[an error occurred while processing this directive] Skip to main navigation Skip to page content
Indiana University Northwest

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest

Members in Attendance: Joe Alamillo, City of Hammond; Rex Burton, Highland Redevelopment Commission; Roy Evans, Purdue University Calumet; Chip Farrell, LFA; Jeanne Hansen; LFA; Todd Kesselring, Elkhart County GIS; Betty Kiechle Lake County Surveyor's Office; Brian Lane, Town of Dyer; Naida Lehmann, EcoNatives; Carmen Maso, US EPA; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District;  Kathy Molke, DLZ; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data & Analysis;  David Nail, USGS; Dan Niksch, City of Crown Point Engineering;  Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Dan Rieden, Lake County Parks;  Lucy Stanfield, US EPA; Steve Sticklen, Greeley & Hansen; Tim Sutherland, IUN/NWI Center for Data & Analysis;

Local Implementation

Becky McKinley reports that there has been a big demand within Hammond city offices for the 2005 orthophotography.  She has been rolling out the free AccuGlobe application to interested departments.   Response within the city has been great since an initial presentation.  She will hold a training session for all City Departments.  The next step is to create a "User's Group" within the City.  Becky has hired Sandra Wilmore as an assistant.  Sandra  will start working with Becky after the first of the year. 

Introduction to Computer Methods in Geography is being taught by Cele and Tim through the Geosciences Department this Fall semester at  IU Northwest.   Nine students were enrolled in the course.  Use of  ESRI Virtual Campus exercises through the Indiana University License agreement  provided good hands on experience with ArcGIS 9.1.  The Data Center has also been involved in some GIS work associated with grant projects endowed by the campus Center for Regional Excellence.  Working with the Non Profit Institute, Cele is geocoding locations of nonprofit organizations in Northwest Indiana.  Other geocoding projects by the Data Center included plotting locations of companies in Northwest Indiana currently exporting their products and locations of conservation/restoration projects in the region.  Cele recently participated in a conference call related to the Data Center's FGDC category 1 grant  (Metadata Outreach and Training).  Information relayed during the call included:   

  • The 2007 FGDC CAP grant announcement has been presented.  There are five funding categories available. Deadline for proposal submission is January 26, 2007. 
  • The North American Profile NAP (metadata standard) based on ISO 11915 (international standard)  will be under review shortly by the Canadian Standard Board and ANSI.  A workbook is being created for the NAP. 
  • Train the Trainer materials (metadata) are being developed and will be available through the FGDC website in the future.
  • A metadata profile is being created for use in emergency response situations.  It will include a core set of elements to collect in the field to aid office personnel.

There are many GIS projects currently underway in Elkhart County.  Large editing projects have been completed for their address point and zoning layers.  GIS use within the county has grown considerably over the last year.  ArcReader has been rolled out to a number of departments within the county.  Several specific applications have been created based on department needs.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) has been involved in a Train the Trainer program to promote the IndianaMap Economic Development Tool associated with the 2005 Aerial Photography project.  The program is based on using the photography in an AccuGlobe project.  A presentation to the Northwest Indiana Forum has resulted in their request for a second presentation using the Economic Development Tool.  NIRPC is also using the 2005 aerial photography as they begin work on their 20/40 Plan.  As partners with the US Census Bureau, NIRPC will host a presentation in the future.

We welcome David Nail, US Geological Survey, new liaison for Indiana.  David has been with the USGS for 18 years and has just moved to Indiana.

The City of Crown Point is working on many small projects using GIS.  They are near completion on their zoning project.   Data associated with fire hydrants are being assembled for emergency response situations.  "As built" information is being scanned to attach to the GIS.  Plowing routes are being created.  A grid system for the city is being created for water/sewer issues.

Lake County continues work on the seven base layers for the county.  Funding for a 2008 update to aerial photography is presently on a wish list.  Lake county municipalities that would like to contribute to funding for updated photography should contact the Lake County Surveyor's Office.  Data forwarded to the US Census Bureau by Lake County is one of only 13 Indiana counties accepted.  Distribution of First Responders software and data are currently underway.  They Surveyor's Office is personally installing and training each of the ~40 county organizations eligible for the datasets.  Contact  Betty Kiechle to request 2005 aerial photography download service.  A small fee is charged for the service.  Requestors furnish a hard drive for download.  The County will take care of saving the data to the drive with a quick turn around time.

US EPA Region 5 has a project mapping the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal for a risk management plan.  They are also pleased to be using the Indiana 2005 aerial photography for hazardous waste sites assessment. 

The Town of Dyer has been using the new aerial photography for work on their utility layers.  They are involved with GPS work locating and describing trees and signs for inventory purposes.  Town personnel recently attended HAZUS training.

Lake County Parks has upgraded hardware suitable for GIS.  They have created a Taskforce of "Feature Class Teams" for inventory purposes.  They intent to keep track of burn sites, restoration projects and utilities.  Data will be collected using GPS.

Naida Lehmann has been working with the National Park Service and Chicago Wilderness pursuing plant community mapping by identifying species of plants in Northwest Indiana.  She advises that USGS mappers have been using infrared photograpy to identify plant species.  Rare plant species sites are being monitored annually to determine their status.  She would like to include additional species in her work  as well locate high quality sites for protection.  The projects she is working on include a web based product of plant communities.  She intends to study GIS to include mapping as well. 

Working with the Housing Task Force for the City of Hammond, students and faculty of  Purdue Calumet Department of Construction Management and Engineering Technologies have conducted a study of housing stock in the city.  A pilot study that included  two Hammond neighborhoods was launched.  Houses were visually ranked using a number of criteria.  The data collected was generalized then coded and presented to the neighborhoods and Task Forces.  Information will be used to seek solutions for problems that were identified.  Citizens will be involved in the process.  Partnerships between City Departments and Purdue University created for this project were highly positive.  GIS mapping continues to be a very important part of projects, particularly for public presentation.

Kevin Mickey of the POLIS Center at IUPUI, will conduct an HAZUS - MH Advanced Flood training session at Purdue Calumet, on January 3, 4 and 5, 2007.  Sessions each day will run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Register for the workshop by sending and email to the following stating your interest:  hazusgis@yahoo.com

NWI GIS Forum Activities


An ArcGIS 9.1 training session is scheduled for January 11-12, 2007, at Indiana University Northwest, GIS lab.  There is currently a waiting list for the session.  Becky will contact those currently on the list to determine if there will be any slots available.  Contact Becky McKinley for additional information.   Due to the popularity of this training, a waiting list has been started from those not able to participate in the last session.  


Meeting notes will continue to be posted to the  NWI GIS Forum website as soon as possible after meetings (click on Minutes).  Resource links were recently checked and updated/removed where necessary.  Please contact Cele Morris with any comments or input on the website.

The Data Center at IU Northwest has received an extension from the Federal Geographic Data Committee to continue using up their funding to support metadata outreach and training in Northwest Indiana.  Cele participated in the IGIC Road Shows this spring and summer by introducing the Online Metadata Tool through presentations around the state as part of the activities associated with this grant.  Cele has submitted an abstract to the Indiana GIS Conference to give a presentation on the Online Metadata Tool at the state conference next year.


IGIC has changed to a fee based membership organization.  The fees will be used to support overhead.  Members will now participate in the election process for the organization.  Information about membership fees can be found at: http://www.in.gov/ingisi/member/membership.html  Nominations for new Board Members are currently being requested.

The annual Indiana State GIS Conference will be held March 13 - 14, 2007.  The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Indianapolis.  Click on the link above for more information.

The IGIC Education Committee is scheduling a number of presentations for next year.  In January the Indiana Department of Transportation will provide a speaker to discuss GIS and transportation issues.   Other future topics include GIS topics for K-12 educators and methodology for metadata compilation.  Send Becky McKinley any GIS topics that you would like to see included in the schedule.  Presentations will likely take place at the State Library in Indianapolis.

A traveling presentation has been created to showcase the IndianaMap project.  The presentation shows layers of Indiana data.  It will be primarily set up at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.  Additional future locations are being investigated.

Other Business

Indiana University Information Technology Services (UITS) has partnered with the Indiana Geologic Information Council to host an enterprise geodatabase service for the Statewide Digital Orthophotography Program.  Be sure to periodically check the progress the the program by visiting the Indiana Spatial Data Service.

Next Meeting:  A meeting will be scheduled for February, 2007, in the future.

Presentation by Steve Sticklen, Greeley and Hansen:  Impervious Area Analysis

Some useful links:

Digital Data Technologies (DDTI) (for download of free AccuGlobe 2007 software)  http://ddti.net/

Indiana Spatial Data Portal (for 2005 aerial photography download)  http://www.indiana.edu/~gisdata/05orthos.html

Online Metadata Tool

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

National Map