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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest

Members in Attendance: Martin Brown, Gary Sanitary District; Greg Croyle, WSI; Cornelius Davis; Roy Evans, Purdue Calumet; Dan Gin, Town of Schererville; Kim Holmquist, School City of Hammond; Betty Kiechle, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller; Cele Morris, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Dan Rieden; Lake County Parks Dept.; Alan Rosenwinkel, Lake County Parks Dept.; Robert Strimbu, City of Gary; Denise Sulek, Town of Schererville; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; Joyce West, Sidwell Co.; Dwayne Williams, Chesterton.

K-12 Workshop - GENI (Geography Educator's Network of Indiana, Inc.) will sponsor a workshop geared towards Northwest Indiana K-12 geography educators on November 12, 2004, at Purdue University Calumet. The three hour, interactive, computer workshop will provide local educators with a brief introduction to GIS. Becky requests that Forum members forward their project related, Power Point slides to her so that she may included them in her presentation illustrating local projects. The object of this workshop is to show educators what kind of GIS information is available in the area. Martin Brown volunteered to give a short presentation on the information technology aspects of GIS. Becky will forward a finalized agenda to Forum membership when it is available. She requests that members pass this information along to relevant educators in Northwest Indiana.

Economic Development - Purdue Calumet Professors Roy Evans and Amlan Mitra presented papers at the North Atlantic Economic Development Council annual conference held in Chicago earlier in October. Roy Evans' presentation was geared towards his committee work dealing with the Marquette Greenway project. Information about the project can be located through the following link. The communities of Whiting, Hammond, East Chicago, Gary and Portage have agreed to move forward together on the project. Lake and Porter counties will be included in future discussions. The Lake County Parks Department has participated in some of the meetings and has suggested that the vision for the project be enlarged to that of a landuse plan. Project consultants will present possible locations for the Greenway in November. It was agreed that the Economic Development subcommittee of the Forum should be resurrected at this time to discuss how the NWI GIS Forum might be of assistance to this project.

Local Implementation - Kevin Miller with IDEM (participating in the meeting via speaker phone) reported on a feasibility study that ties into the Marquette Greenway project. IDEM and the Army Corps of Engineers are looking at the possibility of restoration along the Grand Calumet River. The project includes the creation of three regional GIS layers - streets, hydrography and topography. Parcel information along the river is needed. He will be contacting appropriate Northwest Indiana GIS personnel in the near future for assistance in obtaining data.

Hammond - Becky reports that a zoning layer is nearly compete for the city.

New Forum participants from the Town of Schererville report that they are in the early stages of GIS development. The Building and Planning Department is creating a database of parcels using data obtained from the county. Building permitting is tied to the database. Work has begun on building a geodatabase.

NIRPC will be wrapping up their 2030 transportation plan by late December. GIS work progresses on displaying transporation model output to use for selecting transporation projects.

There have been some personnel changes at Lake County Parks Department. They are working with ArcGIS 9.0 with hopes of using it for their 3 Rivers Park development project.

A number of Town of Chesterton employees just completed a series of training sessions in ArcView 3.2 with G. Olmsted at IU Northwest. They intend to build databases for town parcels and zoning for use in a GIS.

The City of Gary will rollout their enterprise GIS sometime in November. The inclusion of a Table of Contents describing what data is available in the city, who is responsible for it, and data status will be a handy instrument to those in the city using the GIS.

The School City of Hammond is using new a new piece of software for bus routing that ties into their GIS. They are having a little trouble with the accuracy of the street layer they are currently using.

The Lake County Surveyor's Office continues to work on GIS development. They will hold a two day ArcGIS 9.0 training session for county personnel at IU Northwest next month. Data clean up is proceeding on the centerline file.

The Data Center at Indiana University Northwest has been providing GIS generated data for a grant writing team that is developing a Weed and Seed grant application for the University. The Data Center is investigating a funding possibility with the National Parks Service to offer our training facilities under a grant they received dealing with wetland/water data. A proposal was submitted to the City of Gary for metadata development of their spatial data files. The proposal was submitted by Gary to Plangraphics for their input. They are also in the process preparing a final report for the Forum's EPA grant.

The final states of Lake County parcel layer QA/QC are being competed by Sidwell. They are in the second year of a five year contact for GIS development for the County. They are currently providing GIS related services to a number of other counties throughout the state.

George Olmsted has been working on CAD data conversion with the Town of St. John. He has also completed an ArcView 3.2 training session for the Town of Chesterton. He will be teaching an Introduction to GIS thorough the School of Public and Environmental Affairs for the Spring, 2005.

Parcel data by township has been delivered to the City of LaPorte from their vendor. An RFP has been submitted for address ranges.

The Next meeting of the Indiana GIS Initiative will be Thursday, October 21, 2004, at IUPUI, University Library, Room 1126, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. For more information.

2005 Ortho program update - The Indiana 2004 State and Local Homeland Security Grant has a set-aside for counties to participate in a statewide Orthophotography Program. The thirty most populated counties in Indiana are eligible for 1 foot resolution photography. Lake, Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties are included in that category and will receive funding for one-foot resolution photography based on their populations. The remainder of the state will be photographed at 1 meter resolution. All counties will have the opportunity to "buy up" to higher resolution (up to 6 inch resolution) photography. An RFP for the photography has been submitted with a due date of October 26, 2004. A second contract will be issued for QA/QC work on the deliverables. A vendor will be selected sometime in November. Once the vendor is selected, counties will be informed of the actual price for "buy up" resolution. Deliverables statewide will be around May, 2006. The public domain data is expected to be offered in TIFF and Mr. SID formats with FGDC metadata available. More information about the orthophotography program can be found at the following web site.

Huck Finn Project - This project being sponsored by GENI and IGIC coincides with the 2005 orthophotography flyover. Educational materials to introduce geographical ideas to K-12 students will be created based on the ortho project. K-12 institutions will be asked to create art work covering a large area of their property (such as a parking lot, etc.) that may be viewed via the 2005 ortho photography. Currently this is a volunteer program. Grant money for funding a project manager is being sought. More details regarding this project will be available at the Polis Center GIS Road Show to be held at the offices of NIRPC (Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission) being held on Wednesday, November 10th.

NWI GIS Forum Activities
On November 10, 2004, the Polis Center will present a full day of GIS seminars as it brings its Road Show to Northwest Indiana. The Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) will host the day at its Portage Office. Becky will be forwarding a finalized agenda to Forum members in the near future. Free lunch will be provided by a sponsor. Contact the Polis Center by phone or email to reserve your place for the workshop: (317) 274-2455 or send email to shelwils@iupui.edu. Attendance is free, but registration is REQUIRED to ensure seating.

Metadata Tool - A draft metadata tool created by the Indiana Geological Survey and residing on an IGS server is ready for beta testing. The tool was created using funding received through the Forum's EPA grant. Anyone currently creating spatial data in Northwest Indiana is requested to visit the site and create a metadata record by following the directions included in the site. There is a link to a review form included in the site. Please take the time to give some comments on how effective you feel about the tool and surrounding website.

Training - Becky plans to hold at least one ArcGIS 9.0 training session after the first of the year to retain her certification as a ESRI certified trainer. IDEM will continue to contribute the training materials. More information about trainings sessions will be forthcoming.

Next Meeting: Thursday, January 13, 2005, Indiana University Northwest - 9:00 am.