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MN GIS/LIS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Victoria A. Reinhardt
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MN GIS/LIS Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Victoria A. Reinhardt (2014)
Ramsey County Commissioner

Victoria Reinhardt has been a significant and tireless champion of geospatial data sharing and progressive geospatial policy for two decades.  Her long-standing and effective advocacy for inter-agency cooperation in geodata development and sharing has provided steady and consistent support for geospatial technology and its practitioners in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, in Greater Minnesota, and nationally. This has been a critical factor in achieving the vision of free and open public geospatial data in Minnesota.


Commissioner Reinhardt’s story as an advocate of geospatial technology began in 1997 with her appointment to the newly established MetroGIS Policy Board and her election as its first chairperson. MetroGIS was created concurrently with—but without awareness of—the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC) newly launched initiative to foster wide-spread sharing of geospatial data throughout the United States. That initiative was called the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and MetroGIS’ leadership—including Commissioner Reinhardt—began to aggressively integrate NSDI philosophy and principals into the policies that underpinned MetroGIS’s vision.


Commissioner Reinhardt understood that a major public policy paradigm shift would be required to accomplish the MetroGIS vision. She also understood that it was her responsibility as Policy Board Chairperson to foster the atmosphere needed to convince her policy-making peers that it is in the greater public good for local government to endorse the emerging free and open geospatial data philosophy. Commissioner Reinhardt took her role seriously, serving in the following leadership capacities:

  • Charter and continuing member of the MetroGIS Policy Board, 1997—present;
  • Served as the Chair of the MetroGIS Policy Board, 1997—2007;
  • Testified before a U. S. House of Representatives sub-committee in 1999 on the efficiencies and benefits of inter-agency geospatial data development and data sharing being realized in the Twin Cities metropolitan area;
  •  Served as a member of the National GeoData Board representing county government, 2000 –2003;
  • Served for eight years as a member of Governors Council on Geospatial Information representing the interests of county government, and co-chaired its Strategic Planning Committee, 2001—2009;
  • Serves on the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office Geospatial Advisory Council, 2009—Present.

In each of these leadership capacities, Commissioner Reinhardt has effectively advocated for policy changes which align with sharing of data and expertise across borders—policies that improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency in the Twin Cities metro region and beyond.


She is in large part responsible for the current policy paradigm shift in the Twin Cities and Minnesota away from cost recovery of geospatial data. In February 2014, her county—Ramsey—became the first county in Minnesota to adopt a formal policy resolution supporting free and open public geospatial data without fee or licensure.


For nearly two decades, Commissioner Reinhardt has worked to advancing geospatial technology as a core business tool.  Commissioner Reinhardt’s dedication has enhanced the greater good through advancing the field of geospatial technology and improving the quality of life in Minnesota and beyond. Her tireless efforts have promoted a vision of collaboration within the Minnesota GIS community. 

2014 Lifetime Award recipient Victoria A. Reinhardt with Geoff Maas at the
Annual Conference in Rochester, Minnesota.

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