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


Find a Trail / Map a Trail
From Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website is a free service provided by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, America's leader in assisting local communities in converting unused railroad corridors into community trails.

Find a Trail

The Conservancy has currently mapped one-third of the more than 1,450 rail-trails in the country, and made that wealth of information available to the public for free.

Perform basic searches for rail-trails by state and zipcode, or customize your search by specifying trail activities, surfaces, regions, length and more. View photos taken from the trail and read trail-user reviews to help you pick your trip, and register to submit your own pictures and opinions. After registering, you can also view and use the Conservancy’s trail maps, plus plot your route to the trail with a customized directions feature.

Map a Trail

If you love to use trails and have an interest in GPS mapping, you can be a part of helping the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy get all 13,851 miles of rail-trail mapped over the course of 2008.

Specific requirements are covered in a trail-mapping document. In general, a GPS tracklog and specific waypoints are needed for each trail. Waypoints include restroom, drinking fountain, and parking facility locations, as well as surface changes, bridges, and start/finish points.

If you have your own GPS receiver, please feel free to use it! All that the group asks is that your GPS receiver be capable of collecting the above data, and has the necessary software tool to download that data to a PC so it can be sent to them. Downloadable instructions and forms are available at:

If you need to borrow a GPS unit, please contact, and they'll arrange to have one shipped to you.

Once the GPS receiver and data are returned to them, the group will process and check the data for accuracy. They will then send the data back to you in a format you can use in your CADD/GIS program.


If you have any questions, please direct them to