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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, November 14, 2002
Meeting Location: Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Members in Attendance: Deb Conley, Elkhart County; Cornelius Davis, NIRPC; Beth Hodge, Pangea; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Cele Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; George Olmsted, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Robert Strimbu, City of Gary Environmental Affairs Dept.; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis.

Local Implementation
Hammond is in the process of updating their aerial photography. Digital products currently available are being considered. A decision is anticipated by the end of the year.

Pangea has discontinued its reseller agreement with Kodak offering CITIPIX aerial photography. Lake County, Indiana had been recently flown for photography under this program. The final outcome of this data is unknown. In order to become a vendor to the state, Pangea has submitted an RFQ to the State of Indiana. They have also had a meeting with Argonne National Lab in regards to a project for the City of Chicago related to homeland security issues.

NIRPC is working on their 20-30 regional transportation plan. They are using ArcView 3.3 to create layouts for the plan that include demographic data for the region. The census transportation package will be released later this month or in December. It will include information related to workers and their commutes. NIRPC intends to share this data. NIRPC is also working with the Northwest Indiana Initiative regarding regional economic issues. They will be searching for marketing data relative to the area.

Kevin Miller at IDEM has been working on a project mapping facilities located on streams having a fish consumption level greater than 5. The US Steel CAMU is almost ready to receive dredging from the Grand Calumet River. IDEM has received aerial photography from the City of Gary and will be converting them into a more useful format. The status of the dredging project could be relayed via the Indiana Geological Survey’s, Lake Rim website. IDEM participated in the state emergency disaster drill held October 30.

Elkhart County has returned their digital orthos to the contractor after corrections were made. They expect that their GIS website will be up and running by the end of the year. They are also discussing how to include a zoning layer in their GIS. Development of an easy user interface for GIS use by county employees is needed.

The City of Gary Environmental Affairs Department is working on a database of brownfields. There is no new information regarding the status of their request for proposals for a GIS needs assessment.

Becky has received information from the Lake County Surveyor’s Office indicating that there will be future interaction between that office and those Lake County municipalities currently involved in GIS projects. She reports that the county is currently digitizing centerline data for use in a 911 project. Parcel level discussions will take place in the future. No timelines presently exist for this work.

The Indiana GIS Initiative will meet from 9:30 to noon on Friday, November 22, 2002 at the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation Building located in Franklin, IN. See the INGISI website for more information. (Publications link – November Newsletter) Also see the website for information regarding standards and guidelines. I-Team workgroups for framework data investigation are currently meeting. INGISI has set a goal of 100% statewide GIS coverage for framework data within 3 to 5 years. Investigation into funding for local framework is underway. INGISI is also talking with the Open GIS Consortium in hopes of future funding opportunities.

IU Northwest has upgraded their GIS lab. New hardware and software for 19 machines have been installed. Both ArcView 3.2 and ArcGIS 8.2 are available. An Intro GIS course will be offered for the spring semester thru SPEA and taught by George Olmsted. The course will be taught utilizing ArcGIS 8.2.

Training & Workshops
Becky has been certified for ESRI ArcView GIS 8.x training. A two-day training session will be scheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 30 and 31, 2003, in the IU Northwest GIS lab. Kevin will look into the status of IDEM possibly furnishing the books for the training. It may be necessary to charge for the books if IDEM is unable to help. Any GIS Forum members interested in training should contact Becky at 219-853-6413x516, McKinleyB@hmdin.com.

EPA Grant Status
There has been little activity contacting participants in our metadata workshop regarding metadata creation for their data sets. NIRPC advises that they will have additional data sets that can be catalogued in the near future. Work has continued updating datasets for the IGS, LakeRim GIS site. TIGER/Line files representing Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and their associated census tracts, block groups and designated places have been merged to create Northwest Indiana shape files for counties, tracts, block groups and designated places. Various Census 2000 demographics have been compiled into tables by geography. The tables have been joined to the shape file attribute tables. The tables have been edited and metadata has been created for each shape file. Additional TIGER/Line files will be merged to update the website.

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

Other Business
The URISA Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Chicago, October 28th – 30. The NWI GIS Forum manned a booth in the exhibit hall and provided information about both our organization and the Indiana GIS Initiative. Lots of conference attendees stopped by to pick up a brochure, talk and sign up for our mailing list. The Indiana GIS Initiative provided nice posters and brochures for both groups were available. Thanks to IDEM for printing our brochure. GIS Day will be celebrated at the State House in Indianapolis on November 20, 2002. IDEM will include a poster presentation. Next Meeting – Thursday, January 23, at 9:00 a.m. – Indiana University Northwest, Library – 2nd Floor Data Center.