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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Meeting Notes
Thursday, April 13, 2000
Indiana University Northwest - Library

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Wayne Becker, SEH; Louis Brenan, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; Alex daSilva, NWI Environmental Justice Resource Center; Rick Eberly, Town of Dyer; Rich Hardesty, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Jon Kilpinen, Valparaiso University; Kathy Luther, IDEM; Deb Martin, City of South Bend - GIS; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Kim Molchan, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Cecile Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Olasupo A. Oloyede, Gary Planning Department; George Olmsted, Indiana University Northwest; Mary Beth Qvyjt, US Army Corps of Engineers; Jim Petro, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Saavela Raspberry, City of Gary; Edward Rudd, Robinson Engineering; Bill Schalliol, City of Mishawaka - GIS; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Terrel Waddel, NIRPC


The NWI GIS Forum has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the US EPA - Milo Anderson will act as project manager. In light of this event, Milo has requested that he be replaced as Co-Chair to prevent any possible conflict of interest. Becky suggested that Tim Sutherland replace Milo as Co-Chair and asked those in attendance for any comments or objections. No objections were raised; Tim Sutherland will serve as Co-Chair of the Forum with Becky McKinley. Any further comments regarding this change should be forwarded to Becky.

The EPA Grant will be awarded in June. Becky suggested that a Steering Committee be formed to administer the grant. The Steering Committee would meet more frequently (possibly every two weeks) to oversee the progress of the project. Becky asked for volunteers for this committee from those in attendance. Current members of this Committee are, Becky McKinley, Kevin Miller, Cecile Morris, Alex daSilva, and Tim Sutherland. Additional Steering Committee members may be recruited as needed. Any NWI GIS Forum members wishing to serve on the committee are welcome. Steering Committee members will help contact prospective metadata recipients regarding workshops. A new search will be undertaken by the group to identify potential sources for metadata compilation in the near future.

Indiana GIS Initiative

Kevin provided an explanation and update on the Indiana GIS Initiative Group. The INGISI is an Ad Hoc group based out of Indianapolis encouraging statewide collaboration and data sharing. They also intend to establish an NSDI Clearinghouse node at IUPUI. They've received a Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) grant. The group's goals are to provide direction to GIS users and to make GIS usable to all through collaboration.

A steering committee was formed to direct the group's efforts and develop a plan for action. Steering committee members include participants from state government, private industry, local government and university. Both Becky McKinley and Kevin Miller from our group are participants. There is a web site for the Indiana GIS initiative. The group is currently working with the governor's office to draft an Executive Order to create a Council of GIS. Since Executive Orders are only in force during the signing governor's term, it may be advantageous to wait until after the November elections to complete the process.

Local GIS Projects

Mishawaka - working on countywide GIS - currently working with POLIS on utilities, public safety, land use/development and general applications. They hope to have the project completed by August including the conversion of 114,000 plats. They expect the work to be on desktops in approximately a year and a half.

Lake County has received ArcInfo and continues to take baby steps.

Working with SEH, Dyer has created a pilot area and are pursuing parcel mapping at this time. They are working toward town wide parcel mapping, sanitary, water, storm, and public safety. Data will be delivered in ArcView shape files. They are working towards serving up data via the web.

Mary Beth Qvyjt with the US Army Corps of Engineers is currently developing a GIS database. Her projects include completing work on the ADID wetlands inventory map as well as a Kankakee River Basin project.

NIRPC is currently revamping its GIS program. They have spoken to POLIS for possible help. They are working on a three county basemap. NIRPC will receive a grant in August to begin work on a 2-year project creating a new water shed plan. They hope to contract out for some of the GIS work. A number of other groups are working on similar projects and NIRPC hopes for some collaboration with them.

Training - Two day sessions of ArcView training were held at the IU Northwest GIS lab in February and March. Another session limited to 12 participants will be offered near the end of May. Further information will be forwarded to all Forum members shortly.

Two courses will be offered at IU Northwest this summer related to GIS. The Divisions of Business and SPEA are offering an ArcView based, Introduction to GIS, during the first summer session on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The instructor will be George Olmsted. The Department of Geosciences is offering, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Computer Methods in Geography, during the second summer session.

Web page - Updates have been given to the IU Northwest web master for corrections and additions to the NWI GIS Forum website. Additions include website URLs for the Indiana GIS Initiative and Indiana DOQQ's. Meeting notes will also updated.

Funding - Additional funding for a Northwest Indiana GIS Resource Center continues to be pursued. Funding would help to finance more advanced training sessions. If such training is offered, a small fee could be charged to offset expenses. Funding would also be used to support an in-house grant seeker to search for additional operating resources. One future source for funding might be Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) fines levied against the local steel industry. These funds are unavailable until IDEM concludes discussions with the fined parties. Metadata compilation by NIPC based on the Forum's FGDC grant continues.

Ed Rudd from Robinson Engineering presented portions of their project for the city of Gary. The project was delivered to Gary in AutoCAD format and includes digital ortho photos, parcel map, centerline, and building footprints.


Steering Committee Meeting

Monthly contact with NIPC should be maintained to assess current status of metadata compilation. Regular updates from NIPC would be helpful.

Northwest Indiana Communities should be contacted to determine if they have data. If they currently have none - when do they anticipate having some - who would be an appropriate contact to discuss data?

How many data sets need metadata compilation for Lake Rim? Any National Lake Shore Data? - ADID - Save the Dunes - Grand Cal Task Force - Grand Cal Vision. Should we make spatial or nonspatial priorities?

Metadata for at least four layers of the City of Gary's data will be reviewed by NIPC for usage in the FGDC grant.

How should metadata education be approached for inclusion in the EPA grant - General or Hands on?

Additional discussions with Milo regarding grant funding are needed.