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Indiana University Northwest

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Northwest Indiana GIS Forum
Meeting Notes
Thursday, March 17, 2011 -  9:00 - 11:00 am
Meeting Location: Indiana University Northwest Library - Room 231

Members in Attendance:  Morella Arrieche, Nisource; Rex Burton, Highland Sanitary Board; Jason Dravet, Town of St. John; Chris Ducret, American Water; Tim Kingsland, Hobart Sanitary District; Becky McKinley, Hammond Sanitary District; Jim McShane, South Shore Grants Center; Kathy Molke, DLZ Engineering; Cele Morris, IUN/NWI Center for Data & Analysis;  Dan Niksch, City of Crown Point Engineering; Elizabeth Patz, American Water; Cecile Petro, Town of Highland;  Greg White, Lake County Surveyor's Office; Tim Sutherland, IU Northwest; Anthony Walker, Gary Sanitary District

Local Implementation

The Hammond, City Engineer's office recently hired personnel that will train with Becky for GIS work.  The new employee is to serve as liaison between City Hall and consultants doing GIS work.  Work continues with the Mayor's Housing Task Force/Lake County Sheriff's Office mapping foreclosures.

Indiana American Water is in the process of integrating GIS and CMMS.

The Town of Highland Redevelopment Commission is an end user of GIS tools created by the County Surveyor's Office.  GIS is currently on hold with Highland Sanitary Board as they are currently focusing on construction projects.

The enterprise GIS system at Nisource covers utility data for multiple states.

The Data Center at Indiana University Northwest constructed and completed basic GIS educational workshops as part of funding received from the Lake Michigan Coastal program by the end of 2010. In early January, they worked with the Wildlife Habitat Council to provide the basics of GIS to participants of their Green Jobs program.  Assistance is being provided to GEMINUS, Corp. as they assemble their annual epidemiology report for East Chicago.  Locations of drug related police calls and locations of East Chicago Intervention Council billboards have been geocoded for the report.  Demographic data from Census 2010 as well as other health/crime information will also be provided for the report.  The Data Center is also a beta tester for the Community Analyst online application.  

The Lake County Surveyor's Office has upgraded their GIS server to a Silverlight service (hosted by Sidwell Co.) providing a more user friendly interface.  Greg will demonstrate the upgraded site at the end of this meeting.  Work is underway by their contractor to conflate the county's two centerline datasets to produce the most accurate version.  Centerline data will then be publicly released.  Two separate address ranges will be applied to the data.  "Real" and "hypothetical" ranges will improve geocoding accuracy.  Completion of the project is expected by year end.  There is a push to deploy county GIS data through creation of custom applications for those less than "power" GIS users.  After upgrade to ArcGIS 10, a web feature service will be available to entities with maintenance agreements with the county  for parcel data updates available every two weeks.  The county point address file is currently undergoing field verification for discrepancies.  The south portion of the county is complete with corrections for north of US 30 expected this summer.  A number of county departments currently utilize GIS including, Surveyor, the Board of Elections, Planning Dept., Assessor, Auditor, Highway Dept.  All MS4 data for the county is maintained fully by the Surveyor's office. 

The City of Crown Point will use their Street View application to document information about trees in the city.  GIS has also been used to identify TIF zones for verification of status.   Work also continues on roadwork design and MS4 projects.

The Town of St. John continues AutoCad to GIS conversion.  Work is underway to document street signs with GIS to satisfy a federal mandate.    Data will also be collected for their MS4 project, fire hydrants, and sidewalks. 

DLZ Engineering has projects with various Northwest Indiana counties including Lake and LaGrange. 

South Shore Grants Center  is a beta tester for the online version of Community Analyst, a new ESRI product.  The application is expected to be helpful for data acquisition during grant writing.

The Gary Sanitary District will continue ongoing GPS data collection this summer with the help of interns.  They are in the process of ArcGIS Server implemention.

Hobart Sanitary District is in the process of GIS implementation.  Engineering/GIS consultants working with the city have signed a data agreement with Lake County.  AutoCad to GIS work progresses.  An online GIS for the city is anticipated for late summer or fall.


Becky does not plan to pursue certification for ArcGIS 10 training at this time.  If there is interest from our region, and IDEM will support it, she may offer training for ArcGIS 9.3 in the not too distant future.  Watch the listserv for availability of this training.  Other options for GIS training include the POLIS Center and ESRI.

IGIC provides educational opportunities throughout the year.  Check their website regularly to see what is currently being offiered.

Lake Rim GIS Update

Check out the Indiana Geological Survey, Lake Rim GIS,  interactive mapping website.  Many data layers for Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and some local data reside on this site.    


Meeting notes will continue to be posted to the  NWI GIS Forum website as soon as possible after meetings (click on Minutes).  Please contact with any comments or input on the website.

IGIC Report

  • Join the Indiana Geographic Information Council and take advantage of member benefits such as members only portions of the website, reduced registration fees for the annual state GIS conference, free educational webinars and sessions for members and participation in statewide GIS through numerous workgroups.
  • The IGIC Education Committee schedules many interesting workshops, seminars and webinars during the year.  Click on the above link for upcoming events.
  • The IndianaMap is in the process of upgrade to ArcGIS Server.
  • TheIndiana Imagery Program is underway to update aerial photography for the state.  The project will be divided into three project areas.  The central part of the state will be flown this year, the east section next year, and the west in 2013.  Base products include: 1-foot resolution - 4-band imagery, USGS compliant LiDAR and Digital Elevation Model.  The contractor, Woolpert, will also provide additional buy-up products, including increased resolution to 3 and 6 inch.  The 2013 scheduled flight for Northwest Indiana provides time to budget for the buy ups.  All aerial photography will be included in the IndianaMap.  Estimated cost for Lake County buy up to 6 inch resolution is $66,000.00.
  • USGS 2006 National Land Cover Database is available for download
  • IGIC Legislative Committee is closely watching the status of Indiana HB 1068.  Passage of this bill would prohibit publication of any public records related to police officers or firemen and their families.  This committee is also putting finishing touches on an information publication for dissemination to Indiana legislature to acquaint them with the importance of the IndianaMap and why it should be funded.  Discussions continue to determine a mechanism for funding statewide GIS and the IndianaMap.
  • URISA will hold its annual conference for GIS Professionals GIS-Pro 2011 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis on November 1-4, 2011

Special Presentation by Greg White, GIS Manager, Lake County Surveyor's Office - The Updated Lake County Suryeyor's Office GIS Mapping Website

Next Meeting:   Thursday, May, 19, 2011, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, at Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, Portage, Indiana.