March 23, 2000


Mr. William Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Department of Information Systems
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy Corporation, Inc.
Ms. Phyllis Smith, UALR
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, UAM
Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco Graphics Solutions

Not Attending

Mr. Cecil Davis, Department of Arkansas Heritage
Mr. Fred Limp, CAST
Mr. Duane Reel, City of Jacksonville
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County
Mr. Phil Schoettlin, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce

Special Representatives

Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Land Information Coordinator
Mike Mitchell, GIS Users Forum


Karen Howard, GIS Users Forum  
Darla Chappell, SLIC Intern


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 of the January 26, 2000, meeting were unanimously approved.

Report from the State Land Information Coordinator

Shelby Johnson explained that he had attended the ASPM American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Conference on March 22 to sit on a panel discussion for Arkansas Surveying and Geospatial

Issues, along with Kit Carson from Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department, Ivan Hoffman, President of the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors and Charlie Storey from the U.S. Forest Service.  He said the discussion went well, and pointed out that some other presenters at the conference included Mike Mitchell, representatives from Intergraph and ESRI, and that the major vendors were there.

Project Main

Shelby Johnson said that this project is finally underway and that he has been planning this for about eight months. He explained that MAIN stands for Mapping Arkansas' Information Network and that it involves EAST program participants mapping government facility locations statewide.  The primary purpose is to assist the Department of Information Systems, as the supplier of public network service in the state, to utilize this as a resource tool for planning growth of the public network.  The project is just underway, with 58 high schools participating.

Shelby explained that in conjunction with the project, he had had the opportunity to meeting with Arkansas One Call and that they are very interested in the work of the Board.  He recommended that the Board should consider including a One Call representative in the membership of the proposed Board advisory committee, as they are major users of GIS across the state.

He commented that he continues to make presentations at meetings and functions and that he talks about the Land Information Board and that this is ongoing. 

GIS Audit

Shelby Johnson explained that the audit is moving forward and the development is going well.  There will be a web-based audit and a mailing will be done in the next several weeks.  The results will be compiled in a database for analysis of GIS resources in the state.  This information will also serve to support legislation in the next session.  He explained that this is a replica of the FGDC survey that was done in 1996, with the inclusion of addressing flood plain information. 

American Congress of Survey and Mapping Conference Report

Randy Jones reported that the attendance was good and that the meeting was a success.  He said that the exhibit hall was nice and that all the major vendors were represented.  Shelby attended and participated on a panel on Arkansas issues.  He discussed the Land Information Board and some of its goals.  Shelby explained that he was unable to attend any of the other presentations.  He went on to comment that he did learn that the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is putting up some new CORE (continuously operating reference) stations and one will be in Monticello, which he believes it will be available to the public.  This is a GPS base station that broadcasts its corrected signal on an FM frequency, allowing public use of the signal at no cost. 

GTI Planning

Susan Cromwell explained that the director of DIS has decided to not request Nortel's services for creating a network services architecture as the resources to develop that architecture already exists with the Land Information Board, Project Main, and DIS Engineering.  Work that has been done in the Nortel sessions with all the communities of interest has resulted in a lot of valuable collaboration and identification of issues and this information needs to be delivered to the DIS engineers.  The LIB next should try to wrap up its strategic plan together with some technical emphasis around the impact on bandwidth and the state network. 

Old Business  

Suzanne Wiley next brought up the subject of the LIB web page and made suggestions regarding possible changes to improve information presentation.  Members were invited to submit anything that they would like to see used to augment the current web pages.

Arkansas Digital Ortho Photography Program

Shelby Johnson talked about the status of the color infrared photography project.  He explained that the project is being handled in three phases: 

  • Flying for the statewide one-meter NAPP

  • Processing to create DOQs

  • High-resolution project one-foot color photography and LIDAR for high resolution terrain

The funding for Phase One was promised and secured from the Governor's Office to DIS.  Next was the start of a fund raising effort to bring in cooperators in state agencies, federal agencies and the private sector, and to seek a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Fund Commission.  The grant application was to seek funding to cover the entire balance of the project, all three phases, plus the Geostore operational startup costs plus staffing for the office, for a total of $4.1 million.  Supporting funds were sought from other sources and listed in the grant proposal as a demonstration that it is a valuable project, it is statewide, and it does impact the bottom line on the state's ability to bring in industry and commerce, as the grant fund's specific role is for job creation.

On March 8, Suzanne Wiley and Shelby Johnson, along with Alan McVey, Deputy Director of ADED, made the presentation for the grant fund.  $100,000 was awarded from that grant fund to apply towards the project.  The Phase One request was for $779,000, which would have covered the balance of processing on the statewide one-meter flight.  To date, over $250,000 has been raised from private sector companies, such as Weyerhauser, International Paper, the Ross Foundation, etc.  A few county judges are also participating in covering some funding, and the Corps of Engineers is contributing $50,000 to the statewide one-meter processing.  All of this funding applies only to the statewide one-meter phase.  To date, the project is $500,000 to $600,000 short of covering all the processing costs for Phase Two.

