Winter 2011

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Polaris Awards
Scholarship Winners
Scholarship Fundraising Results

New Air Photos
DEED Job Search Application

Governor's Commendation


MetroGIS Quantify Public Value Project

Emergency Warning Routes
Hennepin Crime Maps
McLeod Culvert & Spraying Inventories
Cemetery Maps

Emerald Ash Borer Maps

New ESRI policy for Non-profits

Other Places
Geospatial Revolution Videos



MetroGIS “Quantify Public Value” Study
By Mike Dolbow, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

In the Spring of 2010, MetroGIS began a groundbreaking study funded by a Cooperative Agreements Program (CAP) grant from the Federal Geographic Data Committee. The website for the study sets the stage:

“Does this situation found familiar?  You are a GIS program manager.  Your intuition tells you that sharing geospatial data produced by your organization would likely result in substantive efficiency improvements for your organization but without hard numbers to prove your case, sharing remains a novel thought.  If so, MetroGIS’s Quantify Public Value (QPV) Study...will hopefully provide a means to act on your intuition.”

For over a decade, that intuition has driven MetroGIS in its mission: “to expand stakeholders' capacity to address shared geographic information technology needs and maximize investments in existing resources through widespread collaboration of organizations” in the Twin Cities. By dozens of qualitative measures and testimonials, MetroGIS is a success.  But when its 2009 performance measurement plan update indicated a need for quantitative measures to fully realize its mission, MetroGIS submitted a proposal for a 2010 NSDI CAP grant.  Under the grant award, the project team will develop a methodology for quantitatively measuring both the current value produced outside of the county and the potential public value created when organizations freely distribute their data.

Starting with a focus on Hennepin County parcel data, the study sets out to quantify the costs and benefits internal to the county.  After receiving feedback from advisors, the study develops and then tests an outward analysis of public value created outside the Hennepin County administration and considers the value of the data if it were available in a public geospatial commons.  The study incorporates “value chains and reuse benefits over a longer-term perspective” in the attempt to quantify the value of the parcel data.

Interested parties can follow this effort through an RSS feed on the study’s website.  For more information, contact: