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


A Research Agenda for USGS
By Will Craig, University of Minnesota

A new report from the National Academies Press pushes the USGS to focus its research agenda on issues that will improve the capabilities of The National Map. The study was commissioned by the USGS to help its new Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) develop its research agenda. The report is called A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at the United States Geological Survey and is available at

The report contains 12 recommendations. Number 1 frames the discussion on improving the capabilities of The National Map, but the writers recognize that this does not narrow the scope sufficiently. They use eight criteria to establish a more specific list of topics: "CEGIS research should (1) be important to The National Map; (2) be important to USGS disciplines; (3) be relevant to society; (4) solve a problem and target a customer; (5) be foundational, understandable, and generalizable; (6) enable multidisciplinary integration; (7) focus on data content; and (8) show potential for early, visible success."

Recommendations 2-5 provide those priority research areas:

2. The three priority research areas for CEGIS should be (1) information access and dissemination, (2) integration of data from multiple sources, and (3) data models and knowledge organization systems.

3. The two priority research topics within the area of information access and dissemination should be to reinvent topographic maps in an electronic environment and to investigate user-centered design for The National Map web services.

4. The two priority research topics for CEGIS within the area of data integration should be generalization and fusion.

5. The two priority research topics in the area of data models and knowledge organization systems should be developing geographic feature ontologies and building the associated feature data models and gazetteers.

The remaining seven recommendations focus on how these research areas should be pursued. They call for a broad research activity involving USGS, other federal agencies, academia, and the private sector. Recommendation 10 will be of particular interest to Consortium members:

10. Because of USGS’s core role in integrating data from local sources for The National Map, CEGIS should establish collaborative activities with state and local agencies that have progressive activities in GIScience.