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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum Meeting Notes
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Indiana University Northwest - Library

Meeting Notes

Members in Attendance: Wayne Becker, SEH; Jim LeVan, CTE Engineering; Kathy Luther, IDEM; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Kim Molchan, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Kathy Mohlke, DLZ of Indiana; Cecile Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Alan Ross, City of Gary Police Dept.; Robert Strimbu, City of Gary Planning Dept.;Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Dennis Tumberg, SEH

Introductions and comments on last meetings notes.

Indiana GIS Initiative

The second meeting of the Indiana GIS Initiative Council and its subcommittees, open to all interested parties, will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2000, at the Government Center in Indianapolis.

Becky McKinley is Chair of the Networking Subcommittee. The committee is working to compile a Who's Who in GIS for Indiana. They will work with Access Indiana to include it in their website. A target date in December 2000 is scheduled to get the website operational. A keyword search by topic will provide persons having that particular expertise for networking possibilities.

Kevin Miller Chairs the Education Subcommittee. Marketing materials will be developed to educate about GIS and how it affects different areas such as the police sector. The Education committee will also search for other organizations in Indiana interested in or using GIS (similar to our NWI GIS Forum) to get involved in the Indiana GIS Initiative.

Additional information about current developments happening with the Indiana GIS Initiative can be found at their website.

Education Programs

The Civil Engineering program at Purdue Univ. in W. Lafayette now offers 3 or 4 Master degrees in Geomatics. More information about these offereings can be found on their website.

Valparaiso University is currently offering a certificate in Geographic and Environmental Policy Systems. Additional information is available on their website.

Several websites with information about GIS distance learning certificate programs include:

Local GIS Projects

IDEM - The Public Computer Room featuring GIS applications with IDEM data is up and running. It's located at IDEM Northwest Office at 5th and Broadway. Accessible data includes monitoring wells, solid and hazardous waste sites and data from their inspectors.

Lake County - The county's file server has been set up in the Surveyor's Office. Networking with tax information is underway.

Dyer - Work on parcel mapping continues. The project is about three-quarters complete.

Gary - An environmental database for Gary that includes IDEM information about underground storage tanks, CERCLIS sites and eventually a brownfields inventory is being assembled. The project is 70% done. The next step will be to create a GIS to identify data by incidence number and address.

Gary is finalizing a contract with Robinson to attach attributes to the basemap previously delivered. A timeframe of 14 weeks will be included in the contract.

IDEM (Indianapolis) is a beta site for ArcInfo 8.0.

NIRPC is currently working on a traffic volume database.

EPA/Army Corps of Engineers continues work on the wetlands ADID project. Translation from GRASS to ArcInfo is almost complete. The maps will eventually be included on the Indiana Geological Survey's Lake Rim website.

IU Northwest will continue to offer undergraduate GIS courses through the Geosciences and Business departments. Geographic imaging software, ERDAS Imagine 8.4, has been loaded on all computers in the IU Northwest GIS lab.

SEH is working on centerline files with the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Wayne Becker wondered if anyone was aware of a process for cleaning up TIGER/Line data.

Hammond is working in-house on parcel conversion. Currently industrial, business and residential parcels are being converted into AutoCad. Problem areas will be tackled later.

Work continues on St. John's GIS project. Plans for the formation of a GIS committee are being discussed.


Approximately 25 persons attended two sessions of ArcView training held at IU Northwest September 28-29 and October 5-6, 2000. Additional ArcView training sessions will probably be scheduled next spring.

Tentative workshop topics will be discussed at the steering committee meeting following this regular meeting. Possible ideas include, GIS and land information, how to integrate CAD and GIS, crime analysis with GIS. Two hour, monthly workshops might be the best way to begin sessions.

Web Page

Links to Valpo U. and Purdue GIS certification programs as well as other GIS distance learning programs should be added to the Resources web page. Investigation into a ListServe accessible through the GIS Forum website continues. Subscription to the list should be by invitation.


Metadata for 33 datasets will be completed by the end of October. Nina Savar and Sherrie Meyer of NIPC met with participants in the FGDC metadata compilation project (Becky McKinley for Hammond, Charlie Remmers of Munster, Kevin Klocek of East Chicago and Cele Morris) to create a template to use for the project. Jill Saligoe-Simmel of the Indiana GIS Initiative has been contacted and will work with NIPC in an effort to post the metadata to Indiana's Clearinghouse node.

Tim Sutherland reported that Congressman Visclosky's Office called to advise us that the EPA grant has been awarded. A general metadata workshop presented by NIPC will be scheduled. We will rely on NIPC to provide workshops only.

USX still looks like a good source for funding a Northwest Indiana Office of GIS at Indiana University Northwest. SEP funds that might be a source of funding for the project remain tied to negotiations between USX and IDEM. It is unknown how long this source of funding could be tied up. Other community funding could be explored.

Other Announcements

The Council of Communities organization based in Porter County will hold its next meeting on Wednesday October 18 at NIPSCO in Valparaiso. NIPSCO will demonstrate its use of GIS at this meeting. Last month, Sidwell presented sample data for a GIS on Pleasant Township in Porter County.

Next Meeting: 9:00 a.m., December 14 - IU Northwest.