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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Meeting Location: Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission

Members in Attendance: Jackie Anders, NIRPC; Geoff Anderson, Calumet College of St. Joseph; Lorraine Bank, City of Hobart; Darrell Crowell, Town of Schererville; Rick Hammond, Woolpert; Kim Holmquist, School City of Hammond; Jean Kapala, IUN student; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Chris McNamara, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement; Kevin Miller, Indiana Department of Environmental Management; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; George Olmsted, IUN; Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Dan Rieden; Lake County Parks Dept.; Alan Rosenwinkel, Lake County Parks Dept.; Tim Sutherland, IUN/NWI Center for Data and Analysis

Local Implementation

The Code Enforcement Department of the City of Hammond is sponsoring the Hammer for Hearts program. Citizens in need can apply for assistance with home improvement projects. ArcPublisher will be used to create maps geocoding homes chosen for the program to assist the project workers. A GIS application tool created for the City was presented at the State GIS Conference earlier this month by Becky and GIS vendor Greeley and Hanson. The dynamic segmentation tool provides a link between street segments and related sewer and pavement information. Data is stored in an Access Database and viewed with ArcReader. Tool users can click on a street segment and receive information related to that section. The tool will provide information to keep track of city street repaving and sewer projects.

The School City of Hammond is using GIS to visualize the demographic makeup of the district.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources currently has ninety mobile data units in the field. They plan to load a number of different layers including the 2003 aerial photography onto the units for use in the field. The possibity of incorporating hand held units for data input in the field is being investigated.

With some help from the Girls Scouts and members of the Boys and Girls Club, the Lake County Parks Department report that their Huck Finn Project is assembled and waiting for the 2005 orthophotography flyover. Using 4,500 plastic milk jugs supplied by the Hammond Recycling Center and banners painted and donated by Gary Art Works, the project is located in Lake County’s Three Rivers Park in Lake Station and can be seen from east bound I-94 at the I-65 interchange. The artwork will remain displayed until the flyover of Northwest Indiana has taken place. NWI GIS Forum members assisting with the construction included Becky McKinley, Betty Kiechle and husbands and Cele Morris. Lake County Parks slowly continues ArcGIS 9.0 implementation.

The Town of Schererville Police Department joins us today on a fact finding mission. They would like to incorporate GIS with their dispatch functions.

Lorraine Bank, the newly appointed Stormwater Coordinator with the City of Hobart, reports that she is currently familiarizing herself with ArcView 3.3. She anticipates that the City will upgrade shortly to ArcGIS 9.0. New hardware will be needed for the system. GPS will also be incorporated into the system when possible.

The Law Enforcement Institute at Calumet College of St. Joseph has received funding to help fund GIS work.

Kevin Miller with IDEM is currently working on a feasibility study with Army Corps of Engineers related to restoration along the Grand Calumet River. Data is being compiled and categorized in a GIS database. He is also merging layers to create statewide layers. He is working with local sources in Hammond, East Chicago, Gary and Whiting to procure additional data. He has found that entering the data into geodatabase format has expanded the size of the dataset considerably.

George Olmsted reports the highest enrollment ever for the Intro to GIS class he is teaching at through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Northwest this semester.

NIRPC has been utilizing GIS to finalize its Connections 20/30 transportation plan. Demographic and transportation data has been used to create maps for the plan. They also intend to us the Online Metadata Tool to document the spatial dataset that they are creating. They have received funding from IDOT to upgrade their GIS system to ArcGIS 9.0. Their environmental section will also be trained to use the software. It is also expected that hardware will be upgraded this fall.

IUN’s Data Center projects include: Social Assest Mapping for Gary and Crown Point, Environmental Database compilation, Basic GIS Workshop for Save the Dunes, tentative contract with City of Gary/Plangraphics for metadata creation. The recent Making IT Happen event on campus included representation from IUB Data Management Support personnel. They demonstrated some GIS software. They also promoted the following informational website: GIS Resources at IU.

Rick Hammond with Woolpert is involved in the statewide orthophotography project. Jets are very quickly flying the 1 foot resolution photography – Propeller plans will fly the 6” resolution counties more slowly. Another round of presentations to explain the program will begin around the state in April. The series will begin April 15 with 10 presentations being held around the state. There should be information shortly about a Northwest Indiana presentation on April 25. Location to be announced. There is a 3rd fact sheet detailing project deliverables.

NWI GIS Forum Activities

Metadata Tool

Becky and Cele gave a presentation of the Online Metadata Tool at the annual Indiana GIS Conference held March 9-10, 2005, in Indianapolis. The Indiana Geological Survey expects that the tool will be in final form by Mid April. The INGISI Education Committee has expressed interest in promoting the tool statewide.


Becky will hold an ArcGIS 9.0 training session on Thursday and Friday, April 14-15, 2005. The session will be held in the IUN GIS lab – Room 230, 2nd floor of the library. IDEM will contribute the training materials. Students will be considered on a first come, first served basis. All students must have immediate access to the software to be eligible for the free training. Contact Becky McKinley to reserve a space in the class.


Meeting notes will be posted to the NWI GIS Forum website as soon as possible after meetings. (click on Minutes)

ESRI Midwest Regional Users Group Conference

Look for more information about an ESRI Midwest Regional Users Group conference to be held this fall in Bloomington. The Indiana Geological Survey will host this activity.


2005 Orthophotography Project update – EarthData was selected as the vendor for the project. Aerial photography has commenced in the southern part of the state. A March 2006 completion date has been set for the project. Dissemination of the data is expected to be tricky due to its large size.Visit the following website regularly to keep track of program updates.

To track the progress of the project link to the following EarthData Project Tracker website.     Username: indiana1     -     Password: hoosier

To see status of 6” project choose: Indiana 15
To see status of 1’ project choose: Indiana 30

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 are encouraged to create simple art work covering a large area of a property (such as a parking lot, etc.) that may be viewed via the 2005 orthophotography.

The “Keep Track” link on the website will provide postings of vendor status to show areas of the state that have been flown. Flights will occur primarily during March and April of 2005. Lake County Parks has participated in the program by creating a display at Three Rivers Park in Lake Station. See a description of their project under local implementation section.

Annual Conference – The annual state GIS conference sponsored by INGISI was held March 9-10, 2005, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Presentations by NWI GIS Forum members included: Martin Brown, Gary Sanitary District, and Annie Metcalf, Plangraphics; Cele Morris, IUN Data Center and Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Betty Kiechle, Lake County Surveyor’s Office and Joyce West, Sidwell; and Becky McKinley and Steve Stricklen, Greeley & Hansen; Congratulations to the Town of Munster for receiving the smaller municipality award for use of GIS to justify storm water analysis.

Senate Bill 493 – Legislation to create a state office of GIS. This legislation formalizes GIS possibilities for the state. (standards, etc.) In an attempt to focus their efforts, INGISI has developed a strategy document to outline legislative goals to be achieved during this upcoming session. The following four items will be stressed:

  1. Framework data program to create a basemap for Indiana
  2. Development of GIS Office and GIS advisory board
  3. Emphasize University participation in statewide GIS coordination
  4. Create local government GIS technology grant.\

A bill to establish the above goals is currently under review. The bill is called SB493 and you can read the text and follow its progress. This bill has been passed through the Senate and is now in the House. Contact your local representative to express your support for this legislation.

INGISI Committees Local participation in the following INGISI committees is highly encouraged: Data Sharing, Education, Standards and Recommendations, Conference, Networking and Web Development. You may contact any Council member or see the INGISI website for more information.

Other Business

A statewide economic development website is being developed and is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Commerce with input from economic development personnel from utilities NIPSCO and Cinergy. Local planning departments have been contacted to provide available site information. A GIS component to the site reminiscent of Map Quest is being planned for the site. It will be up to local entities to add any detail to the site that they would like. Local planners should be aware of this project. The site is currently being tested. Becky will forward a URL when it becomes available.

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 2, 2005, Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Portage, IN – 9:00 –11:00 am