Spring 2011

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

From the Chair
Conference Planning

Mn/DOT Road Closures Site
Economic Data
Gypsy Moth Response

Proximity Finder

Red River LiDAR

Minneapolis Predictive Crime Mapping
Anoka Co. Recreation
GIS - Core Govt. Service

Land Cover 2006
USGS Historic Topo Scanning

Higher Education
Smart Growth & Transit

Will Craig, UCGIS Fellow
Robert McMaster, UCGIS Education Award
Marv Bauer, Pecora Award


Mn/DOT Meets Need for Reporting Statewide Road Closures
By Paul Weinberger, Minnesota Department of Transportation

The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently developed GIS-based applications and services showing road closures to support flood response and recovery in Minnesota. The applications and services provide a shared view of all state and local road conditions to support emergency management, public safety and road maintenance, as well as inform the public.

The following applications and services address a common business problem of bringing together road status information from local and state maintained roads to one location:

  • County Emergency Management Road Editor
  • Map Viewer
  • Web Map Services

Counties experiencing flooding conditions use the County Emergency Management Road Editor application to enter road closure and incident information, providing for more immediate reporting of the events. The transactions, data and service are hosted at Mn/DOT and served back to the counties. ArcGIS Server is used on the back end to serve up the services, while GeoCortex is used on the front end to build the application. The only technology required for the counties is a web browser and web access. For each road event, counties also can enter information regarding the extent of damage, time the damage was reported, and when a road reopens after closure. The application also will be available to cities in the future.

During emergency events, the Map Viewer is published for a statewide view of all current local and state road status (see graphic). The state road status information is also reported from Mn/DOT’s 511 system. The background in the Map Viewer contains road status for floods, construction, photos of damage and aerial imagery. The Map Viewer provides emergency workers and the public a common view of all road information for travel planning.

In addition, Mn/DOT publishes a Web Map Service (WMS) as an easy way to deliver road conditions for use by other organizations. As information is updated at the local data source, the WMS is getting updated simultaneously. No additional databases or data entry are required. This eliminates risk, additional training, support time and any latency in sharing critical road condition information. The state of Minnesota’s Emergency Operations Center uses the road condition map service to enhance the state’s situational awareness application. This application is able to easily consume the map service to report current road conditions. This provides clear and consistent communications to incident command and response/recovery personnel from multiple agencies.

The web service also is used as a resource to produce Mn/DOT map products, such as daily map sets of current road closures in printable PDF format.

To access all the publicly available viewers and PDF maps for the current flood season, see Mn/DOT’s Floods 2011 Road and Travel Information webpage.

For more information on the GIS-based applications to support flood response and recovery in Minnesota, contact Paul Weinberger, Mn/DOT Enterprise GIS, at or 651-366-4121.