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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Meeting Notes
Thursday, August 17, 2000
Indiana University Northwest - Library

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Wayne Becker, SEH; Deno Best, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Alex daSilva, IDEM; Fred Halterman, CTE Engineers; Kathy Luther, IDEM; 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; George Olmsted, Indiana University Northwest; Mary Beth Qvyjt, Army Corps of Engineers; Saavela Raspberry, City of Gary; Ann Rissman, LaPorte County Health Dept.; Alan Ross, City of Gary Police Dept.; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Dennis Tumberg, SEH

Introductions and comments on last meetings notes.

Local GIS Projects

Gary - Alan Ross with the Gary Police Department reports that Gary has received digitized maps from Robinson Engineering. It may be 3 to 4 months before the city has a fully operational GIS. Investigation into what system (ESRI or MapInfo) to implement is ongoing. The city is currently looking into training. Basemaps will be provided on CD-ROM with Gary retaining control of the data. GRW is responsible for delivering metadata to Robinson. Metadata for the City of Gary's data will be included in the Forum's EPA Grant.

Army Corps of Engineers - Mary Beth Qvyjt relayed that she is currently working on two projects with the Army Corps. The Kankakee River Basin Study will include reconstruction of levees and bridges, ecological enhancement of the Kankakee, and controlling sediment runoff. Mary Beth's associate, Heather Hanniman, is working on downloading hydrology data for the GIS. Atlantic Technologies will use a new photogrammetric process, Light Detection and Ranging System (LiDAR). LiDAR uses a laser beam to bounce between the aircraft and the ground, assessing distance from the camera to the ground at set points. The laser beams pierce vegetation, which allows measurement to be conducted during previously prohibitive times of the year when vegetation is thick. However, besides possibly expanding the flying season in some areas, the accuracy of ground measurement increases tremendously with the use of this new technology. Cross sections of the Kankakee will be created for digital terrain models. The Corps also continues to update is hardware and new personnel is being hired.

Mary Beth also continues work for the Corps on the ADID project with NIRPC and the EPA. Biological field data is currently being added to the project. Wetlands are categorized by quality, biological factors, water storage and flood control. Data is being converted from GRASS to ArcInfo. 5 to 6 quads will be ready by next month. (The project covers the Lake Michigan Water Shed). Mary Beth is now working with NIRPC to determine how to distribute the data. An online, interactive interface is being considered - possibly linked to the USGS's Lake Rim website. The ADID project should be completed by December.

LaPorte Health Department - Learning to use the software. Employed interns this summer.

Dyer - Wayne Becker of SEH will present the GIS for Dyer later in this meeting. SEH is also working with the Army Corps on utility relocation on the Little Calumet River.

Lake County - Kim Molchan of the Surveyor's Office reports that the County has purchased a server for their digital orthos. Cabling will be tied into the Auditor's Office. Digital Orthos are being purchased. At this time, no plans for data dissemination are being discussed.

Grand Cal Task Force - Becky stated that the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Ship Canal Corridor Vision Project has been completed. A CD-ROM was created from existing data that focused on the area of interest. The CD is available through the Grand Cal Task Force. They may charge a small fee to cover their expenses.

Indiana GIS Initiative - The Initiative's Council of GIS held its first meeting recently. Officers were elected and organizational duties were completed. Jill Saligoe-Simmel has been appointed committee chair. A number of subcommittees will be formed and Becky encouraged Forum members to check the INGISI website and sign up for committees of interest to provide input.


Training was suspended for the summer. Becky requested that the GIS lab at IU Northwest be scheduled for a Certified ArcView training session in October. Potential trainees from not-for-profit organizations, or those working closely with the same will be eligible for enrollment. There will be room for twelve students.

There have been no further discussions regarding additional training or workshops presented at the last NWI GIS Forum meeting. Additional coordination is necessary and Becky will speak with Jon Kilpinen of Valparaiso University about possibilities for future workshops.

Alan Ross of the Gary Police Department inquired about setting up a List Serve for local GIS questions and discussion. Having recent experience setting up a List Serve, the IU Northwest Data Center volunteered to look into the matter.

Kevin Miller offered a description of ESRI's new ArcInfo 8. He believes it to be a much user-friendly product. The software includes Wizard Driven help and metadata compilation capabilities with a complete FGDC manual. With the introduction of ArcInfo 8, ESRI will also produce ArcView 8.1. Trainers of previous versions of ArcView will have to retrain to be certified in 8.1.

Web page

The NWI GIS Forum web page has been updated. Anyone with suggestions for links or other information to be added, please contact Tim or Cele at 981-5612 or send an email to the address shown in the Contact section of the web site. The possibility of creating a ListServe will be investigated through the Data Center.


Metadata compilation by NIPC based on the Forum's FGDC grant continues. This project is in its final stages. The required number of datasets was met. The metadata will be forwarded to the INGISI node located at IUPUI for posting.

EPA grant - The NWI GIS Forum received a 2-year EPA grant that will be run through the IU Northwest Data Center. All the necessary paperwork has been submitted to the EPA and has been approved. A few minor details remain to be ironed out with the EPA financial people. The grant has been increased from $60,000 to $64,000 to reflect a 5% match from IU Northwest.

Funding will be used to hold metadata training sessions. Nina Savar at NIPC will be contracted to conduct introductory metadata workshops. Follow up full day workshops will be targeted towards participants actively creating data for a GIS. Metadata will be created from participants' datasets and posted to the Clearinghouse node at IUPUI.

No current activity searching for funding for the Northwest Indiana Office of GIS. Search for funds will be focused toward the private sector in the future.

Next Meeting - 9:00 a.m., Thursday, October 12, 2000, IU Northwest Library


Wayne Becker, SEH - Dyer GIS:

Goals of Dyer GIS
  • Tax Parcels - owner, address, value, etc.
  • Planning
  • Zoning
  • Utilities
  • Utility Billing
  • TIF
  • Flood Plan/Wetland/Watersheds

Parcel mapping to be completed by late September.