroup (LGW) meetings, Tom Nolan and Jeff Holm
Steve Hillesland, the Interim Chair of the LGW, was not able
to attend this meeting, so Jeff Holm and Tom Nolan will facilitate the discussion.
Jeff Holm stated that Steve will probably not be able to travel to the
extent that Robin was able to for the LGW meetings. Jeff asked the local
jurisdictions if they felt it is necessary for the chair to travel around the state for
the meetings. Because if people believe it is important for the chair to travel a proposal
could be made that some of the travel expenses be paid with WAGIC funds from the new
funding program. Jeff recommended that the council also discuss the following
issues: How can we make use of the local government forum to expose some of the GIS
issues that are specific to local government, and then use the forum to resolve these
issue? Plus, how can the WAGIC get more local jurisdiction involvement for the
Feedback on these issues:
- Don Eginton asked what the goals and objectives are for this
group. Don spoke with Betty Marshall from the URISA organization, and Betty said
URISA is beginning to focus more on local and regional government issues pertaining to GIS
information across the state. Don mentioned that there may be an opportunity for
the WAGIC to partner with URISA to work on the regional and local issue and with the GIS
- Randy Mills (Pasco) said he likes the idea of moving the LGW
meetings around the state. Randy would like a committee representative (either the chair
or a workgroup member) present at all the meetings as an outreach from the WAGIC.
- Tom Nolan stated he heard in this discussion that the
meeting topics should be connected to the larger WAGIC topics in order to maintain a
regional approach in connection to the federal issues. Plus, the Council would like to
have one individual who is present at all the LGW meetings so this person can provide
consistency to the meetings.
- Tom asked what the frequency of the meetings should be.
- Randy Mills said that in the past they have had one meeting a
year at each location (4 meetings total). Tom thought that four meeting a year was
probably the most realistic.
- A comment was made in Mount Vernon that most of the people in Mount
Vernon have not had a lot of experience with the LGW. They like the idea of having a
meeting in Everett so more people from Mount Vernon can attend and get involved in the
- Ian Von Essen stated that the council has 2 choices: 1)
Continue traveling around the state and look at funding the traveling or 2) set aside part
of the WAGIC meetings to do a round table discussion. Each region has there own agenda so
he thinks the traveling is an important component, but if traveling is not feasible the
Council should have round table discussions at the WAGIC meetings.
- Tom Nolan liked the idea of having the LGW participate at the
bi-monthly WAGIC meetings in a round table forum, and he would like to see this happen
more than once a year.
Jeff recommended getting all this information to Steve and
then putting together a letter about what we can do to improve the local government
workgroup meetings. Tom, Jeff and Steve will put this information together for the
workgroup. (reference to the enclosed LGW
Summit meeting Flyer)
- Jeff Holm mentioned that he has been working with David Read
and Andrew Kinney to resurrect the Peninsula Regional Workgroup. Jeff has been
pleased with the attendance at the quarterly meetings. These meetings have been a nice
forum for people to exchange information about how they are resolving technical problems
and share the applications they develop. Jeff would like to try to integrate the
Peninsula workgroup with the larger WAGIC council and the LGW. Jeff recognized that
traveling was an important component of the LGW meetings, and he reinforced the idea of
using a part of the bi-monthly WAGIC meetings for LGW discussions.
Randy Mills asked if they
could discuss this issue at the next LGW meeting in Spokane next month (September).
Someone asked if this meeting was still going to occur. Jeff will follow up with Steve to
see if this meeting is going to be held.
GIC '98 Conference Possibilities, Tom Nolan
The Council made a previous decision to hold the GIS conference every
other year instead of yearly. Tom said that he has received many inquiries from
people that are interested in participating in the next WAGIC conference.
Tom asked the Council three questions:
Jeff Holm mentioned that the Council had been approached by
the newly forming Washington State URISA about partnering with them to hold a conference
in the Spring. Jeff stated that it takes a lot of work and a commitment from a
minimum of 6 or 7 organizations to put together a successful conference. He mentioned that
the benefit of partnering with URISA is that we could spread the workload out. Jeff asked
what other people thought about having a Spring 98 conference.
