April 4, 2001
Mr. Chris Boudreaux, Conway Corporation
Mr. Bill Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Department of Information Systems
Mr. Cecil Davis, Department of Arkansas Heritage
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Mr. Fred Limp, CAST
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy Corporation, Inc.
Ms. Phyllis Smith, UALR
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, U of A Cooperative Extension Services
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County Assessor
Mr. Phil Schoettlin, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco Graphics Solutions
Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Land Information Coordinator
Mr. Learon Dalby, GIS Specialist
Ms. Tandy White, Entergy
The meeting was called to order in the Ragland Building 2nd Floor Conference Room. Approval of the minutes from February 14 and February 26, 2001, was postponed until a quorum was present.
Report of the State Land Information Coordinator
Shelby Johnson reported that the flights have been aggressive to get as much done as possible to cover all unflown areas of the state as well as the rejected areas from last year's flights. He informed the members that the USGS finished all QA/QC work on the rolls from 2000 early in the year, so all rejected areas were known early on and could be scheduled for reflight. He explained that Pixxures has switched subcontractors for this year's flights to New Geomatics and that the company has done a good job. The flight period has been extended to April 7, but trees are leafing out and the flights will have to be concluded soon. Only about 5% of the state remains to be flown at this point in time. Shelby said that the western half of the state is in line for production and that Arkansas is first in line at the USGS for QA/QC.
Shelby explained that all inside-boundary DOQQs are here from the USGS to be used by Pixxures as part of the control process. The overedge DOQQs are still needed and are on order. His office has been archiving and recording the DOQQs and will pass them to CAST for GeoStor. He said that the entirety of Lafayette County (41 files) has been accepted by the USGS following rigorous QA/QC, and that this is a big accomplishment for the Pixxures and the Board. These will go into the USGS national archive.
Shelby reminded the Board about discussion at the last meeting regarding compression ratio, and he said it's been elected to go with 5:1 and Pixxures has agreed to provide three deliverables:
Mr. Sid 5:1 compression
Uncompressed tiff files
Shelby explained that Pixxures has all the DEMs for the entire state, with the exception of Batesville, which is being reprocessed, and he said the timeframe for getting all good data processed between now and July.
Corps of Engineers River Project
Shelby said that the Arkansas River photography is almost complete, with only four frames left to be flown. These four frames were delayed because of high water. The LIDAR and DEM data has been delivered to the Corps of Engineers. One more clear day will allow completion of the four frames and then the DOQQ production will be completed for the river corridor project. Copies of the DEMs also will be provided to the State Land Information Coordinator's office.
NED data has not been received, but CAST has received that data and will put it into GeoStor as soon as all of it is received.
Shelby commented that he still does not have a confirmation letter from the USGS regarding the innovative partnership award from that agency.
Fred Limp explained that since the last report of 2000 downloads, GeoStor is up to 4000+ downloads. He said that there are 390+ different IP addresses that have requested data. He said that CAST is continuing to add data and the major effort since the last meeting has been in satellite imagery and they're moving toward adding raster data. There are 15 or 20 different satellite data themes that are now in GeoStor. Fred said they're waiting for the final pieces from the DOQQs and that will be added next.
Fred explained that there will be upgrades to the system in the next two weeks:
Because of change in the java development kit, it will be possible to use standard certificates from Verisign
Email options have been added for vector and raster data which will help with proxy server problems
There will be a hardware upgrade to a Sun 4500 which will result in a 5-10X performance improvement
The Highway Department has been having problems downloading due to their firewall situation, and CAST has been working on this problem.
Fred said that he has met with soils physics people and that there are issues regarding the fact that there is lots of soils data but not much that is certified by NRCS. It was decided that it would be imprudent to put noncertified soils into GeoStor. He thinks that Madison County will be loaded next week with certified soils data, and as certified data is delivered, it will be added.
The Board members discussed the need for publicizing GeoStor, and the Board will explore possibilities regarding this in the future. It was agreed that publicity should wait until after the beta testing period is over.
With a quorum present, the minutes of the February
14 and February 26, 2001, meetings were approved.
Suzanne Wiley did a brief evaluation of the status of various bills. She pointed out that bills 580 and 495 are now Acts. Related bills were discussed, which included the State CIO legislation, the Arkansas Technology Infrastructure Fund, SCR22 (a resolution to study electronic plat filing), and HB1515 (to move the state surveyor to the Commissioner of State Lands). The progress of HB1365 was also discussed in light of appropriations included for GIS. Suzanne explained that the bill to change the way terms of board members will be staggered and what the term limits will be is in Senate committee.
Shelby Johnson explained that Senate Concurrent Resolution 22 (SCR22) will institute a study authorized by the Joint Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology to examine the electronic plat filing process, research that and report back to the 84th General Assembly for a recommendation on legislation that will enable the project in 2003. He said the resolution notes specifically that "a uniform index of surveys would provide an additional source of data for the Geographic Information System being constructed by the State Land Information Board."
Shelby also suggested that in light of the possible transfer of the state surveyor to the Commissioner of State Lands, that it might be a good thing to invite the Commissioner's Office to have a representative on the LIB Advisory Board.
Digital Parcel Mapping
Shelby Johnson explained that getting any funding for a pilot project during this Legislative Session is not feasible. He said that Don Melton of the Department of Information Systems has asked Sanford Cothren and Max Kolstad of that department to play a role in researching the project. They will look at possible funding through grant or federal sources that would enable a pilot project of some sort. Shelby said that he sent Max Kolstad to the GIS and CAMA conference in Baltimore recently. Shelby explained that a pilot project must work through the digitization process and linkage to CAMA, very carefully document every part of the process, and capture all of the costs. This will give a reliable calculation as to what it would take to do the entire state and will hopefully prove this system would facilitate the entire appraisal process.
Suzanne Wiley explained the need for revising Board committees. The members discussed this and decided on these committees:
Strategic Planning - Bill, Fred, Susan, and Suzanne
Electronic Filing and Mapping - Chris, Jim, Randy, Shirley
ASDI Policies - Cecil, Fred, Jim, Susan, Suzanne
Funding - Bill, Cecil, Jubal, Phyllis, Suzanne
Communication/PR - Jubal, Phil, Phyllis, Shirley
Metadata Standards for GeoStor
Learon Dalby explained that he and Shelby will attend the upcoming NSGIC mid-year conference do training in metadata. Learon said that they have found that in working with data for GeoStor, metadata is not being collected but that metadata does reside in GeoStor. He shared a metadata document provided by Debbie Harmon at CAST and explained that he and Shelby are doing research and by the next meeting there should be something more concrete for the Board to consider. Shelby Johnson stressed that it is not realistic to put data in GeoStor without standards, and that it will facilitate the transition of adding data. Shelby recommended that the Board adopt Section 5 of the standards and this will help with the introduction of new data.
Other issues Learon discussed were:
How to link to other systems
How to bring in new data and how to streamline that process
Determining what data should be documented - policies, rules, charges
Fred Limp explained that at this point in time, most of the data being submitted is federal data and the metadata is copied. He pointed out that as other people start wanting their data put in GeoStor, there is a real cost differential between data that is well documented and data that is not well documented in terms of building the metadata. He recommended that priorities be set.
Shelby Johnson said that he and Learon had become aware of the need to develop some guidelines regarding using handheld GPS receivers for mapping. Learon Dalby shared a draft document with the members outlining possible standards and the document covers these topics:
The Board's involvement
The purpose of standards
Various GPS standards
Recommendations and best practices
Base stations by Universities
Links to CORS
Terms, abbreviations, definitions
Learon explained that he asked a number of people to review the document and provide feedback. He believes that GPS standards will result in the collection of data that will be more useful across the state. The Board discussed this and decided that the members will review the document to provide feedback over the next two weeks. After that initial review and any changes, the document will be presented to the GIS Users Forum members and they will be asked to discuss the standards and provide feedback. Learon said that after all the review and changes, hopefully the Board will adopt these standards.
Susan Cromwell introduced the topic of what the Board might do in the remaining days of the legislative session regarding appropriations and funding requests. She said Senator Gullett said whatever the Board can do would help. Susan says there is an atmosphere of distrust of technology projects at this point in time in the legislature, mostly due to the AASIS project cost overruns. She said that is very important for the Board members stress to legislators that the GIS projects are viable, cost effective, and very good for the economic development of the state.
Susan also pointed out that the Budget Committee can assign funds to particular parts of an appropriation bill, so that the GIS appropriation request could receive funding even if they do not want to fund other portions of the appropriation bill. The Board discussed the possibility of having the Advisory Panel contact legislators on the Joint Budget Committee and lobby in behalf of the LIB for GIS funding. Suzanne Wiley, Fred Limp and Shelby Johnson will work on a draft letter that will be sent to the Advisory Panel members for their approval. Then the letter will be forwarded to each member of the Joint Budget Committee with the signatures of the Advisory Panel.
Learon Dalby told the Board about an AUTIS grant that is available up to $3000 that could apply for travel costs to offer GeoStor training at sites around the state. He explained that state agencies cannot apply, but that the Board can turn in an application for this grant. Fred Limp made the motion that the Board apply for this grant, Phyllis Smith seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved by the members present.
A tentative meeting was set for May 10th and the Advisory Panel will be invited to attend. The June meeting will be held tentatively on June 6th.
The meeting was adjourned.