The contract with the vendor is that payment terms are stretched out so that some of the funding may run into the next fiscal year.  At this point, though, funding is not an issue as it stands at this time. 

Suzanne Wiley added that the Economic Development Commission Fund did invite the LIB back in September to look more closely at the project.  She commented that what the LIB wanted to do was not a normal type of project that are ordinarily presented to the Commission and a couple of the members considered this project to be too complicated, but that several members were very supportive.  She feels there is a good chance to obtain more funding with better preparation.  Shelby explained that the Commission has requested more material to explain what the LIB is and who the members are.  He is working on compiling information for this purpose and has an outline for putting this information together for the meeting with the Commission in the fall. 

Shelby expressed his thanks to Mike Mitchell for assisting with the meeting with forestry industry representatives, which is where the majority of private sector funding was obtained.  A funding request was also presented to Arkansas One Call, who is interested but noncommittal. 

Shelby next showed the members a map of the state showing areas that have already been photographed, and he explained the flight procedures.  He explained that the weather has been a major problem and there have been only six good weather days for flying over a six-week period of time, and this has resulted in only 40 percent flight coverage as of this meeting.  Another limiting factor is the NAPP specification of a 30 degree sun angle to eliminate shadows, which means that no photography can be done in the early morning or late afternoon.  Another limiting factor was the statewide snowfall in January which totally prohibited photography based on NAPP specs.  Shelby explained that the trees are leafing out and this raises questions as to whether to continue photography with leaf on, particularly in relation to major funding by the forestry industries, who requested leaf-on photography from the start.  He pointed out that it is the decision of the Board whether to continuing the flight into the leaf-on season.  This will result in a mismatch in some of the data in that some areas will have leaves and others will not. 

Shelby explained that Phase Two consists of the data processing, and the data will be delivered in a compressed format.  Phase Three was to consist of sections of high resolution photography in certain municipal areas, but he was initially forced to pull that phase due to lack of funding.  However, the Corps of Engineers is going to fully fund high resolution photography for a mile and a half on either side of the Arkansas River from the Oklahoma border to the Mississippi border.  This will be one-foot color and LIDAR high resolution photography and will include several city boundaries.  The data provided from this phase will be available for public access.  Shelby made the suggestion that a letter be sent to the Corps of Engineers thanking them for their support of this phase of the project.

Shelby pointed out that with the exception of the Game and Fish Commission and DIS, no other state agencies have elected to participate in the project at this time.  He explained that with the end of the fiscal year, there may be some more state agencies who will have funds to use and they may choose to participate.  He added that no federal agencies have chosen to participate at this point in time. 

In conclusion, Shelby explained that if the flight was continued in areas where people have cooperated in funding efforts, at the very least none of the cooperators will be disappointed in what is accomplished.

Society of Professional Surveyors

Randy Jones explained that the legislative committee for the Arkansas Society of Professional Surveyors met and are looking for projects for the next legislative session.  Ted Mullinex, a consultant, is going to be working on these projects to prepare a funding request for this project.  One project is Act 645, the filing act for surveyors requiring all surveyed plats to be filed in the county and in the office of the State Land Surveyor.  What the ASPS wants to do is have a web-based filing structure, eliminate the requirements for filing in the counties, and do it at a statewide level over the internet.  This would be administered by the State Land Surveyor, who is supportive of the idea.  There would be filing fees for filing plats through the Land Surveyor's office and possibly the LIB and DIS could have a portion of the fees for administration of the process.  Randy proposed that DIS be approached to see if they would be interested and if they are not, then an outside consultant be sought to operate it.  The timeframe is for this project would be the summer of 2000.  Susan Cromwell that this would be a great opportunity as a digital signature pilot project for the state.  Suzanne Wiley pointed out that there also will be privacy issues in regards to this project and other GIS projects of this type.

Susan Cromwell made a motion that Randy Jones establish a relationship with the Society of Professional Surveyors' legislative committee to allow the LIB to provide support and guidance towards the development of a web-based survey filing system.  Phyllis Smith seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously by the members. 

Steering Committee

The members discussed further the topic of potential members for an LIB steering committee, and then table this topic for the next meeting.

Committee Reports

Suzanne Wiley stressed that the Legislative Committee really needs to get going, and that the Audit and Inventory Committee is progressing well.  There was discussion and suggestions about where the Funding Committee could be looking for grants and grant deadlines for funding to help support LIB projects. 

Suzanne suggested that the members continue work on strategic planning as it would be good to have a plan completed for the legislative package and to present to the Economic Development Fund members. 

Action Items

  • Continuing CIR Project

  • Legislative Planning for 2001 Session

  • Progress from LIB Subcommittees

  • Follow Legislation Being Developed by State Surveyors

Next Meeting

The next meeting date was projected for April 19 or 26, 9 - 12 p.m., and will be decided later.

The meeting was then adjourned.