|Two NewState Geospatial Standards
By Mark Kotz, Co-Chair, Standards Committee, Governor’s Council on Geographic Information
The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information has adopted two new state geospatial standards.
The purpose of this standard is to provide a single, common coding scheme to identify all cities, townships and Census Bureau-defined unorganized territories in Minnesota. It is intended to be used primarily when data is being transferred between a state agency and some external customer.
This standard provides a set of codes that uniquely identify more than 2700 cities, townships and unorganized territories (CTUs) within the state of Minnesota. These codes originate from the U.S. Geographic Names Information System and are recognized as a formal federal standard. This standard is important to all developers of public databases containing information about cities, townships and unorganized territories in Minnesota.
The purpose of this state standard is to encourage the use of the United States National Grid (USNG) on all appropriate map products in the state and to specify how the USNG should be presented on maps when it is used.
The USNG provides an efficient way to specify location information at different levels of detail anywhere in the United States and is based on a universally defined geographic coordinate and grid system. It is intended to improve interoperability across all national jurisdictions, especially in crisis situation, and to help people use location services such as GPS in conjunction with printed maps to find and communicate location information.