WINTER 2006-7

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium
2006 Conference Wrap-up
From the Chair
Scholarship Competition Results
Conference Auction Results
What is GISP?
GIS Rules of Conduct
MN GIS Speakers Bureau
North Carolinian Attends Conference

2006 Air Photos
Geospatial Services Survey
Gopher State One Call

Governor's Council
Committee Priorities 

MetroGIS DataFinder Improved
Housing/Jobs Mapping Site
Metro Land Conversion

GIS for Surveyors

2010 Census Address Program
2010 Census Options
National Land Cover Database 

Higher Education
St. Mary's Update CEU's

GITA Announces Scholarship

Other Places
Benefits of Parcel WMS



CURA and DEED Launch Web-Based Community Development Mapping Application
Kris Nelson, University of Minnesota, and Oriane Casale, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Minnesota 3-D (M3D) is an Internet-based mapping system with employment, housing, services and economic development information and analysis tools. The most unique aspect of the system is its ability to portray labor-sheds and commute-sheds – current data about the daily travel of workers to a city and of residents of that city to their job locations.

This first-of-its-kind application brings together over 90 other data layers that may be displayed visually on a map and in report format using geographic information systems technology. The application focuses on the Twin Cities area.

M3D was created by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) in partnership with the Labor Market Information Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and many other government agencies and nonprofit development organizations.

"The future vitality of our region depends on our ability to efficiently connect housing, jobs, and services," said Kris Nelson, CURA project director. "M3D provides a significant tool for communities to inform policies and implement strategies for efficient and sustainable development to assure the well being of working families."

The main purpose of the system is to help resolve the spatial mismatch between housing and jobs. As reported in a recent study by the Center for Housing Policy, working families in the Twin Cities metropolitan area spend 30 percent of their household income on transportation (and more than 27 percent on housing). The report recommends that "regions coordinate their housing and transportation policies to ensure they fully reflect the needs of working families – one example includes building more affordable housing near existing and planned transit hubs." For more details on the study, see

Over the next year, CURA and other M3D community partners will be working to apply M3D to planning and development projects to achieve a greater balance between housing and employment opportunities within communities.

The City of Chaska is using the M3D application to help inform their strategies to support bio-sciences industries in the community, specifically what kinds of housing and commute pattern would support this industry. The Harrison Neighborhood Association will use M3D to help plan and implement the Bassett Creek Redevelopment plan which will add up to 10,000 new jobs to the area. The City of Minneapolis is interested in using M3D to inform and implement its Northside Employment Initiative to support increased community development.

M3D, developed over the last two years, is made possible by a $600,000 Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded to the University of Minnesota in 2004.

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs is an all-University applied research and technical assistance center that connects resources at the University of Minnesota with communities, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies in Minnesota. Visit CURA on the web at M3D is part of CURA’s continuing work to develop GIS tools and understanding for local communities to plan and develop vital places for people to live and work.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Labor Information Office (LMI) collects, analyzes, and disseminates key labor market indicators, information, and analysis on the economy, workforce, industry base, and job market in Minnesota to support informed decision-making. LMI produces data products, publications, and services. For more information, see

CURA Contact: Kris Nelson,, 612-625-1020


LMI/DEED Contact: Oriane Casale,, 651-297-3086