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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Meeting Notes
Thursday, June 8, 2000
Indiana University Northwest - Library

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Wayne Becker, SEH; Jon Kilpinen, Valparaiso University; Kathy Luther, IDEM; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Kathy Mohlke, DLZ; Cecile Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; George Olmsted, Indiana University Northwest; Saavela Raspberry, City of Gary; Loren Rhine, NIRPC; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis

Introductions and comments on last meetings notes.

Indiana GIS Initiative

The Indiana GIS Initiative has created a 25 member, Council of GIS. In an attempt to form a diverse Council, members representing private, public, not-for-profits, and academia have been included. All members currently on the INGIS Initiative Steering Committee have been appointed to the Council. Length of membership and the Council's mission statement will be included in primary discussions of the Council. Statewide GIS coordination and methodology for GIS implementation will most likely be topics for the Council. The first meeting of the Council will be August 10. The next general meeting for the Indiana GIS Initiative will be July 20. The Initiative meets quarterly and membership is open to the public. The Council will take its direction from general Initiative membership. Contact Becky McKinley for further information about these meetings.

Jill Saligoe-Simmel has been appointed Director of the Polis Center at IUPUI.

The State of Indiana is currently searching for a Statewide GIS Director. $300,000 has been allocated for the two-year position. It is suspected that the Director will lend support to state and local GIS implementation. Bringing GIS to the forefront of the State legislature is also expected to be a mission of the Director. There is hope that the INGISI Council will help reinitiate the currently inactive University GIS Alliance. The Open GIS Consortium is also being invited to participate in the Council.

Web site for the Indiana GIS initiative.

Local GIS Projects

Kathy Mohlke of DLZ is working with St. John on GIS - zoning map comments are expected back in mid June. The basemap is being converted from CAD to GIS.

Wayne Becker, working with SEH in Dyer, continues their project. He will present an overview of Dyer's GIS project during our August meeting

NIRPC is currently revamping its GIS program. They have been working on a TIGER 2000 update since the Fall of '99. Census projects include traffic zones, and workplace coding. NIRPC is working on a basemap for environmental and transportation applications.

Great Konomick Project is being managed by Martha Wilezynski of J.F. New & Associates. The project is attempting to inventory all public lands in the Konomick watershed (from the west, where Grand and Little Calumet rivers join in Illinois - south of Crown Point and Valparaiso - to Michigan City on the east). They are currently requesting data to help them build a GIS. The DNR Watershed Project is similar to the Great Konomick Project. J.F. New should be contacted to determine if their project will include FGDC compliant metadata.

Anyone interested in creating and publishing mapping websites should look into iMapper. This ArcScript can be downloaded free from the ESRI website. Information about this script can be found at the ESRI website.


A successful ArcView training session was held at IU Northwest May 18-19. To date, approximately 100 persons have completed training sessions. Training has worked out well at IU Northwest's GIS lab. There won't be any training sessions held during the summer. Training needs will be assessed in the Fall to determine if sessions should be scheduled.

Nine students have enrolled in the IU Northwest Division of Business/SPEA GIS course.

It has been suggested that NWI GIS Forum meetings include training, demonstrations or workshops on topics that would be of interest to its members. Possible topics might include; how to use Census TIGER files, instruction on how to use some of the ArcView extensions, what options are available for publishing information on the web, and how to geocode data. Members could also request different exercises that would help them solve their GIS problems. An email to our members asking what kinds of topics would be helpful to them would be a good way to find ideas. We would also encourage our members to present demonstrations on topics in which they have expertise.

How would these workshops/demos be scheduled into the course of the Forum's meetings? More business related items could be shifted to the Steering Committee - Meetings could begin an hour earlier, 9:00 a.m. - Workshops could be scheduled for after lunch - Workshops could be published on the Forum's web page - Hands-on workshops could be offered in the evening - Offer a GIS Open House with sponsor presentation.

Web page - No current activity on the web page. Additional updates will be given to the IU Northwest web master for corrections and additions to the NWI GIS Forum website as received.

Funding - Metadata compilation by NIPC based on the Forum's FGDC grant continues. This project is in its final stages.

EPA grant - Tim has contacted the EPA financial department responsible for overseeing the grant that the Forum has received. Kathy Luther suggested that a 424 form is needed for the money to be released. Additional discussions are needed to determine what forms are necessary to draw down the grant monies.

The Steering Committee has met and discussions about how to administer the grant have begun. An initial metadata Educational workshop will be offered to NWI GIS Forum members who have data. A list of potential participants be compiled from the workshop. A more technical workshop will be offered to those listed.

A spreadsheet was created including GIS contacts for all potentially participating municipalities, counties, regional organizations, federal, state, academic, not-for-profits, and initiatives. A request was made for Forum members to insert any known (personally or otherwise) GIS contact into the speadsheet.

Next meeting - August 17, 2000 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Indiana University Northwest

Wayne Becker of SEH offered brief a presentation entitled "Can Your Organization Benefit from a GIS?


Steering Committee Meeting

Since our grant with the EPA covers two years, organizations might not currently have data from which to create meta data, but we need to keep in mind that they might have a GIS system in the works and data might become available from them for next year.

Discussions with Nina Savar are necessary to determine the cost of workshops. A second pass through the spreadsheet to obtain GIS contacts and mailing information is necessary. Any GIS contacts that are personally known by Forum members should be added prior to resorting to unknown contacts.

Jon Kilpinen has volunteered to work on Porter County GIS contacts, Becky will work on Lake County contacts, and Kevin will look into LaPorte County contacts.

Possible metadata compilation participants might include AES (Applied Economic Services). They are currently looking for data relating to the watershed project, and Steve Brown of the IGS (IU Northwest Office) who has been doing works on the DNR water well database.

Workshops to be included during Forum meetings could potentially start during October meeting.

A list of potential metadata participants should be assembled from the attendees of the first introduction to metadata workshop. Those persons will be invited to a more detailed workshop.

Interns from Valparaiso University are available to work on the project if needed.

Need to secure a work plan from Milo.