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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Meeting Notes
Thursday, February 10, 2000
IDEM NWI Regional Office

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Milo Anderson, US EPA; Rick Chapman, USX; Alex daSilva, NWI Environmental Justice Resource Center; Jon Kilpinen, Valparaiso University; Kevin Klocek, East Chicago City Engineer's Office; Betty Lipton, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Kathy Luther, IDEM; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Kim Molchan, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Kathi Mohlke, DLZ; Cecile Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Olasupo A. Oloyede, Gary Planning Department; George Olmsted, Indiana University Northwest; Larry Park, NIPSCO, Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis;

Indiana GIS Initiative

Kevin provided an explanation and update on the Indiana GIS Initiative Group. Efforts to establish a state GIS agency are making headway. Money to fund a state coordinator has been approved. The position will be associated with the state information systems department. ESRI has been selected as software vendor to the State. Communication between IDEM, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Health and Indiana Department of Transportation. regarding data sharing and infrastructure for a GIS is beginning.

The State GIS Agency Committee is a result of a Steering Committee with which both Becky and Kevin have participated. There is a web site for the Indiana GIS initiative. An Executive Order to create a Council of GIS is currently being drafted. The order will state that a 23 member council will be created to spell out guidelines and standards for a statewide GIS. This Executive Order will be a platform for standardization of the framework for our statewide GIS.

SPEA at Indiana University has begun posting Indiana digital ortho quarter quads, these photos can be viewed using ArcView software.

A state GIS conference will be held at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, March 3-7, 2000. A conference summary was distributed including workshop and presentation subjects, pre-registration prices, times and contacts.

Local GIS Projects

Kathi Mohlke of DLZ, is currently working on a remapping project with St. John. The five phase base map project is expected to be complete by the end of March. Ultimately, parcels, sewers, storm and sanitary will be mapped. St. John is currently waiting for orthographic photos.

The City of Gary is very interested in extensive ArcView training. Robinson Engineering is very close to presenting completed digitized photos to Gary. It is hoped that this project will provide seamless coverage over Gary, East Chicago, Hammond, Munster. There is a very good chance that our next meeting will include a presentation of Gary's product.

Lake County is still waiting for a needs assessment report regarding GIS. The County was flown for photography in the Spring of '98. Photos are just beginning to come in. There won't be any photos north of the Little Calumet River due to constraints of the drainage budget.

Subcommittee Reports

Training - An ArcView training session has been scheduled for Feb. 24 - 25, 2000. The session will be held at the new IU Northwest GIS lab. The enrollment is currently at maximum. The greatest number of trainees will be coming from Elkhart County and Munster. The City Planner from Whiting will also be attending. Since enrollment for this session filled up so quickly, another training session is anticipated for March. Becky will keep Forum members appraised on upcoming training sessions.

Forum members inquired as to possibility of ArcInfo training. We were advised that the ESRI website provides information to locate the closest certified instructor in the area.

ESRI is hosting a free seminar in Indianapolis on February 15. Information can be found on their website.

The IU Northwest Division of Business is offering a seven week GIS based business course this summer. Valparaiso University Geography Department offers an introductory GIS course every semester and an advanced GIS course every three semesters. Valpo offers a GIS certificate program for those holding degrees. Coursework with concentrations in policy, environment or biology are available.

Clearinghouse/Webpage - Tim Sutherland reported that the 14-station GIS lab at IU Northwest is operational. All machines are equipped with ArcView 3.2, statistical software and ERDAS is scheduled to be installed in the future. A projector and screen are available. Unfortunately the GIS course offered by the Geosciences Department for this spring was canceled due to lack of enrollment. The NWI GIS Forum web pages are in the process of being updated. Updated links and minutes have been submitted to the IU Northwest webmaster.

Funding - Funding for personnel for the GIS Resource Center to be located at IU Northwest continues to be investigated. Kathy Luther reported that NWI GIS Forum activities have not been included on the agenda of the CARE committee as of yet, but she would work on mentioning it to the committee.

Rick Chapman of USX reported that the Forum's proposal for SEP funds was met positively. USX is in the processing of negotiations with IDEM regarding any penalties that may be assessed to USX. At this time USX is not in a position to make a commitment to fund the GIS Resource Center, but will keep our proposal in mind when monies become available. Rick will contact the group when a presentation to USX would be advantageous.

Milo Anderson stated that EPA funds from the NWI Team's discretionary fund might be a source of money.

Alex daSilva suggested that White River Water Co. (Formerly Gary Sanitary) was interested in fostering positive community relations and might be a possible source of funding. He also mentioned that Matt Geller of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns might be a good link to local municipalities. GIS education to local municipal/county officials could be introduced through Mr. Geller.

FGDC Metadata Project

33 datasets have been located for metadata compilation with the FGDC grant monies. East Chicago, Hammond, and Munster will participate. The Lake County Surveyor's Office, City of Gary, Duneland Group and LaPorte County have all been contacted as possible participants in the project. IDEM data from the Lake Rim site could be considered.


Nina Savar of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Planning Commission presented metadata handouts and discussed metadata compilation.

Next NWI GIS Forum meeting scheduled for April 13, 2000, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at IU Northwest Library.