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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, July 17, 2008 -  9:00 - 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest

Members in Attendance:  Rex Burton, Highland Sanitary Board; Shannan Lefever, NIRPC; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data & Analysis;  Dan Niksch, City of Crown Point Engineering;  Lauren Rhein, NIRPC; Tim Sutherland, IUN; Greg White, Lake County Surveyor's Office

Local Implementation

US Census Bureau, Master Address File data has been resubmitted by Becky McKinley for the City of Hammond.  The corrections submitted in conjunction with its Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) program have been accepted.   The Sanitary District is now overseeing the Sanitation and Recycling programs in the City.  A study was undertaken to match the number of garbage cans to each street segment.  Maps have been created that include information about the workload per route or street.   Becky has also assisted with a project correlating instances of crime to the status of street light outages.  Buffers were created around street lights to measure distances.  A continuing project with the Mayor's Housing Task Force includes students from the Building and Construction Program at Purdue Calumet.  Condition of housing in Hessville was rated and mapped to assist the neighborhood group see where improvements may be suggested.

NIRPC is working to convert AutoCAD files containing land use data received from local governments to GIS.   They are also working with the Quality of Life Council to create maps for their indicators report.  They are also taking an inventory of in-house datasets.  A land use committee has been formed.  They will be tasked with assembling a brochure showing a regional snapshot of key indicators for Northwest Indiana tying into their comprehensive planning project.  They will be producing maps for various transportation, environmental and economic development issues.  Census 2010 programs gearing up in 2009 will include delineating tracts, block groups and traffic analysis zones.   Traffic count point data is being collected that will show movement of traffic nicely on maps.

Lake County is in the process of finalizing an ordinance for the GIS data distribution agreement.  Distribution of digital data will start within the next few weeks.  The County Surveyor's Office will receive new Sidwell hard copy, tax atlases that are updated with the new digital parcel boundary data.  Large requests for digital data will be handled through Sidwell.  The Surveyor's Office will distribute smaller digital data sets such as subdivisions.  Digital data for soils and farms is being created by Sidwell during the 4th quarter. DLZ is working on point address data for the county.  It is expected to be completed the 2nd quarter of next year.  Depending on funding, creation of building footprints is anticipated to be the next GIS project for the county.  Mapping for the MS4 program is also ongoing.   The Assessor's office is interested in using current aerial photography to determine property improvements for tax purposes.

The Highland Sanitary Board is in the process of creating a feature based utility map.  Sanitary sewer smoke testing is taking place this summer.  Testing the system of ~ 1300 manholes is 75% complete. 

The City of Crown Point has a number of small projects underway.  They are working with new engineering consultants as they fine tune their GIS.  Work to document existing data with metadata has begun.

The Data Center at Indiana University Northwest recently participated in an informational meeting with the IU Information Technology Department about Podcasting.  This technology can be fairly easily used for educational topics.  They also attended a program hosted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program and presented by NOAA Coastal Services Center.  The program included information that will be useful for future proposal writing and outlined best practices for project design and evaluation.  It will be time for the Fall build in the GIS computer lab prior to the semester start.  It may be advantageous to leave ArcGIS 9.2 installed in the lab for Becky's training sessions.  Cele will investigate the possibility of not upgrading to 9.3 immediately.


Becky will be conducting free ArcGIS 9.2 training session on July 24 and 25th.  Another session will be scheduled this fall.   Contact Becky for more information about enrolling in training.

Visit the ESRI website for any additional free webinars currently available. 

Lake Rim GIS Update

Lake Rim GIS interactive mapping website is scheduled to go live August 1.   The Indiana Geological Survey is finalizing the list of layers now and making some major changes to the new introductory static Web pages.  They plan to release both sites and take feedback for a month before making final adjustments. 

Administration - FGDC 2007 CAP Funding - Metadata Outreach and Training

Work is winding down on the 2007 FGDC CAP grant with the approach of a October 31 finish date.  Cele is currently working with Crown Point to help document some of their datasets.  As in past ArcGIS training sessions, an Introduction to metadata will be included during Becky's  training session in July.   The proposed North American Metadata  Profile continues its way through finalization process.  There will be a period overlap between the old CSDGM and the new profile.  Appropriate tools for the new standard are being reviewed.   Contact Cele Morris  if you require assistance with metadata issues.

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.

IGIC Report

The latest IGIC Board meeting was held June 19th.  IGIC is presently searching for a new  Executive Director.  Resumes were to be accepted until July 11th.  The executive committee will interview appropriate candidates. It is expected that a recommendation for Executive Director will be made for ratification at the August 21 Board meeting.  

There are many opportunities to participate in statewide GIS through IGIC committees.  Contact Cele Morris or see the IGIC website for information about how to sign up.

The 2009 Indiana GIS Conference will be held February 17 - 18 at the Bloomington Convention Center in Bloomington, IN.  The Bloomington Courtyard by Marriott and the Hilton Garden Inn are suggested accomodations for the conference.

See the  IGIC  website for information about future scheduled educational opportunities.  Arrangements are being made to host an IGIC GIS Roadshow at the NIRPC headquarters sometime his fall.  See the IGIC website for updates.

The 2nd Annual Local Government GIS Coordinator Forum will be held on September 26, 2008, 9:00am - 3:00pm at the Farm Bureau Building, 225 S. East Street, Indianapolis.   Register early so appropriate planning for the event can continue.

The GIS Atlas for Indiana has been migrated to IndianaMap.  This change reflects a collaborative effort by the Indiana Geographic Information Officer, Indiana Office of Technology; Indiana Geological Survey; Indiana Department of Transportation; and Indiana Geographic Information Council to continue development of a single statewide map for Indiana.   Educational information about the IndianaMap project will be forwarded to County Commissioners and Surveyors to encourage participation and/or support of the project.

Results from the survey on the Economic Benefits of the IndianaMap were quite successful. The response rate to the survey was encouraging.  Three hundred twelve (312) responses were received during May and June, 2008.  The results of the survey clearly indicate that over $1.75 billion in Indiana projects and government operations are supported by the IndianaMap.   86% indicated that IndianaMap orthophotography was essential to their operations.  In short, this means that an initial investment of $8.5 million in the IndianaMap supports over 200-times its value in projects and operations – with 86% of users indicating they could not do their projects without it.

Work has begun on the Address Integration Project.  18 organizations have volunteered to provide data for this pilot project to test technology necessary for bringing together statewide data for local sources.

National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) has begun flying aerial photography for 2008.  Color, leaf-on County mosaics are expected to be delivered by contractors by September 15.

Next Meeting: Next meeting:  Wednesday, October 15, 2008,  at Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.  This meeting will be held in tandem with a Indiana Geographic Information Road Show.  See the website to register for this free event.