Washington State Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)

August 20, 1998 Meeting Minutes

Videoconference meeting originated from: Lacey, WA

(Joy Denkers Chaired the meeting in Larry Sugarbaker's planned absence)

Introductions- Joy Denkers, Department of Ecology

From Lacey, Joy Denkers welcomed members in Seattle, Kennewick, Vancouver, Spokane and Bellingham.

USGS Improvements being made to Washington’s digital elevation coverage- Tom Sturm

In 1992 the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) established a program to complete a once-over coverage of Digital Elevation Models (DEM) for Washington State. This program created a data set with a 30-meter resolution as its base and the coverage was created from mixed data sources. Tom showed an example of a mixed data source.

Since 1992, USGS has been developing DEMs at a higher-level resolution 10-meter sampling, which has benefits over the previous coverage.

The following four partners have worked to create the 10-meter DEM coverage:

  1. USGS
  2. DNR
  3. Region 6 of the Forest Service (Oregon and WA)
  4. Army Yakima Training Center


In 1996 USGS began cooperating with DNR to create 10 meter DEMs. This program started in the southwestern corner of Washington State and in 1997 they began work in the Puget Sound area for the Urban Hazard Initiative program and the Army Yakima Training Center. This year USGS entered into an agreement with Region 6 of the Forest Service to expand the scope of coverage to include all National Forests in Oregon and Washington. USGS is still pursuing cooperative partnerships with other organizations in order to complete coverage around the state.

Questions and/or Comments:

An individual in Lacey asked if new sources are going to be available for this coverage? Tom said that there are not any new sources or any systematic updates going on. They are updating current systems but not creating any new ones.

Jeff Holm (DIS, WAGIC Coordinator) asked Tom what USGS is looking for in partners. Tom said they are looking for partners who would be willing to split the cost and effort of producing the DEMs.

Jeff also asked if this DEM was accompanied by FGDC metadata. Tom said the current DEMs are not available with FGDC metadata but the data descriptions are being enhance to support the FGDC approach.

Tom Nolan (Seattle Public Utilities) asked how this information is going to be made available to people. Tom said the USGS distributes this data themselves at a low cost. The data is available on 8-mm tape or using FTP download. This is public data, so once it has been obtained it can be freely distributed.

Chris (Bellingham) asked when this data would be available. Tom said some of the data is available now while they are still working on other areas. The data development is being completed in phases.

What’s new with Intergraph Products and Services- Peter Robinson

Intergraph Corporate Update:

Intergraph was founded in 1969 and has since separated into four separate companies:

  1. Intergraph Software Solutions
  2. Intergraph Computer Systems
  3. Intergraph Federal Systems
  4. Intergraph Public Safety

In 1992 Intergraph moved from the UNIX environment into the Windows NT environment.


  • Costly to stay in the microprocessor race
  • INTEL Pentium and Pentium Pro


  • Take advantage of (new) Windows NT
  • Two Phase Strategy (Phase 1 completed 3 years ago)

Moving the applications to Windows NT was a costly operation:

Software Development:

Phase 2:

GeoMedia Key Points:

GeoMedia features

Architecture of a typical GIS system:

The OGIS Project’s Goals:

Spatial Data Repository:

What is the Spatial Data Option?

Recently, Intergraph, in association with the National Association of Counties (NACO), announced their GIS Starter Kit – any county who is a member of NACO can get a free copy of Intergraph's GeoMedia.

Questions and/or Comments:

Someone asked if the application was smart enough to know if you are in the wrong projection. Peter said no, the application would not know if you were in the right or wrong projection or state.

An individual in Seattle asked how Intergraph licenses software components either for commercial deployment or sharing across a local area network? Peter said the software components are licensed and priced on a component by component basis and the number of user bases. The person also asked if they have any clients on Intergraph, Sequel Server or Sybase? Peter said most of their customer base is on Oracle but some clients use other types of relational databases.

Someone in Bellingham asked if they have the ability to hook into different databases and GIS data models using the web software? Peter said they do have the capability to use the Web for GIS data server technology.

Carrie Wolfe (Department of Natural Resources) asked if they are looking at online Internet transactions with their web product? Peter said yes, they are looking at these types of transactions and there are current transactions taking place that allow people to download data.

A person in Bellingham asked what kind of software they need on their PC and browser to view Intergraph’s Internet based GIS software? Peter said all they need is a browser and a plug in or component (which is free) depending on the browser they are using. Peter also mentioned that people can include Raster data in their CGM file.

Strategic Plan for Geographic Information- Jeff Holm

Jeff reminded the council that one of the key objectives identified at the last Council Strategic Planning session was the creation, by the Council, of a strategic business plan. Larry Sugarbaker, newly elected WAGIC Chair, has made this activity one of his top priorities.

