The Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MnGeo) was created during the 2009 Legislative session, officially recognizing for the first time the importance of geospatial technology by tasking MnGeo with broadly defined coordination responsibilities and authorities. With staff and resources from the Land Management Information Center, which was retired, the transition from LMIC to MnGeo began in earnest on June 24, when Department of Administration Commissioner Reger appointed David Arbeit the State’s first Chief Geospatial Information Officer.
The appointment was announced at Point of Beginning, a community forum and celebration attended by more than 90 partners from federal, state, local and regional government, academia, private sector and non-profits who had participated in the Drive to Excellence process that resulted in MnGeo’s creation. Point of Beginning was chosen as the name for this event as a reminder that creating the MGIO was not the end of a process, but the beginning of one dedicated to a shared vision where “Minnesota improves services statewide through coordinated, affordable, reliable and effective use of GIS.” Point of Beginning slides are available online.
Since the June 24 celebration, staff at MnGeo and its partners, especially a Transition Advisory Team (TAT) comprising of members of the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information and its committees, have been laying the groundwork for introducing the MnGeo “brand” and MnGeo’s advisory structure at the fall GIS/LIS conference in Duluth.
Two advisory councils will advise MnGeo, as specified in MnGeo’s authorizing legislation. One will focus on State government; the other on statewide issues. Applications for membership are being accepted via the State’s open appointment process. Details are available at the MnGeo Advisory Council web page. The first meetings of the councils will occur in November. The Transition Advisory Team is advising MnGeo on the recruitment and appointment process. All community members are encouraged to consider applying.
For now, please continue to use the LMIC web address http://www.lmic.state.mn.us to access MnGeo services. A new website is being designed and will be announced when it is fully functional. Also, look for the new MnGeo logo on our communications. It is designed to communicate what we do: Improving services statewide through the coordinated, affordable, reliable, and effective use of geospatial technology.