October 7, 1999
Mr. William Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Department of Information Systems
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Mr. Duane Reel, City of Jacksonville
Ms Shirley Sandlin, Benton County
Mr. Phil Schoettlin, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Phyllis Smith, UALR
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, UAM
Ms Cathie Matthews/Cecil Davis, Department of Arkansas Heritage
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy Corporation, Inc.
Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco Graphics Solutions
Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Land Information Coordinator
Brian Culpepper, CAST, UAF
Joe Bob Penor, Secretary, Arkansas GIS Users Forum
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. in the 17th Floor Conference Room, Union Building, in Little Rock. Minutes from the last meeting were unanimously approved.
Suzanne Wiley explained that she, Randy Jones, Jim Wells, and Phyllis Smith attended the Governor's seminar for state board members and that it was very informative. She recommended that all board members attend this.
Report from the State Land Information Coordinator
Shelby Johnson handed out a status report on his recent activities. He talked about the procedures involved in getting the LIB recognized as the coordinating body in Arkansas by the FGDC. He has prepared the response to be sent to the FGDC secretary. He pointed out that there is no recognized coordinating council in Arkansas at this time. Shelby explained that the FGDC will send back a response recognizing the LIB as the coordinating body for Arkansas.
GIS Initiatives List
Suzanne Wiley reminded the Board that she and Shelby had met with the Governor several weeks ago to talk about GIS issues, and that the Governor asked for a wish list from the Board regarding GIS needs for the state. He also offered to do an Executive Order to all state agencies to have them cooperate with the LIB. He also invited Shelby Johnson to attend the State Agency Retreat in November to give a presentation to all state agency directors.
Bill Bush made the motion that the Board adopt the list of initiatives to be passed on to the Governor. Shirley Sandlin seconded the motion, and the Board unanimously approved the motion.
GIS Users Conference Report
Phyllis Smith next gave a report on the success of the GIS Users Forum conference in Eureka Springs. Attendance was very good this year and feedback was positive.
Phyllis Smith said the funding committee has not met. Several of the committees were scheduled to meet following the LIB meeting.
For the Strategic Planning Committee, Shelby Johnson reported on the status of the draft Strategic Plan, which is still in progress. Suzanne Wiley explained that the Committee was trying to pull together goals for the LIB.
Report on Statewide Image Coordination
Shelby Johnson explained that the LIB is looking very good in terms of coordinating the acquisition of satellite data for land use/land cover. He said that at the GIS Conference it was possible to discuss the merits of this project with several agency representatives and to that end about 17 different agencies will participate in splitting the costs on image acquisition. Through a single combined purchase a large savings in cost will be realized. He pointed out that this will be a good example of where the Board can say its done its job in terms of coordinating and in saving the state a lot of money.
Report on GIS Day Proclamation
Bill Bush explained that the week of November 12-20 is National Geography Awareness Week and the 19th has been declared GIS Day. Mr. Bush further explained that the Governor is being asked to issue a proclamation for GIS Day and showed the members a copy of the proposed proclamation. Suzanne Wiley encouraged the members to promote awareness of GIS Day through their agencies or communities. Bill Bush made a motion that the LIB request that November 19th be proclaimed GIS Day in Arkansas and that the Governor be requested to make that a proclamation. Phyllis Smith seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved. Discussion followed regarding promotion of GIS Day.
Color IR Purchase
Suzanne Wiley explained that the USGS is going to fly aerial photography for the state next Spring of 2000. The most recent was black and white in 1994. Suzanne pointed out that having the photography done in color costs an additionally $180,000. However, several other state agencies are interested in color IR photography and this group is having a meeting on October 14 for discussion regarding whether color IR will benefit everybody and whether the money can be raised to pay for it. The State of Louisiana is also participating to assist Arkansas in the project of color IR photography. Suzanne also pointed out that when it comes to producing DOQs, there is no difference in the cost between using color IR versus black and white. She pointed out that if Arkansas pays half and the USGS pays half, that comes to about $1.2 million for Arkansas' half. If several other federal agencies participate like NRCS or FSA, then the cost will less. Shelby Johnson pointed out that USGS has already budgeted for black and white in early 2000, so the state will be flown even if extra funding for the color IR does not happen. He added that the Forestry Service would be interested in supporting this effort with money, but how much remains to be seen at the meeting on the 14th.
