Fall 2008

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2008 Conference
From the Chair

Intro to Scholarship Winners
Polaris Winners

Drive to Excellence
More Photos Online

Governor's Council
FY09 Appointments
Annual Report
Commendation Winners
Rochester Meeting

MetroGIS Geocoder

Hugo Tornado Response
New Brighton Housing

Higher Education
Chimp Behavior

Rep. Walz Honored
In Memorium: Phil Kelley

Other Places
NSGIC Addressing White Paper
Online Addressing Seminar
GIS Associations Unite



Drive to Excellence Enterprise GIS Project Update
By Fred Logman, Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis

The State government "Enterprise GIS" Drive to Excellence project has been very active the past couple of months since we reported about the May project kickoff meeting. Applied Geographics was engaged to provide consulting assistance to this project and has made several trips to Minnesota over the past few months. The project website, which is being updated with additional information as the project moves forward, is a good source for on-going project activity and current information.

Breakout session during the State agency workshop.

Web-Based Survey
Applied Geographics implemented a Web-based survey that was taken by 221 staff from State, federal, county, and municipal government, academia, the private and non-profit sectors and regional collaboratives. There was a good mix of GIS, IT, data managers, business program managers, professional and technical staff answering questions about their organization’s GIS environment (staff, hardware and software), spending, data use and needs, business uses, constraints, and opportunities. The survey results were used by Applied Geographics in preparation for the non-State GIS stakeholder workshop, State agency interviews and State agency GIS stakeholder workshop. Additional information may be extracted as Applied Geographics completes its work. The survey results can be viewed here and will be summarized in the final project report.

Non-State GIS Stakeholder Workshop
On June 24, 2008, a workshop was held for non-State GIS stakeholders. There were 29 participants from county, municipal, federal and regional governmental units, as well as from educational, private and non-profit organizations. The focus of the workshop was on the State’s GIS interactions with its many partners and customers. Discussions included the exchange of data, use of various services as well as processes and needs that are candidates for improvement. Participants also discussed the coordination role of the State in the Minnesota GIS Community. The session summary is available here.

State Agency Interviews/Discussions
Applied Geographic has conducted 20 interviews with State agency, legislative and federal staff. The interviews/discussions were not intended to identify all GIS business uses and needs but rather as a survey of agency use and environments. Interview turnaround documents are now being sent to participants to make sure that Applied Geographics got it right. Agencies are being given two weeks to review, edit, and add to the agency summaries before they are incorporated into the project documentation.

Opportunity Assessment
A first generation report of the opportunities for State government that an enterprise approach to GIS may provide has been completed and is posted on the project website here. The opportunities were identified by Applied Geographics from the workshops, agency interviews, material provided by the State, research into what other states are doing and the consultants’ expertise. This document will be amended and added to over the coming weeks and will form the basis of the final consultant report. The eight components of the enterprise opportunities when viewed as a series of functions could look like:

State Agency Workshop
A workshop for 66 State agency staff from 20 agencies was held August 19, 2008. This workshop focused on the eight opportunity areas with discussion in breakout sessions and in a session summary. A workshop turnaround document is being prepared by Applied Geographics and will be distributed to participants the first part of September. After review and updating by participants, the workshop summary will be posted on the project website.

Future Activity

  • State agencies Opportunity Assessment Survey (September)
  • Development of recommendations for Minnesota Geographic Information Office (MGIO) organizational and governance structures (September/October)
  • Update of Opportunity Assessment with information from State Agency workshop, State agency survey and research into what other states are doing (September/October)
  • Consultants’ final report and recommendations (October/November)
  • Presentation of recommendations to Drive Subcabinet (October/November)
  • Project closeout meeting (November)
  • Development of Legislative and budgetary initiatives (September-November)

Questions and Concerns
The project team is trying to make this as open and interactive a process as possible. If in reading any of the project material you notice something that is not stated correctly or if you have questions, the project team would like to hear from you. If you have concerns about any project documents and their content, please contact Michael Terner, Applied Geographics project principal at and/or Fred Logman

For information about this project please check the project website: To discuss aspects of the project, contact David Arbeit at or Fred Logman at