Spring 2009

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning
Volunteer Opportunities
Scholarship Winners

Drive to Excellence Update
USNG in Minnesota
Mn/DOT GIS Portal
LCC-GIS and Redistricting

Governor's Council
CTU and USNG standards out for review
Next Generation 9-1-1

Services Forum Results
Address Point Synchronization

Tracking Utility Trucks
Watershed E. coli Study

Mapping Floods
Improvng Flood Maps
Height Modernization

URISA Skills Survey
MHS Map Exhibit

Randy Johnson, ESRI GIS Hero

Other Places
Web 2.0 for Local Government
Economics and Place



Drive to Excellence Enterprise GIS Project Takes a Big Step Forward
By Fred Logman and David Arbeit, Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis
Legislation to Create the MGIO
LMIC has received the go-ahead from the Governor’s Office to draft legislation to create the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MGIO) within the Department of Administration. Draft language is being developed with the assistance of the Revisors Office. After language has been compiled, it will be reviewed and hopefully approved by the Governor’s Office; then we will seek legislative sponsors. When the proposal has House and/or Senate File numbers we will let you know through an E-Announcement.
Enterprise Program Design and Implementation Plan Complete
Project consultants from Applied Geographics have completed their analysis of GIS within Minnesota State government and have documented their findings and recommendations in A Program for Transformed GIS in the State of Minnesota: Program Design & Implementation Plan . This is a major deliverable for their consulting engagement and describes their findings and recommendations. The report documents that GIS is a perfect candidate for silo-to-enterprise transformation for the following reasons:
  • GIS technology is widespread and heavily integrated into the day-to-day business activities of state agencies.
  • There is significant growth in agency utilization of these technologies.
  • Historical, non-enterprise approaches have resulted in overlapping GIS efforts between some agencies.
  • There are widespread opportunities for technical infrastructure sharing between agencies.
  • There is widespread goodwill and a collaborative attitude between GIS practitioners across agencies.
  • Short term expenditures will yield significant, longer term efficiencies and will greatly contain the future, overall GIS expenditures of state government.
Applied Geographics is recommending the creation of an adequately funded Minnesota Geospatial Information Office to guide the state’s transformation of GIS, with the formal authority to coordinate, manage, and support GIS technology within state government. The MGIO would be led by a Chief Geospatial Information Officer, working in close association with the State CIO. The Applied Geographics recommendation is based on input from numerous agency managers and GIS users who have contributed to this study in workshops, interviews, surveys and by other means.
The report recommends:
  • The Land Management Information Center’s resources would form the foundation for the MGIO.
  • LMIC assignments and priorities would be transformed to address the MGIO duties and responsibilities.
  • Additional funding for staff would be provided.
  • Annual funding for development of data needed by all state agencies would be provided.
In return for this investment, the State will realize a net benefit for its investment. Recognizing the State’s budget problems, several funding alternatives were included in the report although Applied Geographics recommends full funding.
The report concludes that they have laid out a practical plan for achieving significant benefits through the transformation of GIS into an enterprise resource for the State. Even though the State is facing unprecedented budget challenges, it is important that the opportunities revealed during the project’s analysis and the recommendation presented be followed. A large cross-section of GIS practitioners from across the state have invested time and energy in this process with the belief that this type of GIS transformation will address many existing problems and help restore Minnesota to national GIS leadership.
A budget initiative was forwarded from the Department of Administration to the Governor for an expanded MGIO staff and data development as recommended by Applied Geographics, but was not included in the Governor’s Budget. Due to the State’s dire budget situation, we do not expect much if any additional funding but plan to move forward with implementation of the MGIO with available resources.
Next Steps
  1. Continued work on legislative language and passage of legislation.
  2. Completion of the Applied Geographic engagement including delivery of interview notes, working materials and other deliverables.
  3. Hosting of a stakeholder closeout meeting that will allow people to hear firsthand about the Applied Geographics study, findings and recommendations as well as the status of legislation and get questions addressed.
Questions, Concerns or More Information
The project team is committed to keeping the GIS community as informed as possible about this important initiative. For more information and updates, please check the project website or contact either Fred Logman ( or 651-201-2495) or David Arbeit ( or 651-201-2460).