Spring 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Award Nominations Open

GIS Drive to Excellence
GIS Pandemic Needs
GeoService Finder
Red River LIDAR
Groundwater Webmap
08 Photo Update
Improving Structures Data

Governor's Council
Strategic Planning Directions
Award Nominations Open
Meeting Webcasts

OpenSource Group

Input for State Planning
Goodhue User Group

Census Atlas
Census PSAP
NGAC Named
USGS Research Agenda
Sunspots Impact GPS
GPS with Maps
Geology Map
Soil Viewer Update
Recycle Cell Phones

Higher Education
Dangermond to Speak
UofM Career Day
GIS Primer

Borchert Remembered
Two Minnesotans on NGAC
Jay Bell
Bob McMaster

Other Places
Free GPS Visualizer
Global Incident Map
Russian GPS Update


MetroGIS Begins to Define Role for Addressing Shared Application Needs
By Randall Johnson, MetroGIS Staff Coordinator

Last October, the MetroGIS Policy Board adopted a Business Plan for 2008-2011. To ensure that MetroGIS maintains its relevance to changing stakeholder needs, the Business Plan’s top priority focuses on expanding endorsed regional solutions beyond data into applications.

On January 24, 2008, MetroGIS hosted a workshop to act on this directive. This workshop entitled "Meeting Shared Geospatial Needs Beyond Data" was attended by 33 participants who represented the breadth of MetroGIS’s stakeholder community – state, regional and local government interests as well as the non-profit, for-profit and academic communities. The workshop was facilitated by John Antenucci, President and CEO of PlanGraphics, Inc., and Jim Fries also with PlanGraphics.

The participants were selected based upon their expertise with geospatial applications, but also according to their experience and background relevant to moving forward on the other two top priorities of MetroGIS, as set forth in the new Business Plan:

  • Seek ways to improve interoperability of geospatial resources with the jurisdictions that adjoin the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
  • Seek opportunities to partner with more non-government interests to collaboratively address information needs they share with government interests.

At the time this article was submitted, the PlanGraphics Team was synthesizing direction and information received at the workshop. Their deliverable is tentatively scheduled to be shared with the workshop participants the week of February 25. A recommendation for next steps is scheduled to be considered by the MetroGIS Coordinating Committee at its March 2008 meeting.

Three prominent themes emerged during the course of the day for which the participants believe MetroGIS should assume leadership:

  • Define, create and share specific applications and services that meet common business needs. A key point is that MetroGIS could facilitate it, but then these things could be built anywhere by anyone.
  • Create a web home that lets us find, understand, know if we can trust, and then acquire or use these applications and services.
  • Create a web-based mechanism that provides a vehicle through which the community can be informed of funded and prospective projects, activities, etc. related to geospatial data and applications.

For more information about the purpose and deliverables expected from the workshop, including the workshop summary document when available, and the participants, please go to or contact Randall Johnson, MetroGIS Staff Coordinator, at 651-602-1638 or