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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, March 14, 2002
Meeting Location: Indiana Universuty Northwest

Members in Attendance: Assinio Best, City of Gary Planning Dept.; Ivan Gregory, City of Gary Planning Dept.; Bethany Hodge, Pangea Systems; Deb Martin, City of South Bend; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Cele Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Savella Raspberry, City of Gary, Planning Dept.; Lauren Rhine, NIRPC; Fong Shu, City of South Bend; Robert Strimbu, City of Gary Planning Dept.; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; John Tanger, NIPSCO.

Updates on Local GIS Projects.
The City of Hammond is building additional geographies on its basemap. Becky is working with city departments to extend their GIS using ArcView 3.2. A server for the City (Metropolitan Area Network) is up and running

The City of Gary has received a proposal from the Polis Center at IUPUI for a GIS needs assessment. Gary Planning Department members present requested that the Forum review the contract and advise them if additional areas need to be addressed. Becky and Kevin agreed to look over the contract and make comments, but felt that they couldn't make recommendations to the City. Additional discussion about Gary's current GIS situation continued.

Gary's Planning Dept. is currently working with Lake County to develop a "live link" to the County Assessor's Office. This will give the Gary Planning Dept. access to property ownership and tax data. The City presently has both AutoCad and ArcView shapefile coverages

John Tanger of NIPSCO reports that while the company generally doesn't share its GIS data for utilities with municipal and county government, contractors have always been able to get maps. Some of their many applications are currently being served electronically to NIPSCO's numerous users in Northern Indiana. They continue to integrate their data within various departments.

The City of South Bend is in the process of assigning responsibility of their GIS data sets to specific departments. This includes maintenance of the datasets. The City has a server active and is presently primarily using ArcView 3.2. Five people with the City have server read-write privileges. The server mirrors St. Joseph County's server. The City has an agreement with the County regarding data sharing. Deb Martin stressed the importance of having a point person in charge of GIS activities within the organization.

Bethany Hodge of Pangea Systems summarized some of the projects they work on with the Cities of Chicago and Bloomington, IN and IDEM. Their work varies from GIS remote sensing, data conversion, ArcIMS applications and implementation plans for local municipalities.

Lauren Rhine of NIRPC reported that work will start soon on their 20-30 Plan. All GIS work on the Plan will be done in ArcView 3.2 To date, Census 2000 SF-1 data has been pulled out and they will be recreating population and traffic zone maps for the three county region. Additional Census 2000 data will be available later this summer when SF-3 files are released and that data will be used for other projects.

Indiana GIS Initiative
Members of the NWI GIS forum who attended the INGISI conference held in Indianapolis February 28 - March 1 deemed it to be a success. Plans are underway for an annual conference to be held from now on. Specifics on conference dates for next year will be announced when they are scheduled.

Ron Mazer of FGDC was the keynote speaker at the conference. He discussed a federal initiative to align the money to be spent on GIS. This initiative includes an inventory of data. This coordinates with INGISI's I-Team project. Deb Martin of the City of South Bend is the coordinator of framework data for Northern Indiana. She will be investigating what framework data exists for our area. This base level data includes transportation, cadastral, geodetic control, DOQQ's, hydrography, elevation, and boundaries. Indiana is leading the country in response to this initiative. More information about Indiana's I-Team can be found on INGISI's website.

The I-Team business meeting held at the conference focused on how the state of Indiana could help local entities with GIS.

INGISI has begun paperwork for incorporation as a non-for-profit organization. Such a status will allow the group to apply for grant funding for various projects.

Training - The Taming Tiger 2000 workshop that INGISI had requested the NWI GIS Forum present at the Indiana GIS 2002 Conference was cancelled due to low pre-registration. Once SF-3 census data is released the Forum may want to offer another workshop.

EPA Grant - A request for extension was forwarded to the EPA for our NWI metadata catalog grant. It was suggested that the Data Center talk to Milo Anderson about focusing more on education since documenting data files is going so slowly.

Cele reported that 8 metadata files have been forward to the IUPUI Library for posting on their Geographic Catalog. Work is also moving forward on metadata for an additional 18 files from the City of South Bend.

Kevin suggested that Cele update the federal datasets on the LakeRim website and provide a link to the metadata.

Other Business - The National URISA conference will be held this October in Downtown Chicago. The Forum will have a booth at the conference. Becky encouraged Forum members to participate in the conference by showcasing their local projects in poster presentations.

Next Meeting: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 9, 2002 - NIRPC - Portage, Indiana.