MN GIS/LIS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Don Yaeger (2000)
Don Yaeger is being honor for two activities during his career; over three decades of coordinating state GIS/LIS data programs at LMIC and over a decade of service to the Consortium.
If you've ever used a printed USGS topographic map, used air photos from various statewide air photo flights, or used the DOQs, DEMs, or DRGs produced jointly by the USGS and the state, you've benefited from Don's work.
In 1968-69 and again in 1977-78, he championed pioneer statewide aerial photography programs that provided border-to-border imagery before the federal National High Altitude Program (NHAP) was launched in 1980.
In the mid-1960s, Minnesota ranked near the bottom of states with USGS topographic map coverage. In 1970, together with his college friend Les Maki, Don developed a program that identified all the quads of the state, projecting a schedule of when each ought to be done based on population growth and other changes likely to make the map out-of-date. Incidentally, the USGS didn't publish a similar scheme nationally until nearly 25 years after Yaeger & Maki's efforts. With the help of Joe Sizer of the State Planning Agency, Don injected new life into a plan to complete of the state's modern topographic mapping and made requests to the LCMR for cooperative financing. By 1975, Minnesota was distinguished by having the largest quad mapping program in the nation. Altogether, this effort's budget exceeded $10 million in state/federal matching funds and the project was completed in the early 1980s.
Starting in the late 1980s, Don initiated and led a decade-long program to update and modernize statewide base maps called the Base Maps for the 1990's. Developing three successful LCMR proposals, with a combined budget of over $7 million, Don petitioned for and received state funding to create full statewide Color Infrared aerial photography in 1991-92; Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles developed from those photos; Digital Elevation Model data; Digital Raster Graphics; and revisions to 140 of the most rapidly changing quads in the state. Minnesota was the first state to have complete coverage of all these data sets. The project received two special commendations, one from Governor Carlson through the Governor's Council on Geographic Information and the other from the USGS, both in 1998.
Since its beginning in 1988, Don has been involved with the Consortium, including serving as Chair in 1993, the year of the national GISLIS Conference in Minneapolis. He has been very active in many Consortium activities, acting as LMIC's ex-officio Board member for most of Consortium's existence, helping organize and publicize many state conferences, making presentations, and has contributed to nearly every one of the Consortium's 26 Newsletters. Since 1995, Don has acted as Editor of the Newsletter and has written, ghost-written, pleaded, and/or arm-twisted for contributions to fill the Newsletter.
Don's Lifetime Achievement Award plaque reads: "Don Yaeger - Successful GIS/LIS Data Champion, Distinguished Service to the Consortium"
For more information on this award, see http://www.mngislis.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=43.