Jeff indicated that he had a proposal to make relative to the strategic plan but wanted to first share information about some pre-planning that has taken place.

(See the attached presentation for the planning process information)

Questions and/or Comments:

Tom Nolan stated that this strategic business plan is very important to the council and he encouraged people to participate in the process and the workshop.

Jeff presented the following motion: The Strategic Plan Steering Committee seeks approval to proceed with the planning process under their guidance and, commit up to $8,000 in special project funds to secure services of a consultant and conduct a planning workshop.

Joy Denkers 2nd the motion and called for a voice vote. The motion was unanimously approved by the council and passed.

FGDC- Cooperating Group Program- recommendations from the Framework Management Group- Joy Denkers & Carrie Wolfe

Joy stated that a Framework Management Group (FMG) sub-committee met in July and August to discuss developing a closer and more formal relationship with the FGDC. The sub-committee decided that WAGIC should move forward and formally request recognition as a Cooperating Group. The FMG requests that WAGIC draft a letter for submission to the FGDC requesting this partnership. Joy said she would like to have this letter ready by the October 15 meeting so the council can review it and vote on its approval.

Carrie Wolfe (Framework Management Group Coordinator) provided background and an overview of the FMG sub-committee proposed charter. At a recent FMG meeting the participants indicated they wanted to revisit their relationship to WAGIC and to formalize the roles played by the various Framework projects, the FMG and WAGIC. The proposal essentially confirms the previous relationship of the FMG as a workgroup of WAGIC and is more specific about the roles each play relative to Washington State's Framework initiatives.

(See the attached charter)

Carrie made the motion to accept this charter. The motion was 2nd and opened for discussion.

Questions and/or Comments:

Tom Nolan asked Carrie how they came up with the 10% increase in membership yearly and asked if this number was obtainable? Carrie said this number was determined because this has been the average of growth since their conception and yes, Carrie thinks it is obtainable. Tom also asked for clarification on the 3 completed projects, what do projects mean? Carrie said ‘projects’ refers to the themes, such as the transportation or hydrography projects.

Tom Nolan asked how committed DNR is to the framework projects. Carrie said DNR has a strong commitment to Framework development in the state. DNR wants to take both a partnership and leadership role in Framework development.

Jeff Holm stated that Larry Sugarbaker is resigning as the FMG Chair. Therefore, the FMG will be appointing a new chair. Jeff also stated that the FMG charter positions them in a different way than other workgroups, such that other workgroup chairs are appointed by WAGIC, while the FMG chair is elected by the FMG.

Upon completion of the discussion a voice vote was called for and the motion to accept the FMG Charter was approved by the council.

Update on WAGIC/WAURISA Regional Local Government GIS Forums- Jeff Holm

Jeff said he and Larry Sugarbaker attended a WAURISA board meeting in June. At this meeting they discussed several opportunities to cooperate on upcoming activities. For example, they discussed the possibility of co-sponsoring another Spring conference, similar to the one they did in May 1998. They also discussed holding a one-day forum for local jurisdictions that would focus on local jurisdiction issues. A possible format for the forum would be that URISA would provide a technical workshop in the morning and the afternoon would be sponsored by the Council and focus on a discussion of regional issues.

Don Eginton commented that a few discussion have taken place since June. There has been talk at the National level about URISA promoting urban and regional information systems. Don has spoken with different groups around the state and people are interested in a technical workshop on the object model and GIS programming in that environment. There are other initiatives taking place, such as conducting a survey of the WAGIC membership about the strategic plan. Putting resources in place to make these events happen is a challenge that the groups are facing. There is a URISA board meeting taking place in a few weeks and Don would like to submit plans to get these initiatives moving forward.

Video teleconference site changes affecting Tri-cities, Spokane, and Mt Vernon- Jeff Holm

The Tri-Cities site is now located in Kennewick

The Mt. Vernon site was not renewed because there was not enough use of the facility - WAGIC has made temporary arrangements with Bellingham Technical College to use their videoconferencing site. We are trying to make a permanent arrangement for a site in that area.

The Spokane site is changing prior to the October meeting. The people in this area will receive a map prior to the October meeting.

The Seattle site will be changing around the first of the year. Once we have more information about this move we will distribute it to the Council members in the Seattle area.

Clearinghouse Operating Group Update- Jeff Holm

Jeff demonstrated the Washington State Clearinghouse webpage- http://metadata.gis.washington.edu

Meeting Adjourned: 12:00 p.m. – next meeting – October 15, 1998 at 10:00 am