Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)
October 21, 1999

Teleconference originating from
DIS Interactive Technologies, Lacey, WA

Introductions – Jeff Holm, WAGIC Coordinator - From Lacey, Jeff opened the meeting and introduced himself noting that he was filling in for Larry Sugarbaker, WAGIC Chair, who was out of town. Jeff welcomed members in Bellingham (WWU), Tri-Cities, Spokane, Seattle, and Vancouver. The videoconferencing site at the Wenatchee Valley Community College was not available due to construction but will be back on line for the December meeting.

GIS Day - Michelle Bacchetti, ESRI - Michelle from the regional ESRI office introduced GIS Day 1999. This event which is sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, and ESRI, will be held November 19th. GIS Day is designed to promote geographic awareness in schools, businesses, and the general public.

Michelle demonstrated the GIS Day 1999 web site (www.gisday.com) which offers materials, event information and the opportunity to register a GIS Day event such as open house, or a visit to a school. The national event has already reached its first goal to educate over 1,000,000 school children and has pledged to educate 750,000 adults. Once an event is registered, participants will receive an information packet designed to help them get started.

Michelle previewed some of the many materials that are available on the web site and demonstrated how to search for events by cities, organizations, and vendors.

Jeff added that the council has prepared a letter requesting the Governor's office declare by proclamation, November 19th to be GIS Day. Jeff encouraged everyone to visit the web site and take advantage of the incredible amount of support materials available.

Supplemental Legislative Package - Karl Herzog, Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) - This joint supplemental budget package is a request to improve GIS-based public lands and growth management information through the cadastral framework project. This request will be presented this legislative session and is of particular interest to the council because it is focused on spatial data collection activities that would be beneficial to the cadastral framework. The IAC is playing a key role by coordinating this budget request. Karl pointed out that this request has been several months in the works and has been submitted to the Governor’s office for consideration. Karl asked for the council's endorsement and to provide that endorsement to the Governor's office and hopefully the legislature.

Participants in this joint budget request include the IAC (coordinator), DNR, WDFW, State Parks, DOT, CTED, Grant County and Spokane County. The request is in the amount of $826,000, which would come from the state general fund. This request is designed to provide funding for DNR to continue their work as cadastral framework integrator and accelerate the development of the cadastral framework by extending the pilot work to two additional counties. Also, CTED hopes to integrate the urban growth management boundary information into the framework and then develop a long-term strategic plan for framework expansion.

Request Details Include:

The Dept. of Transportation is not to receive new funding under this proposal but will partner with these other agencies and counties to focus on integrating its GIS data for DOT owned lands in Grant and Spokane Counties into the framework.

There are two stages of deliverables that have been identified:

Benefits of the proposed project will be:

Karl said that it is a good time to be proposing an approach to expand the framework. Karl also noted that this project would support the strategic plan action of working to complete a digital framework for Washington State.

Jeff asked for questions or comments and noted that one of the concerns council members have had with activities like framework management is finding a way for counties to be involved in the funding or be able to access the funding to help them get the work done. One of the appealing elements of the proposal is the way it has been put together and that there is representation and proposed funding for counties. This plan can serve as a model as the council looks for funding sources to carry out the priority action items. Several items that are covered in the package reflect priority actions in the strategic plan. Jeff asked members to direct questions or comments to Karl or Jeff directly. Jeff pointed out that Karl is uniquely qualified to lead this project noting his background in the legislature as a budget and policy analyst. Karl's involvement in this initiative has been helpful in understanding the appropriate approach.

Carrie Wolfe, DNR – offered a special thanks to those who participated in this effort highlighting Karl's effort to pull it all together. Jeff reminded members that the council would be asked to endorse this proposal at the next council meeting in December either by way of letter or resolution.

Survey Control Points Data Base - Gavin Schrock, Seattle City Survey Group filled in for council member Dave Steele who was unable to attend. Gavin was a technician on the project and developed the template. Early in 1996, a handful of counties had been developing high accuracy survey control data for their internal use. The view from members of the survey community was that GIS was producing great data. But there has been concern that the approach was not to done to a common set of standards. The Washington Council of County Surveyors formed a workgroup to develop a common database template for survey control point information.

