January 29 , 2003

Board Members Attending

Mr. Bill Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Mr. Chris Boudreaux, Conway Corporation
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Director of Fayetteville School District Information Technology
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Dr. Fred Limp, Director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies
Mr. Mike McGibbony, Deputy Director of DIS
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy
Ms. Phyllis Smith, U of A at Little Rock
Mr. Earl Smith, Ark Soil & Water Conservation Commission
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County Assessor
Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, U of A Cooperative Extension Service

Board Members Not Present


Attending By Video Conference

Ms. Susan Cromwell, Fayetteville Public School District
Dr. Fred Limp, CAST
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County Assessor

LIB Advisory Panel

None Present

Arkansas Geographic Information Office

Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator
Mr. Learon Dalby, GIS Program Manager
Mr. Amrut Khatri, GIS Specialist
Ms. Leann Manning, GIS Intern
Mr. Joakim Jörwall, GIS Management Project Analyst


Mr. Jos Bell, Central Arkansas Water & Pulaski Area GIS Director


The meeting was called to order. Dr. Fred Limp motioned to approve as amended the minutes of the last meeting of December 18, 2002. Shirley Sandlin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as amended and accepted unanimously.

Report from the Arkansas Geographic Information Office

Shelby Johnson briefly reported on mapping work done with respect to the Department of Education School District reorganization.


Learon reported briefly on the AGIO participation at the County Judges meeting at AAC. The AGIO presentation was focused on the ACF project, and intended to spread awareness of the issues involved. The response seemed to be very favorable. A full ACF project progress report is available online.

Health and Critical Infrastructure Status

Amrut Khatri reported briefly on project progress:

The hospital layer, spatial part, has been completed. Individual hospital loading dock locations are included. Heliport locations are included as well. The mapping of the local health units is almost done, except for Desha and Chicot counties. Inclusion of the individual ambulance locations has been requested, and possible solutions and problems regarding this request have been discussed.

A joint ACF and hospital mapping conference booth is planned for the upcoming County Judges conference.

Assessors Mapping – CAMP

Richie Pierce was not present so Learon Dalby gave a brief report on the CAMP project status.

A full CAMP project report is available on the Web as previously stated. Ten new counties have now been trained in the use of the mapping software.

Percent completed by county:

  • Cross County currently leads by percentage done.

  • Currently there are 20 counties involved in the CAMP program.

  • 50 counties currently plan to enter the CAMP project Phase One.

  • Time table for 1st layer completion, Phase One points: Not possible to establish a timetable.

Workshops, Published Articles and Press Activity – County Judges Seminar

Shelby Johnson reported on the work Leann Manning is doing with a new article. He briefly touched on a Web enabled satisfaction survey pertaining to AGIO and GeoStor customer/stakeholder performance. He also reported on the aforementioned County Judges meeting presentation.

Update on GeoStor Development and Usage

Fred Limp reported that there now have been approximately 100,000 GeoStor downloads, which is equivalent to around 1 million traditional downloads. A steady download increase is evident. The most commonly downloaded format is the DOQQ, NAD 83 UTM, and State Plane coordinate system. Additional Landsat imagery has been added, and County SURRGO soils data is prepared for 11 counties. For information on themes, please see report from CAST.

An issue Fred brought up was the AHTD aerial photos, about 20,000 – 30,000 photos exist. But these aerial photos are not digital ortho-photos meaning they have no rectification, this presents a challenge to load them into GeoStor where the present architecture requires a rectified photo. In lieu of this, CAST is investigating alternative techniques to make this data accessible for download. There is a need to explain the various formats to users, an educational effort, to emphasize that the photos are not rectified.

Fred reported on various GeoStor update issues:

Many of the GeoStor users have requested to see the data before they receive it. Presently this option does not exist. One possible solution would be a graphical interface, or map interface would be desirable, enabling browsing of the stored material. A need exists for a data listing or catalog that is a published document rather than the dynamic listing on-line. This catalog could be used to depict how the data appears and could contain basic metadata. This in turn might satisfy the request to see data before it is received.

Maintenance note: GeoStor will be down for maintenance for two days, a notice will be forthcoming. Disk control problems and a RAID control malfunction have been fixed.

Learon Dalby briefly discussed GeoStor user issues and reported receiving a number of user calls requesting similar needs to be able to preview the data before it is sent. In some cases users only needed to view the data rather than actually receive a copy.

Suzanne briefly spoke of enthusiasm from the State’s Aerial Applicators Association with regard to various mapping possibilities, and the associated GIS training needs. Susan briefly spoke of the needs librarians have to access, and retrieve GIS data.

Shelby introduced Mr. Bell, the Pulaski area GIS Director, and mentioned Mr. Bell’s experience of direct connections to GeoStor. Mr. Bell spoke on the test they conducted to directly connect from the PAGIS GIS system directly to the GeoStor database through the Internet. PAGIS and the Central Arkansas Water System have an increasing need for GIS data outside the existing City limits of Little Rock and North Little Rock. By accessing the data in GeoStor they can retrieve information in the remainder of Pulaski County as well as adjoining counties such as Perry, Saline, Faulkner and Lonoke Counties all of which are included in the planning area for the Water System future services.
Shelby explained to the Board the meaning of direct connections to GeoStor.

