Winter 2010

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Wrap-up 
Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Drawing
Polaris Awards
Lifetime Award

MnGeo Update
Stimulus Funding Map
Chronic Wasting Monitoring

Elevation Info

Governor's Council
Commendation to Goodhue Co.

Base Map Services
Socioeconomic Data

LiDAR Use in Winona Co.
Rice Co. Pictometry
Prairie Island Natural Resources
Fillmore Co. GIS
Prior Lake / Scott Co. Collaboration

Historic SPOT Online

K-12 Education
GeoMentor Project

Will Craig: URISA Hall of Fame



Will Craig Inducted into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame

Our own Will Craig was inducted into the GIS Hall of Fame on October 1, 2009, at URISA’s 47th Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. He joins a group of GIS elites including Michael Goodchild, Jack Dangermond, Ian McHarg, and Roger Tomlinson. Counting Craig, only 10 individuals are in the GIS Hall of Fame.

Craig won his award for a lifetime of service and accomplishments that includes developing a GIS Code of Ethics and finding a role for community through Public Participation GIS. He has served as president of URISA  and of UCGIS, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. He is the current chair of NSGIC – the National States Geographic Information Council – working to strengthen the states’ role in developing a national spatial data infrastructure.

In Minnesota, Craig has chaired the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Geographic Information and has long served as its vice-chair. He chaired the MetroGIS Coordinating Committee and was a founding member of the GIS/LIS Consortium. He chaired the conference committee in its early years, 1991-93. He was awarded our Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.

At the University of Minnesota, where he is the Associate Director of CURA, he was co-founder of the professional Masters of GIS degree program, MGIS. He was systems director and program director of the Minnesota Land Management Information System (MLMIS), one of the first GIS in the world. MLMIS was an interdisciplinary R&D effort for state government. It became operational in 1977 when it was moved to the State Planning Agency as the Land Management Information Center – now the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office.

Craig believes his success is not personal, but founded in the strong local GIS community of Minnesota. The original idea for the Consortium was that people get together to share information and support each other; Charlie Parson, Lucinda Johnson, and Al Robinette were behind that. Bob McMaster, who co-founded the MGIS program with Craig, also pushed him to become president of UCGIS; McMaster is the immediate past president. Les Maki was one of the Consortium founders and a strong advocate for free access to public data. He and Craig developed the idea of the Polaris Award to honor mid-career professionals in Minnesota who were making a difference. Craig subsequently wrote a well-regarded academic journal article about “White Knights of Spatial Data Infrastructure” to illustrate the value of our Minnesota colleagues; it documented the contributions of Maki, Randy Johnson, Chris Cialek, David Arbeit, Larry Charboneau, Denny Brott, Tom Glancy, Gary Stevenson, and Don Yaeger. He concluded that these White Knights had 3 things in common: idealism about the value of GIS, enlightened self-interest, and involvement in the professional culture of Minnesota.