The database table structure has a core of a dozen common fields that the committee felt was essential to document survey control points. The current design was built with Snohomish county data and work began in 1998 and was completed in February 1999.

Gavin demonstrated the input screen. Counties could add extra utilities without deleting others. The prototype was made available to the GIS and surveying community and the public in April of this year. Interestingly the out-of-state response has been significant. Counties and cities currently using the control points database include Orange County in Florida, Ohio and Iowa DOT, a state agency in Queensland, Australia, and a private surveying company in Scotland.

The project does not have a budget or full time staff and current hopes are for grant funding or agency manpower to complete the project and cultivate more widespread use of the features that are available. The Control Points Database is available at www.wccs.wa.gov.

Andrew Kinney, Thurston County noted that Thurston County has had survey control information on line for several years. Jeff noted that DOT has a control points database and asked if there was any overlap between the information in the databases. George Spencer responded that DOT's points are along the state highways and are a subset of the county's data.

Ellensburg Workshop Report – Jim Eby

The one-day workshop that was held September 10th in Ellensburg took the place of the August meeting. Over 40 people from 30 organizations attended. The purpose of the workshop was to develop high-level implementation plans for ten priority action items identified in the strategic plan.

The objective was to develop what might be called portfolio summaries. Several volunteers acted as facilitators to direct the eight individual discussion groups. The discussions within each group helped provide insight to the nature and complexity of each action item and helped define the inter-relationships between several action items. As the facilitators discussed the results of the workshop, they realized that they had to look at this from a project perspective. Several of the individual actions could be addressed within the same project.

Jim reviewed the regrouping and combining of several of the action items. The facilitators expect to have initial drafts of the project plans completed and available on the web site by the end of October to allow members to review and comment on them.

Jeff thanked those who participated in the Ellensburg workshop and noted that while the process may seem slow, the work and time is very valuable to the council.

ISB Update - The Information Services Board (ISB) is the IT policy setting body for state agencies. The ISB has oversight responsibility for the states large IT projects. Joe Dear, Governor Locke's Chief of Staff, is the ISB Chair. The ISB is one of the most influential IT bodies for state agencies and has been noted for its support and facilitation of the K-20 Network and the Intergovernmental Network (IGN). The board has taken a keen interest in GIS because of the Council's (Larry Sugarbaker) presentation in May. The ISB chair has asked select members of the board to look at possible options for engagement with GIS technology. The board is very interested in finding cost effective ways of using GIS technology to help the state deal with problems such as salmon recovery, growth management and water quality.

The Department of Information Services (DIS) staffs the ISB and is currently working with them to explore ways for the board to constructively engage GIS. Karl Herzog will be presenting the supplemental budget proposal for continued work on the Cadastral Framework. The proposal is being hailed for it's cross-jurisdictional coordination and cooperative data collection efforts. The ISB is looking for data coordination/collections models that are appropriate for GIS. Their awareness and support could be critical in obtaining the funding necessary to accomplish the councils framework goals.

NSGIC Update - Jeff Holm Jeff attended the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) annual meeting in September. NSGIC is made up of individual state representatives from the geographic information councils. Jeff noted that the national council struggles with the same issues as the states. NSGIC has been successful in partnerships and grant monies. Items of interest that were discussed at the conference include NASA's plan to announce a partnership program with the GIS community to use Landsat data products. NASA is looking for state and local jurisdiction consortiums to work with NASA to develop useful products from the Landsat images. NASA asked NSGIC members what kind of partnership programs should be put together. While NASA has a rigorous science based grant program, they realize a number of communities that could use their products aren't necessarily science-based organizations. Parameters for this new NASA partnership program are still not clear, but it is anticipated that the application process will not have the heavy emphasis on scientific research.

Secondly, Geographic Data Technologies (GDT), a vendor of enhanced census data, had an informal session at NSGIC suggesting that they were looking to partner with local jurisdictions to make their street center line data available for free. The agreement that GDT is proposing is that local jurisdictions could use the data free of charge in exchange for providing GDT updates and corrections to the data. This could be particularly attractive to smaller jurisdictions and counties. The proposal is that the updates and data access would be provided by a GDT developed Internet. Jeff proposed a telephone conference with GDT. Specific arrangements for the phone conference will be based on the responses received from council members. If there is sufficient, interest information will be included in the next mailer so that those who wish to participate can to reserve a spot.

