Winter 2007-8

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

Conference Review
From the Chair
Competition Results
Budget News

GLO Notes Online
Ag/DNR Collaboration Water/Utilities/Telecom Info
NSGIC highlights

Governor's Council
Open for Requests

MetroGIS Business Plan

Goodhue Wetland Model

Pipeline Viewer
Stream Class Problems
Computer Energy Standards

Higher Education
UofM GIS Portfolio
Certificate at Mankato
St. Mary's Update

K-12 Education
MIIM Internet Mapper

GITA Conference

Craig Wins Award
Zenk NGS Advisor

Other Places
GIS Jobs in Demand
Landsat Island


NSGIC 2007 Highlights
By Chris Cialek, LMIC, Will Craig, UofM and Governor’s Council, Ron Wencl, USGS, Dave Zenk, National Geodetic Survey

NSGIC is the national organization that represents state GIS councils and authorities ( The 2007 annual NSGIC conference was held in Madison Wisconsin, September 23-27. It was a grueling event, with meetings from 8am to 10pm every day. Four of us attended from Minnesota. Below are our collective thoughts on the highlights of that meeting.

Advocacy Agenda. NSGIC adopted its first Advocacy Agenda (, to be used when approaching federal agencies or members of Congress. Priority items include:

Coastal Services Center. Minnesota qualifies as a coastal zone state with four counties inside the zone: Carlton, Cook, Lake, and St. Louis. This qualifies Minnesota to receive services from the NOAA’s Coastal Services Center in Charleston SC. Included among the services are various training programs, land cover and elevation data, and decision support tools to 1) predict water quality impacts from non-point source pollution and erosion and 2) determine impervious surface coverage from remotely sensed imagery ( and NSGIC is forming a Coastal Caucus to facilitate discussions among Great Lakes and ocean states.

District of Columbia Address Services. This is a very good example of an address service. Users can type in an address, have it verified and adjusted if necessary, learn various service area (e.g. police precinct), and view both a map and photo of the property. Alternative location identifiers can include intersection, block, or place/building name (

The Growing CIO/GIS Relationship. A growing number of states are reporting a closer relationship with their CIOs. Benefits include raising the profile of GIS and helping GIS better understand the business drivers of other state agencies (see next item). This positive trend is being counter-balanced by high rates of turnover by CIOs in many states. Minnesota is fortunate to have a well-established CIO in Gopal Khanna. Mr. Khanna was highlighted on the website of the National Association of CIOs ( made the cover of Government Technology’s Public CIO August/September 2007 issue and is included in the cover story special report article (

NASCIO’s Information Exchange Catalog. This on-line catalog is intended to document needs for information exchange among government lines of business. It can prove useful to the GIS community as it attempts to identify needs of an expanding range of users. The catalog is meant to be a growing document, but starts with the exchanges between criminal justice and non-justice agencies. The site is password protected, but obtaining a password is easy (

USGS Director Mark Meyer keynote address. Discussed shifting priorities in the future production of topographic maps, focusing on issues between national vs. local data, consistency vs. currency, 1:24,000-scale vs finer resolution, and cartographic quality vs. scientific accuracy. An emphasis on nationally consistent data could redefine USGS' interest in state and local partnerships.

Imagery for the Nation Initiative. The effort to influence federal legislation toward the development of a sustainable national imagery program is moving forward. NSGIC is looking for a state representative to participate on the National Digital Orthophoto Program (NDOP) Steering Committee’s Technical Group that will be establishing specifications for the IFTN program. The group is just beginning to meet. For details contact Dave Davis, USDA FSA (; 801.975.3500 x278)

Transportation for the Nation. A new initiative to develop programs that coordinate transportation network integration across the country is getting off the ground. A NSGIC/TRB sponsored Improving National Transportation Geospatial Information Workshop is scheduled for December 14, 2007 in Washington DC. State GIS-T representatives are encouraged to attend. More information on the NSGIC homepage:

One-liners of note

  • People download more KMZ files from our site than shapefiles by a 4:1 ratio. This is a real paradigm shift. (Peter Giencke, Great Lakes Commission)
  • Good quality, fast, cheap; pick any two. (unknown)
  • Over a 30 year period, a house has a 1-in-4 chance of flooding, but only 1-in-100 chance of fire. Floodmaps matter. (Alan Lulloff, Association of Floodplain Managers)
  • It probably makes more sense to license dynamic data than to buy it outright. (Bill Bates, TeleAtlas)
  • Our new governor has huge expectations for GIS. Be careful what you wish for. (Kenny Miller, Maryland DNR)
  • The way to promote GIT efforts to decision-makers is not to describe the technology, but instead . . . to define the NSDI by the problems it solves. (Jim Geringer; former WY Governor)

Conference Archive.  The conference agenda, list of participants, and most PowerPoint presentations have been posted on the NSGIC Conference Archive: