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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Directions’ Hal Reid believes he’s found evidence that Directions readers are using location intelligence technology to “find things out.” Recorded on 10/2. 1 minute.

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by Adena Schutzberg on 10/04 at 07:56 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A panel discussion of federal, state and consulting representatives explored the issues involved in creating a solid transportation data layer for the nation. This session served as a starting point for considering building such a dataset. Among the challenges raised:

- Safety (such an entity needs to support safety)
- Language (do we keep it simple or do we as GIS people need to learn the language of transportation?)
- Focus (do we focus on , say road network or opt to include rail, water and other transportation?)
- Data model (do we start simple and build on it, or jump in with a complex one that support traditional geocoding and linear reference systems?)
- Do we/how do we engage the public and private sector?

The sense I got from the comments is that state DOTs are often not too engaged with state GIS programs. Why is that so? Some suggested that the DOTs have their money and thus “need not” engage, others noted that leadership often changes with new administrations, while some noted the broad array of DOT responsibilities. One attendee wisely noted that if NSGIC can’t get Imagery for the Nation off the ground (with its simpler data model, clear need and fewer issues), something like Transportation for the Nation will never happen.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/04 at 02:42 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Three states discussed their enterprise approaches to sharing.

GIServOhio is that state’s clearinghouse and services delivery program. The number one “bang for the buck” service? Geocoding. Ohio licenses a geocoder from a vendor and for the last six months has used its own master address file.  That means that all users in the state use the same algorithms to geocode against the same data and hence find the same location! The other interesting point from Ohio: it uses Sanz (a sponsor) EarthWhere to hold its imagery and produce custom imagery products for its users/partners.

Arkansas continues to grow its GeoStor. The system has no “memoranda of understand” (“we spit and shake hands”) and includes a regular daily query that pulls the latest oil and gas well data from an SQL database to update the spatial data in system. (There are several like that updating nightly or weekly.) Partners are encouraged to update data regularly – some do weekly, some monthly, some quarterly, some annually. There’s very much a “work with what we have” vision at the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) that encourages everyone to participate as is possible.

And, the AGIO wants to give back to those who offer up data and do so in the form of hosted apps built on GeoStor data. Here’s the “catch:” AGIO offers to host apps built against GeoStor, but won’t build the apps. That means some agencies hire consultants to build them or build them themselves. “The apps are ugly!” AGIO hears and responds:  “but the apps are there.” The team behind it makes clear it doesn’t own the resource, the state, its citizens, do.

Kentucky’s statewide GIS dates back to the 1980s (It is ESRI customer number 31.) Today it hosts KYVector and KYRaster and hosts some 40 IMS sites. The team created the secure KEMAP, the Kentucky Map Analysis Portal, in less than two weeks, on its own dime for responders and others. It includes 121 themes.  “It’s the data, it’s the data, it’s the data.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/04 at 02:40 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Bob LaMacchia, head of Census gave a ten minute update on the Geography Section.

The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) will start in January. A pilot showed that state level folks can in many cases help correct errors. State coordinators may be called upon to help out.

Criteria for the 2010 Participating Statistical Areas Program are coming. These criteria help Census decide to change the “geographic boundaries” used for the census. States/others will be asked for electronic feedback once the areas are determined, sometime in 2008.

The MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Program is on schedule and 2/3 complete at this time.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/04 at 02:34 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Shane Broadway is a state senator here in Arkansas; he “gets” geospatial and offered some suggestions as to how to engage lawmakers on geospatial. He told of how he was impressed by power of geospatial when GPS helped locate 6500 school buildings. The state thought it had just 5000. The state also learned it had 60M square feet of school space, but learned it had 80M! He recounted how GIS identified a school board member who did not live in the school district! Further research showed that 18 students who attended the school didn’t either! Mappers even found one house split down the middle by school district boundaries!

He offered these tips on getting lawmakers to buy into geospatial:

- introduce yourself (lawmakers like to meet their constituents)
- show them a map of something they care about, like schools in his case (many lawmakers are visual thinkers)
- offer bullet points of what the map “means” (help them understand the map)
- “don’t build a watch, show us the watch” (don’t explain how it’s done, lawmakers don’t care and won’t understand, most can’t use Google Earth)

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/04 at 02:33 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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