Andrew Kinney asked that during this phone conference GDT be asked to correct census and track data. Jeff added that this issue was mentioned at the NSGIC meeting and GTD is having discussions with census people now.

Joy also asked the council to encourage cities and rural counties to participate in this effort as most problems are in rural areas. Jeff hopes to have this phone conference in the first part of January.

Gene Thorley USGS – Gene asked that a notice be sent out when the Ellensburg materials are posted on the web site. Gene also asked if NASA would also be looking at EOS data as well as Landsat data. Jeff confirmed that yes that would be the case and a message regarding the workshop materials would go out on the list serve.

Ian Von Essen, Spokane County added that GDT is not currently accepting local geometry but rather updating their own, all the while not improving the geometry of the data so that the census data will eventually fit with local data. Some incentive must be provided to encourage local governments to participate. Jeff suggested that the phone conference would be a great opportunity to make those very comments and to make additional needs known.

Joy Denkers, Department of Ecology – Joy updated council members on the nine-month project recently completed by DOE. The Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) data set was completed in cooperation with the DNR Forest Practices Division. This digital data was updated in an effort to improve the spatial resolution of the data set, to align the WRIA boundaries with 1:24,000 scale hydrology and topography data, and to insure alignment of the WRIA boundaries to existing county and state boundaries where appropriate. This data is available on the Internet and open to review and comment for the next thirty days. Joy asked that anyone with interest to please take a look at the data and the project documentation. This information can be accessed at www.wa.gov/ecology/gis/projects/projects.htm.

Carrie Wolfe asked a question regarding the status of the effort to coordinate federal WAU's and WRIA's Joy said some pilot work was done in the Olympic Peninsula and was completed in the areas the US Forest Service is overseeing sub watershed delineation's. There is talk of reviewing the issues and Joy will provide information as the project progresses.

Closing Site Roundtable - Jeff Holm - Jeff asked for updates from the conference sites. Ian Von Essen stated again that the work Karl, Carrie, and others have done on the budget proposal will provide funding for local government to help support the cadastral framework effort. Spokane County is dealing with the Y2K issues and budget madness. Spokane is also examining ERSI's ARC 8.0 for use in the county.

Steven Rush, Hanford updated the council on the framework project. Steve has been working with the representative from the Central Mapping Services group at the Hanford site on creating metadata and framework data sets. A series of meetings are scheduled with the DOE representative to discuss data sharing issues. There is the need to find workable ways to allow local government agencies access to appropriate spatial data.

Closing Comments & Announcements Jeff noted that the first metadata workshop has been scheduled at Grays Harbor Community College on October 29th. If you would like to attend the workshop, please call Denise at (360) 902-3508 to register and receive additional information. Jeff is also in the process of securing dates for the Spokane area (Post Falls) in conjunction with the University of Idaho, and also the Ellensburg area. Jim Hinthorne, CWU has made his facility available for a workshop the first week in January.

In relation to metadata, Jeff announced that there has been some discussion about the need for an FTP site for the transfer of gigabyte size spatial data sets. Several state agencies have indicated that there is a need to move large size data sets to other agencies or jurisdictions and often the destination is not capable of handling eight-millimeter tape. The solution is to create an FTP site that would enable the transfer of that data. Jeff asked that if members or their organizations would be able to use such an FTP site to please let him know in order to build the business case to make it happen.

Jeff has recently become aware of a pilot project in a CD format using data that would be useful for salmon recovery. The USGS has become involved with the State of Oregon in an effort to bring together USGS data as well as county specific data that would be appropriate for salmon recovery. The intent is to demonstrate how important the GIS technology is along with the right kind of data in terms of helping make science based decision as to what can and should be done for salmon recovery. The CD does not have much information regarding Washington State, but it may be a possible vehicle to make such data available. Gene Thorley noted the USGS has twice previously produced such data integration CD's. It is a tool that is useful in demonstrating to decision-makers the end results of using specific data. The CD is still under production to determine its usefulness.

Meeting Adjourned: 12:00 p.m.

Next meeting - December 16, 1999 at 10:00 a.m.