Gopher State One Call and GIS
By Alan Laumeyer, 2006 GITA Chapter President
The Minnesota Chapter of the Geospatial Information and Technology Association sponsored an event on November 2, 2006, at Connexus Energy in Ramsey, Minnesota. About 125 people from all parts of the state attended the half-day conference for utilities, municipalities, and contractors interested in improving their geographic information by making better use of technologies that will improve their working relationship with Gopher State One Call (GSOC).
Jim Holzer, General Manager, GSOC, focused on many things that can be done with GSOC that few people are currently utilizing. It centered on moving from the historic paper world to what can be done digitally and through the Internet. Also discussed were new tools at Gopher State, such as “Virtual Polygon,” as well as “out-of-area locates” and how this issue fits into the whole public safety arena.
Tim Felix, Facility Operations Supervising Engineer at Minnesota Power, discussed how the company has been working with GSOC to improve their productivity by eliminating most of the paperwork and redundancies that have been a part of maintaining their relationship to GSOC. This has led to lower cost, better results, and a general improvement in the quality and usability of their GIS data. The purpose of this discussion was to help both utilities and contractors see beyond their current way of working and begin to put into place processes that will provide substantial benefits now and in the future.
Patrick Shea, Assistant Public Utilities Director, City of St. Cloud, and Kendis Scharenbroich, Manager of GIS Consulting Services at Pro-West & Associates, discussed the web-based “Locate Ticket” project that Pro-West has developed with the City of St. Cloud. This highly successful interactive site has received high praises from residents of the city as well as staff. Using existing GIS and wireless technology and dedicated staff, the City of St. Cloud is increasing its level of public service, efficiently fulfilling Positive Response requirements and saving time and money executing GSOC requests. (For more details on this project, see the Summer 2006 issue of GIS/LIS News.
For more information about activities with the Minnesota Chapter, visit www.gita.org/chapters/minnesota/minn.html.