- Should the Council have a WAGIC conference in the Spring of 98?
- Should the WAGIC work with WA State URISA to run a Spring 98
- Where should the WAGIC conference be held?
Tom Nolan asked what the goal of the conference should.
- An individual from Mount Vernon said they found the conference last
year very useful. They like the idea of combining the WAGIC and URISA into one conference
because it would be difficult attending both a WAGIC and URISA conference in one year.
Plus, it would help spread the workload out for both groups.
- Randy Mills said the members in Pasco would like to see
the WAGIC hold a conference next year. But, he doesnt think Pasco will be able to
help support the conference.
Anyone who is interested in being involved in the conference planning
and coordinating should contact Tom or Jeff.
- Randy stated he would like to see what agencies in the state
doing with GIS and what the status of GIS is in Washington. He did not think the
conference should be specifically education oriented. Tom agreed that the
conference should not be just education oriented, though education still is an important
aspect of GIS and the conference.
- Larry Sugarbaker mentioned he would like to see another GIS
conference and he recommended that the WAGIC work with URISA to put on the conference
because the two groups have the same interest. He made the point that Spring 98 is
coming up very soon, so we should meet with URISA within the month to see what their
interest is in having the conference. If it is a go a sight must be secured as soon as
possible. Jeff Holm said he would contact Betty Marshall from NW URISA to arrange a
meeting. Jeff reminded people that the WAGIC needs commitment and support from
agencies in order to put this conference together. The commitments can come in the form of
confirming a sight, putting together a theme, arranging for speakers, making
presentations, etc. DIS is interested in participating in the conference, but not to the
extent they did in the previous conference. Jeff will try to schedule the meeting with
URISA for the 2nd week of September.
- Ian Von Essen stated that there currently are a lot of GIS
conferences. The focus of this conference should be in getting more people involved with
GIS in the state of Washington and educating the people. He thought Spring 98 might
be a little too early to put on a successful conference, so the Council might consider a
Spring 99 conference.
- A comment was made in Seattle that URISA is already planning a Spring
98 conference, whether WAGIC joins them or not. A couple of people said they agree
with Ian that Spring 98 might be too soon to put together a successful conference.
- Tom Nolan commented that everyone is in agreement that a joint
conference is the way to go.
Project Coordination with the Dept. of Community, Trade &
Economic Development (CTED), Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), and Interagency Committee
for Outdoor Recreation (IAC), Kitty Wiseman (IAC)
Kitty stated that the IAC is coordinating with CTED and DNR to
gather data from local governments. These departments discovered that they are all going
to be asking for similar GIS data from local governments, so they decided to do the
outreach strategy in coordination with each other. DNR and CTED are working together to
gather data concerning growth management. IAC is gathering data on public land ownership
around the state. The departments decided to work together to gather this data and explain
why they need the data in order to improve contacts between state and local governments.
They will be writing a joint letter that introduces the projects and asks for this
information together. They are interested in working through the WAGIC local government
workgroup to approach local governments and gather the data they need.
- Jeff Holm asked what the timeframe is for collecting the data.
Kitty said that all the departments have different timeframes. IAC was asked by the
legislature to do this project in two phases, which will last approximately two years. DNR
and CTED want to gather the growth management information as soon as possible. Plus, DNR
is working on the cadastral project and is interested in gathering data related to this on
a much longer time frame.
- Tom Nolan asked what type of information they are looking for.
Kitty said that in the first phase the IAC is looking for the location acreage and
primary use of public land by counties, cities, tribal lands, state and federal land. Once
they gather this information they will develop it into a database. In the second phase IAC
will gather data on state owned recreation and habit lands, and then improve the
information they already have.
- Ian Von Essen told Kitty that public land is tax exempt so it
is sometimes difficult to find out what state agency actually owns the land. Kitty said
they are not planning on getting the federal, state, and tribal information from local
government assessors and WAGIC databases. They want to gather the local data from local
governments and the federal, state and tribal information from federal and state
Cadastral Framework Activities, Larry Sugarbaker, Dept. of
Wednesday, August 27, is the next Framework meeting at the United
Churches between 10:00-3:00. Agendas are being sent out and information pertaining to this
meeting is on the WAGIC Homepage.