Phyllis Smith said that she and Shelby had been visiting with Ted Mullinex, who is the lobbyist that the surveyors hired to help push through the program in Monticello. She discussed the possibilities of using his services to assist with promoting the efforts of the Board but that at this time there seemed to be no way to handle doing this.
Suzanne Wiley reminded the members that at the last meeting the Board passed a motion to support CAST in its efforts to continue second-year research on SWAG. Involved in that was a letter to the Governor recommending his releasing the funds for the second year of funding. She explained that she had not submitted the letter because SWAG was listed as an item in the LIB initiatives that were presented to the Governor. Suzanne explained that if there is no response on SWAG funding as it is presented in the list, then she will go ahead with a separate letter regarding funding to CAST for SWAG completion.
Governor's Technology Initiative
Susan Cromwell explained that the GTI is currently being defined and that the Governor himself has yet to define his initiative, though we hope to have confirmation soon. One element called Communities of Interest is to go through workshops and processes to be able to have an outcome the demonstrates the integration of the project. Money that was thought to be allocated had not been allocated and the initial workshops had to be postponed. Suzanne Wiley asked what this Initiative will do for the LIB and GIS in Arkansas and Susan explained that it wasn't yet clear how the processes will benefit the LIB; that will be up to the LIB. The orientation session will lay out the tools and processes and the Chair and Co-Chair can evaluate their usefulness to the LIB. She explained that part of the strategy is that once the different pieces are dovetailed for integrating IT projects in the state with changes in network provider participation and combined with fundraising, then maybe there would be some cash for LIB projects.
Shelby Johnson commented that the positive impacts are that that Initiative is to build a unified technology budget for the next legislative session. He pointed out that there are three communities of interest: the statewide radio network; the statewide distance learning network; spatial technologies, and possibly the integrated justice system. Suzanne Wiley added that the Board has been invited to participate and that there will be good PR opportunities for the Board resulting from this involvement.
Brian Culpepper of CAST remarked that in relation to the SWAG funding that the key part of the second phase is raster integration to the data model. He commented that it appeared that there will be quite an investment statewide in raster data with the more recent landsat imagery acquisition, etc. He also commented that if the audit and inventory is funded, the process of dovetailing and customization of how that product works and how people receive data would be a great opportunity for the Board to provide input to that team as to what would be most useful for the state users.
Joe Bob Penor commented that the GIS Forum is working on trying to get a Technical Advisory Committee together. The primary task will be to work on initiatives and issues for the LIB. He explained that once the TAC is formed, the members will be regularly involved in the LIB meetings. Also, another TAC job will be to form subcommittees for special issues. Joe Bob also expressed his desire for the GIS Users Forum members to be more active with the LIB.
Shelby Johnson offered the information that the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Year 2000 meeting, which is being sponsored by the ASPS, is going to be in Little Rock. He pointed out that this is a major national meeting that relates to surveying, GIS and GPS. He explained that this would be a great opportunity for the Forum to work with the ASPS in terms of sponsoring that somehow. Randy Jones pointed out that they will need lots of volunteers because it's a big meeting. Joe Bob Penor said hopefully he can get some volunteers.
Suzanne Wiley said that the surveyors had their annual meeting a few weeks ago and that they are redefining surveying in Arkansas. She explained that within the last year there have been a lot of things happening in California regarding conflicts between GIS users and surveyors and how the laws should be interpreted. The Arkansas surveyors have appointed a group to look into what the current law states and what modifications it might need, if any, and to investigate the possibilities. Suzanne explained that it was important to keep up with that issue in order to cooperate with any changes that may be at hand and be a part of resolving any conflicts that may arise, and also to educate GIS users to surveyors' needs and vice versa. She said she has invited Tom Webb to speak at the next Board meeting regarding this issue.
The date of the next meeting was discussed and it was decided to meet on November 19th to coincide with GIS Day. Randy Jones will look into First Electric Corporation hosting a lunch for legislators that afternoon following the LIB meeting. The date of December 9 was set as a tentative meeting date for that month.
The meeting was then adjourned.