Mr. Bell asked whether direct connections become a future regular service? What would the rates have to be? A discussion followed that talked about this kind of functionality being planned and included in the Business Model document that would be discussed late during the meeting.

Update on State Government Realignment, Funding Strategies (GeoStor Business Model Document), Emerging Technologies

Mike McGibbony reported generally on the current state government restructuring effort, and specifically on the effect on DIS. He spoke of Senate bill 45, that amendments had been made, and the anticipation of some job loss within DIS. He also mentioned that the bill hopefully would pass within two weeks.

DIS will undergo a transfer of Type 2, meaning it is a partial transfer leaving the internal structure intact in the transfer.
Mike spoke briefly of the DIS billing problem of 10 million dollars, and that the issues yet were undecided.
The issue of AGIO and GeoStor funding were discussed: Rates, etc. are established, if the AGIO and GeoStor stay within DIS. If funding will come from General Revenue, no billing will be necessary, however that case is very unlikely.

Mike touched on the effect the transfer will have on the performance based budgeting process.

Shelby commented on the result of that Transfer Type, 2 would mean that the standards set by the Board would remain unaffected, the Board would remain intact, and operations such as GeoStor and the AGIO could continue.
It was further stated that the ECIO will undergo a Type 2 transfer, where all the power will remain intact. The question was raised how the ASLIB entity would transfer, if at all, and what transfer type it would have to be, because the ASLIB is not specifically referenced in the current edition of Senate Bill 45.

A general discussion ensued on this topic.

Bill Bush commented on the reorganization and meant that there is a time-delayed reorganization of boards, etc. The ASLIB is an independent board, with no fiscal responsibility.

Core infrastructure:

  • Budget proposition is still up in the air.

  • Will the statewide CIO IT realignment create advantages for the ASLIB and the AGIO?

  • Conclusions: Downsizing of government.

Mike McGibbony meant that private and public sector strategies must be pursued, and that DIS cannot cover the GeoStor cost. He further stated that DIS would only be able to bill GeoStor as a product, since DIS is governed by federal regulations.

A discussion arose on DIS billing and the AGIO fund. Should the appropriation language be changed? Should the act language change to fit the new organizational structure?

Mike McGibbony mentioned that a demonstration for Acxiom would be useful, for possible, future funding of GeoStor and to educate that company on the advantages of maintaining the system.

Fred Limp raised the issue of production software licensing needs, and the funding needed to make GeoStor operational and software license compliant (Oracle, etc.).

Relocation costs from CAST to an operational system at DIS were discussed, but these detailed costs are unknown.

The following possible GeoStor options were discussed, for the future, should funding cease:

  • Option 1: Subcontract with a major information technology company such as Acxiom for hosting GeoStor

  • Option 2: Create an access fee structure for private industry funding, such as the timber industry, the utilities industry or engineering and surveying firms who are utilizing the system.

  • Option 3: Shut down GeoStor.

Susan Cromwell briefly spoke on policy changes with respect to DIS, and the possibility to achieve funding through General Revenue outside of DIS. She meant that we need to focus on value-added aspects first, and discuss the DIS issue later.

Shelby opened a general discussion of Real Estate Transfer Tax currently utilized to support a number of existing county and state programs. The transfer tax is the only revenue stream currently in place that closely connects with land information. The Board has discussed proposing possible increases in this tax, or possible reallocations of this tax, in the past, however no action has been taken and no recommendation issued.

Susan Cromwell began the discussion of the Draft Business Model document which relates to the various ways in which the Board and the AGIO might raise revenue streams to support the Office and GeoStor. This draft document outlines a number of ways in which this could take place.

Several changes to be made to the document.

Private data catalog:
Discussion of the possibility of storing metadata of other data outside GeoStor, in GeoStor. Perhaps GeoStor could act as a data portal, or perhaps a fee-based reseller scenario would be possible?

Priority data queue
Hardware preferable
Dedicated platform
Direct connect, potential value (Mr. Bell)

AGIO should create a marketing brochure for these kinds of services.

Action item until next meeting: Rates must be developed for each proposed service outlined in the discussion.

Web map development:

Motion for all members of the Board and the AGIO, task until next meeting:
Identify, and evaluate value-added applications with regard to webmap development and hosting, within each area.
Emphasis should initially be given to applications intended to be hosted on GeoStor, and the GeoStor interface users should be defined. Explore possible map interface, for all users.

Board Policy Action
Policy for Loading Spatial Data into GeoStor – revised policy sent this week

Fred Limp proposed revisions of the policy statement.

Shelby stated that the document would be presented again to the Board at the next meeting, for approval, before final promulgation.

MOTION: Suzanne Wiley motioned to accept the GeoStor Data Loading Poli