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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Meeting Location: Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Members in Attendance: Martin Brown, City of Gary Planning Dept. (GSD); Cornelius Davis, NIRPC; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, IDEM; Cele Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Dan Rieden, Lake County Parks Dept.; 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 finalizing a pavement management project. An inventory of municipal road conditions will be tied to their GIS.

The IU Northwest Environmental Excellence committee is discussing the creation of a database/Clearinghouse containing information regarding ongoing Northwest Indiana environmental projects. Such information may be geocoded for display on a regional map. Possible funding is being investigated. The Data Center is helping with a GIS component to the COPC project. Glen Park businesses, churches, parks and schools have been geocoded. 2000 Census data will also be used in the GIS. Preliminary investigation into a web based application for this data is underway.

NIRPC is working on their Connections 20-30 regional transportation plan. Plan completion will be in February 2004. Data linked to origin and destination of trips within Northwest Indiana Traffic Analysis Zones will be included in the plan. The location of Environmental Justice traffic zones are also involved. NIRPC continues work on local population and employment projections. Residential and commercial development data from Northwest Indiana communities are being collected for 20-30 land use projections. Cornelius is sketching the land use polygons for their GIS.

The Gary Environmental Affairs Department continues compilation of a Brownfields layer for their GIS. Locations of landfills, Superfund sites and underground storage tanks are also being added. Martin Brown will now be working with the Gary Sanitary District as GIS Coordinator. PlanGraphics has been contracted for a city-wide GIS needs assessment. The city is in the process of upgrading to ArcGIS.

IDEM is currently involved with Superfund scoring in the Town of Pines. Kevin has been responsible for the GIS aspect of this project. Funding for State agencies is very tight right now.

The Lake County Parks Dept. is in the process of completing their Master Plan for the next five years. All current parks as well as those proposed will be considered. New hardware has been ordered in preparation for GIS software installation. The Parks Department continues to investigate available GIS software. They are closely in touch with the Surveyor’s Office.

The State GIS conference held in Indianapolis at the end of February had a record attendance of over 300. The Northwest Indiana GIS Forum had a small booth near the conference registration desk. The conference agenda included a variety of speakers covering various GIS topics. INGISI has become involved with Indiana’s homeland security dept., C-TASC (Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council). C-TASC is involved in the identification of framework GIS data statewide. INGISI is in the process of creating a new interface for their website. You can visit their “in progress” site.

The INGISI Education Committee reports that a new Northeast Indiana User’s Group has been formed. The first meeting was held March 11 in South Bend.

Training & Workshops
Becky will conduct a two-day, ESRI certified, ArcView GIS 8.x training session Thursday and Friday, March 20-21 in the IU Northwest GIS lab. IDEM has furnished the books for the training. A successful training session with 12 in attendance was held January 30 and 31, 2003. No training is scheduled for this summer. Training this fall will be considered based upon interested. Contact Becky: 219-853-6413 x 516, McKinleyB@hmdin.com.

Interest was raised regarding possible workshop sessions during our regular meetings. It was proposed that we include an informational presentation every other meeting from 11:00 to 12:00. PlanGraphics will be contacted to give a presentation at our next meeting. Other vendors could be contacted to give similar presentations.

EPA Grant Status
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 are included in the attribute tables. Metadata has been created for each shape file. These files can be accessed and downloaded via the LakeRim GIS website. The website has a new interface and can be linked to through the Indiana Geological Survey’s Home page. The following shapefiles and metadata for Northwest Indiana have also been submitted to the IGS and now are available on the website: airports (HAZUS ’99), cemeteries, churches (USGS GNIS database), place point locations, railroads (NTAD 2002), roads, urban areas (TIGER/Line 2000).

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

Other Business
Members in attendance expressed interest in participating in GIS Day this year (Wednesday, November 19). Those present will serve on the subcommittee to investigate holding the event. Becky will initiate an E-Project and forward information through that website. Any correspondence can be placed or accessed through the site.

Next Meeting – Thursday, May 15, at 9:00 a.m. – Indiana University Northwest – 2nd Floor.