There are three
efforts currently underway to develop framework data layers for the state:
1)Transportation, 2)cadastral, and 3)Hydrology.
Progress on cadastral project:
- Larry said that DNR has named a Cadastre Framework Project
Manager, Carrie Wolf, and that they are about to move into the requirements phase of the
project. DNR is the recipient of a FGDC Framework Demonstration grant for the cadastral
project. They now have $250 thousand for the project, and the estimated cost for the
project is between $532 thousand and $940 thousand. The Puget Sound Regional Council also
received a grant to work on developing the Transportation requirements in the Puget Sound
Region. The Dept. of Ecology also has funds to begin their Hydrology framework project.
Washington State Geospatial Clearinghouse Initiative, Jeff Holm,
This presentation focused on what a clearinghouse means to WA State
and how it fits with the other FGDC/NSDI activities (framework and metadata).
Overview of National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI):
- NSDI existed in concept since the inception of the FGDC in 1990.
- Was officially kicked-off through the Executive Order 12906 in June
1994 for federal agencies and their partners.
- Is an umbrella enterprise under which we seek to promote geospatial
- NSDI has created software, guidelines and an infrastructure that the
WAGIC can use to let people know what spatial data and information exists for Washington
- Provides documentation of existing internal geospatial data that
- Serves as a basis for advertising the data that organizations have.
- Permits structured searches and comparisons of spatial data.
- Metadata is important because it is built on the data descriptions,
not the data itself. People query the data descriptions.
- Framework activities are a major component of the clearinghouse. The
goal is to have geospatial data reside on the clearinghouse. Currently, just the metadata
resides on the clearinghouse, the geospatial data does not.
- Another component to the NSDI is standards. The federal
Framework Group is working with development standards, and standards are being developed
to support various initiatives. Thematic subcommittees develop standards, which go through
a 90-day public review period, and are eventually published as FGDC standards.
- If anyone would like to learn more about this they can go to
- Partnership building extends organizations capabilities.
The Clearinghouse & its Architecture:
- The clearinghouse is focused on information discovery. It is a
centralized location for the collection and dissemination of information. The NSDI
clearinghouse is web-based so people use their web browser to access the information (they
need internet access). The FGDC is working on another access mechanism that will allow
people to get to this information using a CD-ROM. Currently, people need a web browser,
the clearinghouses need to be hooked up to the internet, and people need an agent that is
aware of the various clearinghouses. This is all done through a common gateway or a
centralized entry point into the clearinghouse network.
- GIC metadata is available in two modes: Browse vs. Search
- Browse mode- this approach works alright if there is a small amount
of data holdings (like there currently is). As these numbers increase using the browse
mode will be more difficult.
- The key to the clearinghouse approach is the metadata. The spatial
data sets do not reside on the clearinghouse nodes, the descriptions of the data sets
reside there. These descriptions are available through the metadata. Organization can have
spatial data and the metadata associated with it registered with the clearinghouses. When
a person generates a query they use the data descriptions and generate all the data
related to the description.
- The Washington State Clearinghouse Node currently resides
(temporarily) on University of Washington Geography Department server. Kathryn Womble (UW
Maps Collection Librarian) and Jeff have been working on a proposal to find a permanent
home for the WA State clearinghouse node at the University.
- Ian VonEssen asked about the status of the MS Access program
that DIS developed for metadata. Jeff mentioned that Ian is referring to the
Geospatial Metadata Management System (GMMS), which is a stand-alone metadata collection
tool. This is available for people that have an Access 2.0 environment. This tool is
available in Access 2.0 and in a run time module, but it will not co-exist with Access
6.0, 7.0, etc. Anyone interested in gaining a copy of this tool can contact Jeff Holm.
Closing Site Roundtable, Council
Randy Mills encouraged people to try the clearinghouse on the
WAGIC webpage so they can further understand how the clearinghouse works
Tom Nolan told people to contact him or Jeff Holm if they have any
comments about this meeting or ideas for future meetings.
Meeting Adjourned: 12:00 p.m., next meeting October 16, 1997
at 10:00 a.m.