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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Minutes
June 17, 1999
NIRPC Offices

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Milo Anderson, USEPA; Chris Bohnert, Michigan City Planning Dept.; Bill Brown, NIRPC; Rick Chapman, US Steel; Rick Eberly, City of Dyer; Becky Galambos, Hammond Sanitary District; Frank Jachim, City of Dyer; Denarie Kane, City of Hobart; Matt Keiser, Duneland Group; Kathy Luther, IDEM; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Cecile Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; George Olmsted, IU Northwest; Art Powell, City of Porter; Debbie Scurlock, City of Hobart; Jay C. Steinmetz, City of Dyer; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Terrell Waddell, NIRPC; Mark Wilkerson, NIRPC; Samdra Wilmore, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund; Lorraine Wright, IDEM

Introductions of those in attendance / comments on notes from April 15, 1999 meeting.

A special mailing inviting previously non-participating communities in Northwest Indiana to attend this meeting was prepared and sent by Becky Galambos. New participants are welcomed from the cities of Dyer, Hobart, Chesterton, Porter and Michigan City. Goals of our forum include an attempt to catalog spatial data for NWI and encourage data sharing.

Types of GIS programs currently in place of those in attendance:

2 people currently working with GIS, base map, using ArcView software. Sanitary District supports all aspects of city planning.

GIS in place for 6-7 years in Hazardous Waste Geology Division, currently approximately 150 GIS users at IDEM (making it the state agency with the largest GIS program), Lake Rim web site (sponsored by Indiana Geological Survey) featuring various NWI data to print out or download, attempting to encourage other state agencies to share GIS data and expertise, seeking to implement a statewide GIS initiative including a state GIS office and received $80,000 FGDC grant for metadata creation in conjunction with the GIS initiative.

U.S. Steel:
GIS program in place for approx. 2 years

GIS program in place, expecting additional training this summer, GIS will be used for long term transportation plan, congestion patterns data.

IDEM (NWI Regional Office):
PC available for public use includes plotter and much digital data relating to Northwest Indiana, summer intern currently collecting GPS data to be added to system

City of Hobart:
Currently in the start-up phase, data currently in AutoCAD Map, competed for ESRI grants and now have copies of ArcInfo, Building and Planning Departments will begin to set up a GIS program with outreach to other departments next.

GIS has been lumped into the single office of Information Technology and it's questionable as to how it will filter down to all the regions, all divisions currently have GIS personnel, the research arm of the EPA has declared any metadata created must be fully FGDC compliant by the end of the summer.

IU Northwest:
The Northwest Indiana Center for Data and Analysis has received the ArcView 3.1 upgrade, Governmental digital data is available, upgraded GIS (ArcView) laboratory this summer with 14 stations creating training opportunities, business and geoscience courses are being developed for Winter 2000 semester, Community Outreach federal funding proposal to include GIS components, list of private and corporate foundations giving to Indiana projects compiled, web page changes and additions will be completed shortly.

Town of Porter:
GIS program to be implemented beginning next year, will be working closely with Chesterton.

Town of Chesterton:
GIS program in place for two years, aerial photos flown last November, adjustments being made, infrastructure somewhat complete, land use now being investigated, town is networked, fiber optic links hopefully by Fall, Duneland Group/town engineers set up GIS.

Receiving Indiana Statewide Initiative meeting notes.

Save the Dunes Conservation Fund:
Using ArcView for various projects

Town of Dyer:
Currently collecting data, mapping sanitary systems, interested in using GIS for building issues, AutoCAD format maps, trying to upgrade bad data.

Michigan City:
Presently having trouble convincing elected officials and department heads that GIS is needed, looking for ways to educate and present information regarding GIS

Subcommittee Reports

Two ArcView 3.1 training sessions will be offered at Valparaiso University. The back to back, two-day sessions will be free - August 9-10 and August 11-12. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis with no limit on the number of persons from a particular organization. Anyone wishing to enroll was asked to sign up or contact Becky Galambos.

Cataloging and Funding
The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) provides grants to organizations wishing to develop metadata. The Statewide GIS Initiative submitted a proposal to the FGDC for metadata development for Central Indiana. Our group was able to cooperatively join their proposal for funding for our own metadata cataloging. Funding was granted and our group will receive $8,000.00 from the total grant of $80,000.00. We will need input on how to decide what data to choose for creation of its associated metadata. We also need to know who has data and how will it be catalogued. It is our intention to model the catalogue after the Northern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) Program. The metadata will be minimally compliant. We will receive the money in September so we have time to decide what agencies want to participate and what data to use. Additional discussion on this matter will be held after lunch.

GIS Resource Center funding
Possible sources of funding for a GIS Resource Center at IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis: EPA region 5 is supportive of our efforts but their budget for discretionary funds appears to have dried up; National Home Builders Association/State or National Real Estate Organizations; Private/Corporate Foundations.

The NWI GIS Forum will host a booth at the URISA Annual Conference and Exposition being held at Navy Pier from August 21-25. Volunteers are needed to man the booth on Monday and Tuesday, August 22-23, from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, August 25 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. IDEM will provide some representation for us in the way of graphics and Internet access. We need to create a handout anyone who has artistic skills and could design and provide a banner for the booth would be greatly appreciated. Poster projects are also being requested if anyone would like to provide graphic information. If registration fees are a problem, contact Becky.

Presentation by URISA Director of Education - Bob

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a vendor neutral, international organization providing education to state and local professional providing information technology and GIS support. Its current membership consists of one-third state and local agencies, one-third private businesses and one-third academics. URISA publishes a scholarly journal, books, and quick GIS study guides on a variety of topics. Besides printed materials, URISA conducts a number of workshops and conducts an annual conference. At this year's conference at Navy Pier, 25 workshops will be offered. All workshops are certified by URISA and are peer reviewed.

Northwest Indiana is considered part of the Chicagoland area and anyone interested is welcome to join the URISA Chicagoland Chapter. More information is available at the Chicagoland Chapter of URISA web site.


We need to conduct a one on one search of Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties and NWI municipalities for Data for metadata creation. A list of possible communities having data and the appropriate contacts should be made. Milo Anderson, Becky Galambos, Kathy Luther and Tim Sutherland volunteered to make phone inquiries from lists distributed by Becky.

We need to meet with Nina Savar to determine how many sets of metadata we can purchase for the money we've received. Could metadata creation training be included by NIPC? Do we need a contract with Nina? Who is handling the money? Would the project look more local (less of an Indianapolis project) if the money were funneled through Northwest Indiana? Future funding might be enhanced if we get appropriate credit for this project.

Kevin Miller spoke with Rick Chapman of U.S. Steel about possible funding of a GIS Resource Center to be located at IU Northwest and sponsored by U.S. Steel. Rick mentioned that U.S. Steel is seeking ways to promote community presence and he will speak to the head of the Environmental Department.

We need to be aware of any deadlines for private/corporate foundation funding so that we can submit letters of inquiry.

Noteworthy Web sites: