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Thursday, October 05, 2006

John Palatiello gave a briefing on MAPPS state of affairs. The professional organization was founded in 1982 and now has more than 160 member organizations. They say they benefit most from membership via networking opportunities and MAPPS work in government affairs. That said, MAPPS has two main goals: growing business opportunities for its members and insuring their professionalism. Legislation/issues MAAPS is watching/supporting includes:

FLAIR – creating a real up to date federal land inventory
Federal Prison Industry Reform – MAAPS feels prisoners should not be in the mapping biz
Flood Insurance Reform Act – time for a full rewrite
Image Mapping and Geospatial Enhancement (IMAGE) Act – move advocacy for geospatial to the Space Commercialization folks
Pipeline Safety – need standards for reporting location of pipelines, currently there are none
Airspace – so planes can fly over and photograph DC, etc.
Dept of Labor – reclassification of the terms geospatial, etc. in ways detrimental to our industry/discipline
Geospatial LOB – apparently MAPPS was behind much of this effort, but is concerned that FGDC organizational structure has not been updated; it was put on the back burner
USGS A-76 – House bill continues Rolla support, Senate one allows Rolla to compete on A-76 competition.

The complete presentation will be on the NSGIC website. It’s worth your time. Actually, hearing or speaking to John is always worth your time!

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/05 at 01:53 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

NACo is the National Association of Counties; its “geo” guy Pedro Flores gave us an update which highlighted that counties still worry about budgets, but they are generally “feeling good” about themselves, perhaps due to economic growth in the country. Counties do report feeling left out of government and trust in states and federal players may be limited. NACo, which advocates on behalf of counties lists these priorities (some of which NSGIC also supports):

Rewriting the telcom bill (including net neutrality)
Maintaining block grants
PILT (payment in lue of taxes, for states with much public land)
Crystal meth response
Voting rights
Health care financing
Opposing all unfunded mandates (especially a law that would make state and local governments responsible for collecting some federal taxes)!

Flores offered a map of the relationship of governments that was not the old fed over state over county over local. He put collaboration in the middle and the four players around it. That was well received by NSGIC.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/05 at 01:51 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Ok, I’ve never heard of them, but they are centers for intelligence for crime and homeland security type work typically run with state police leadership. Word from NSGIC Washington Liaison Bill Burgess is that state coordinators should get to know them and work with them or perhaps such centers will subsume or reproduce some of their “good work.”

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/05 at 01:47 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The three presentations on Homeland Security were from California (and its work on Project Homeland), North Carolina (on its work on NC OneMap and with USGS) and Arkansas. I want to focus on the last one as it highlighted successful partnering.

TechniGraphics (TGS) approached local, then state GIS folks in Arkansas about data collection for Homeland Security. The request started as, and I’m paraphrasing, “give us your data, please.” Learon Dalby of the Arkansas Geographic Information Office saw that as an opportunity for the state to work with the contractor for the benefit of both. The state would find data (sometimes geographic, sometimes just a list with addresses) and pass it on TGS. TGS would review and check it and where there were discrepancies, they’d figure out a solution, together. Then, the state would get the data back for its use. The first data layer to be tried, as a pilot, was fire stations. Dalby reported that TGS and the state lived up to their “roles and responsibilities” and everyone was happy. The state now has a freely available data layer of fire stations available for download and use and the contractor has its data. Now they are working on hospitals. Dalby suggested that this model could and should be taken nationally.

I do have to point out that some feel its not the role of states to “make data” and that perhaps private contractors might be more efficient gatherers and resellers of such data. My gut feeling is that any way state, county and local governments can participate in such partnerships and get something in return should be carefully studied.

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/05 at 01:45 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Rumor was amuck at NSGIC about a statewide LiDAR contract for Florida. Depending on who you spoke with it was either already contracted or teams had been formed or was yet to be announced. Here’s what I found on the matter:

Florida Division of Emergency Managment (FDEM) has initiated an effort that will ultimately result in the update of the Regional Evacuation Studies (RES) for the State. This process will require updates to the coastal surge modeling tools with more current and accurate elevation data, i.e. LiDAR.

via State Emergency Response Team

A stakeholder request document is dated 9/20/06 online (pdf) though the PDF has a date of August 25 and input on existing LiDAR data and planned collected was requested by Sept 29.

To better prepare for the impacts of storms and increase protection for our citizens, Governor Bush proposes an investment of $29 million in new technology and tools to improve our understanding of storm surge and update our emergency plans based on the findings. Under the proposal, $20.7 million will be invested in Light Detection and Ranging or LiDAR, which uses pulses of laser light striking the surfaces of the earth and measuring the time of pulse return to collect information on the terrain. LiDAR technology offers the opportunity to identify steep slopes, shadowed areas, and inaccessible areas such as, large mud flats and ocean jetties.


by Adena Schutzberg on 10/05 at 06:04 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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