Summer 2009

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Update
Scholarship Winners
Lifetime/Polaris Nominations

Drive to Excellence Update
Emerald Ash Borer Tracking
New Catchment Boundaries
M3D Update
MN Broadband Maps

Governor's Council
CTU/USNG Standards
Red River Flood GIS
RNC Presentation
Commendation Nominations

Natural Resources Atlas

Red River Flood - Moorhead
Ag Emergency Plan - Steele Co.
Crime Maps & GeoMoose
Laurentian Collaborative
Ramsey Co GIS Group


Higher Education
GISSO Job Fair
Reclaim Lost Land

Other Places
ND GIS Conference
Sticky/Magnetic States



MGIO Created to Coordinate GIS
By Fred Logman and David Arbeit, Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis
May 16, 2009 marks a milestone for GIS within Minnesota. Even before the 2009 legislative session ended, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed legislation that included language establishing the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office. Creating the MGIO implements a recommendation first made in 2004 by the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information and completes an 18-month collaborative journey with stakeholders that began with designation of “Enterprise GIS Coordination” as a Governor’s Drive to Excellence initiative.
The legislative enabling language creates the MGIO within the Department of Administration to “provide coordination, guidance, and leadership, and to plan the implementation of Minnesota's geospatial information technology.” The MGIO will be headed by a Chief Geospatial Information Officer and guided by two advisory councils appointed by the Commissioner of Administration -- one representing state government, the other the broader statewide community. Until the new advisory bodies are in place, the MGIO will be advised by the Governor’s Council on Geographic Information and other stakeholders. With the creation of the MGIO, LMIC ceases to exist but its staff, budget and resources are transferred to the MGIO.
The legislation reflects recommendations made by Applied Geographics in A Program for Transformed GIS in the State of Minnesota: Program Design & Implementation Plan. Its broad vision for the MGIO comprises three major activities with eight distinct program elements.
 Geospatial Coordination
  • Leadership, Outreach & Communication
  • Data Coordination
  • Technology Coordination
Technical Services
  •  Data Services
  • Shared Web Services
Support & Guidance
  • Training
  • Technical Guidance
  • Consulting & Project Support
Although Applied Geographics recommended that the MGIO be funded with a significant increase to the budget previously allocated to LMIC, no new funding is provided by the legislation. Without additional funding the MGIO will not be able to fully address all of the activities recommended by Applied Geographics. One of the MGIO’s initial priorities is to work with stakeholders to identify priorities and fit activities to available resources.
Participants in the Drive to Excellence initiative and MGIO stakeholders will be invited to a “Transition Forum” scheduled for late June or early July to help launch the new office. This event will serve both as a celebration of community and as an opportunity to participate in a dialog that will help shape the MGIO’s priorities.
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 or contact either Fred Logman ( or David Arbeit (