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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest

Members in Attendance: Deb Conley, Elkhart County; Cornelius Davis, NIRPC; Jeannine Hightower, Laser Source; Beth Hodge, Pangea; Howard Jones, Nies Engineering; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Gwen Milan, Lake County Parks Dept.; Cele Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Dan Rieden, Lake County Parks Dept.; Jeff Sewell, IDEM; Robert Strimbu, City of Gary Environmental Affairs Dept.; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis.

Local Implementation
Neighborhood initiatives are being included in Hammond as a new application for their GIS. City officials and community members are discussing various issues of concern within Hammond that could be mapped. Crime locations, truancy rates and property ownership/rental data are being analyzed to see if patterns exist. Programs that instill neighborhood pride are being investigated via GIS.

Pangea is working on projects with the Indiana Forest Service in Bloomington. They are also working with Porter County on a soil analysis project.

Elkhart County is in the process of revising their digital orthos for further contractor corrections. They expect completion in 4 to 6 weeks. The importance of thorough quality control prior to signing off on a project was stressed.

NIRPC is working on their 20-30 year long-range plan. They are working with the Lake County Regional Transportation Authority regarding their fixed route service to determine the potential demand.

The City of Gary is reviewing proposals from consultants for a GIS needs assessment. Approval for attendance at the URISA Conference is in the works.

Lake County Parks Department reported computer operating system incompatibility with ArcGIS 8.2. GIS implementation and needs assessment are underway. They are working with the County Surveyor’s Office regarding park development. One of their goals is to acquire data more efficiently from other groups. They would eventually like to use GIS to monitor prescribed burns to determine their success.

Nies Engineering is developing a utilities database for a Schererville pilot project. Schererville will also be creating a basemap.

Elkhart County will have a website online in the near future. MACOG will administer the site. GIS data will be included via ArcIMS.

IU Northwest has upgraded their GIS lab. New hardware and software for 19 machines has been installed. Both ArcView 3.2 and ArcGIS 8.2 are available. The Data Center is working with the Save the Dunes Council to create a map for their 50th Anniversary celebration. Maps and data for the Glen Park area are being created as part of the COPC grant.

Statewide collection of framework data has been completed. The results will be compiled in various ways by INGISI. Becky will use some of the data to create a state map showing where GIS implementation has taken place around the state to be displayed in the booth at the URISA Conference this October. Jeff Sewell, Chair of the Standards & Recommendations Committee reports that framework workgroups will be assembled by years end for each of the seven framework layers. The I-Team will begin brainstorming on how to pull the data together for the state. INGISI is becoming more involved with statewide homeland security issues through its involvement with CTASC (Counter Terrorism and Security Council). The state is making a big commitment to GIS for homeland security. A list of critical infrastructure that would be helpful during an emergency response event is being compiled. The list includes approximately 170 layers. Grant money may become available for assembling local lists of such infrastructure.

See the INGISI website for additional information regarding framework data and future meeting dates.

Training & Workshops
Becky has been certified for ESRI ArcView GIS 8.x training. Now that the IU Northwest lab has been upgraded with ArcGIS 8.2 software, she will be sending out email to gauge interest within the Forum for training in the near future (late Oct. – early Nov.). It may be necessary to charge $125.00 for manuals if IDEM discontinues its support. If interested contact Becky at 219-853-6413x516, McKinleyB@hmdin.com.

EPA Grant Status
There has been little activity contacting participants in our metadata training program this summer to obtain information about any of their existing data sets. Information received during the framework inventory quest for INGISI from local entities regarding datasets could be useful in compiling additional metadata for the grant. Work also continues updating dataset for the IGS, LakeRim GIS site.

Meeting notes will be posted to the NWI GIS Forum website as quickly as possible after we meet.

Other Business
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) conference will be held at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel, October 26 thru 30, 2002. The NWI GIS Forum has been offered a free booth in the exhibition hall. The goal of our involvement in the conference will be to encourage membership in the NWI GIS Forum and to let people know what is going on in Northwest Indiana. The State of Indiana will also have a booth at the conference and it could be wise to join our efforts for staffing ease. Becky encourages any Forum participants to submit 3 or 4 PowerPoint slides highlighting their datasets or maps to be used in a presentation for the conference. Becky will create a template for anyone wanting to submit some slides. Any suggestions for material to be presented in the booth, info about poster presentations, or persons wishing to help staff the booth should contact Becky - 853-6413x516, McKinleyB@hmdin.com, Cele - 981-5612, cmorris@iun.edu, or Tim - 980-6946, sutherla@iun.edu.

GIS Day will be celebrated at the State House in Indianapolis on November 20, 2002. Space will be available for any projects from Northwest Indiana. If local entities can’t make it down to Indy for the festivities that day, projects could be sent to Jeff Sewell or Kevin Miller at IDEM and they would see to it that they are included.

FEMA is presently in Lake County searching for flood plain data. The effort is being organized through the county.

Lake County has received $850,000 from the Lake County Council as part of a second 5-year plan for GIS implementation. See the Hammond Times 8/29/02 edition for the story.

Next Meeting – Thursday, November 14, 2002, at 9:00 a.m. – Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission.