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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest

Members in Attendance: Heather Acheff, Lake County Surveyors Office; Joe Alamillo, City of Hammond; Lorraine Bank, City of Hobart; Martin Brown, Gary Sanitary District; Brad Clinehens, Purdue Univ. Coop. Extension Service; Roy Evans, Purdue Calumet; Thomas Frank, East Chicago Waterway District; Kim Holmquist, School City of Hammond; Betty Kiechle, Lake County Surveyor’s Office; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Kevin Miller, Indiana Department of Environmental Management; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data and Analysis; George Olmsted, IUN; Dan Rieden, Lake County Parks Dept.; Alan Rosenwinkel; Lake County Parks Dept., Jeff Schroerder, IUN student; Craig Shillinglaw; Ruth Vanderlin, Lake County Parks Dept.; Dwayne Williams, Town of Chesterton

Local Implementation

Morton and Gavit High Schools in the City of Hammond have received GPS units and software to be used to create curriculum for a GIS class. The model may be shared with schools around the state. The City has been awarded funds and will work with a consultant for preparation of a pre disaster mitigation plan. Funds have been received to tie the City’s computerized sewer management system into their GIS.

The Data Center at IUN is completing a social assets mapping project funded by the campus Center for Cultural Discovery and Learning. Cultural and arts activities taking place in the cities of Gary and Crown Point were geocoded.

With the assistance of an intern this summer, Lake County Parks Department made headway mapping their park sites with ArcGIS 9.1. They are continuing to do work on their park parcel files as well. Park trail maps are being updated for greater accuracy. As a result of their work with the Huck Finn Project, the Department was awarded four GPS units from the Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana. They have set up some geocaches in the area.

Lake County is currently in year three of a five year GIS implementation project. Street centerlines for 911, countywide parcels and hydrology are layers currently underway. Working closely with the Lake County Surveyor’s Office, the Lake County Indiana Sheriff’s Department rolled out Orion Map GIS for their 911 system. The product has been released to the local 911 community. Datasets will be updated regularly.

George Olmsted will offer a geocoding workshop on October 7 at the IUN GIS lab. Contact the Data Center for more information (219-981-5612). He also reported that the City of Valparaiso recently held a meeting to kick off their GIS project.

The City of Hobart has recently installed ArcGIS 9.1 and has made successful presentations to its Planning Commission. This summer the City conducted some GPS work for their storm water management program. Site development and conservation issues are being investigated using GIS.

Due to changes in boundaries for school enrollments in the School City of Hammond, personnel have been involved in determining the appropriate school for specific locations when needed. They have also been using GIS to create buffer zones to determine districts.

The East Chicago Waterway District intends to use GIS in the future for indicator analysis in their planning efforts.

The Town of Chesterton is using GIS as an economic development tool. They have been clipping specific areas of the Town from datasets to use as marketing tools to local developers.

Kevin Miller with IDEM is currently working on the Grand Calumet Feasibility Study with Army Corps of Engineers related to restoration along 12 miles of the nonfederal portions of the Grand Calumet River and Indiana Harbor Ship canal. Data is being compiled and categorized in a geodatabase. Kevin has also been involved in assembling four catalogs of historical aerial photography compiled by the EPA. The photography covers northern Lake County from the 1950’s through the 90’s. The method of future accessibility of this data is presently unknown.

The storm water management system for the City of Gary is presently being coordinated with the city’s sewer network GIS. Validation of the sewer network was performed this summer by interns via geodata collection. Major work is continuing on the city’s wireless network. The emergency services network will include the “Shot Spotter” system that detects the location of gunfire.

Roy Evans anticipates that the economic development subcommittee of the NWI GIS Forum will be reconvened this Fall to discuss GIS possibilities related to transportation, distribution and logistics topics for the region. A special exhibit will be held at the Welcome Center in Hammond from Mid September through November showcasing aerial photography of the proposed Marquette Park Greenway project. Roy is also assisting the City of Whiting with AutoCad Map issues.

NWI GIS Forum Activities

Online Metadata Tool

The Indiana Geological Survey is in the process of filling a position for a database administrator that currently affects improvements to the Online Metadata Tool. Once the position is filled this Fall, updates and additional work on the website will be continued. Authorization was received to announce the existence of the Tool in the INGISI newsletter.

2005 Cap Grant

The Northwest Indiana Center for Data & Analysis at the Indiana University Library, in coordination with the Northwest Indiana GIS Forum, submitted and was awarded a 2005 CAP Grant for Metadata Outreach and Training from the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to continue promoting documentation of local datasets regionally. With delivery of the new 2005 aerial photography slated for late this year, education about data documentation will be even more important to folks in the area starting their GIS programs or just needing a refresher on the subject. Cele Morris will attend a grant kick off workshop at the USGS headquarters in Reston, VA in mid September.


IDEM has generously agreed to make $2,500 available for ArcGIS training materials this year for the Forum. Becky anticipates holding one session before the end of the year and one early next year. Be sure to contact Becky McKinley to express interest in participating in any upcoming sessions when they are advertised via our email list.


GIS Day is scheduled for November 16, 2005. IUN has volunteered to be a site for a half day of festivities. If anyone has any ideas for a half hour presentation or would like to submit posters contact Cele Morris.


Meeting notes will be posted to the Minutes section of the NWI GIS Forum website as soon as possible after meetings.  The list of members has been dropped from the site. We may want to populate a new list in the future. It was suggested that members could be furnished with a fill in form to populate a database. Cele will initiation discussion with the IUN Webmaster to determine what course of action is appropriate.

ESRI Midwest Regional Users Group Conference

The ESRI Midwest Regional Users Group  conference will be held this October 5 – 7, 2005, in Bloomington. The Indiana Geological Survey will co-host this activity.


2005 Orthophotography Project update – All of the aerial photography for the state was flown this spring. Information related to deliverables can be found on this INGISI website.

Information regarding photo processing is available on the EarthData Project Tracker website.

Username: indiana1 - Password: hoosier

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, November 10, 2005, Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Portage, IN, 9:00 –11:00 am

Some useful links:

Midwest ArcUsers Group Conference - October 5-7, 2005 – Bloomington, IN

 EarthData Project Tracker

Username: indiana1 - Password: hoosier

2005 Orthophotography Project status and announcements (from IGIC)

 Online Metadata Tool

POLIS Center Emergency Management Seminars: http://www.in.gov/dhs/

For HAZUS MH training registration information send an email to: hazusgis@yahoo.co

National Map

Google Earth