September 2, 2003

GIS User’s Conference, Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, AR
6:00 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.

Board Members Attending

Ms. Phyllis Smith, U of A at Little Rock
Ms. Suzanne Wiley, U of A Cooperative Extension Service
Mr. Randy Jones, First Electric Cooperative Corporation
Ms. Susan Cromwell, Director of Fayetteville School District Information Technology
Dr. Fred Limp, Director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies
Ms. Shirley Sandlin, Benton County Assessor
Mr. Bill Bush, Arkansas Geological Commission
Mr. Chris Boudreaux, Conway Corporation

Board Members Not Present

Mr. Jim Wells, Wellsco
Mr. Earl Smith, Ark Soil & Water Conservation Commission
Mr. Jubal Smith, Entergy
Mr. Mike McGibbony, Deputy Director of DIS

Arkansas Geographic Information Office

Mr. Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator
Mr. Learon Dalby, GIS Program Manager
Mr. Joakim Jorwall, GIS Analyst
Mr. Amrut Khatri, GIS Specialist
Mr. Vince Guillet, GIS Specialist
Mr. Richie Pierce, GIS Specialist


Mr. Bill Sneed, National Map Liaison for Arkansas, USGS
Mr. Mark Coppersmith, USGS


The meeting was called to order by Board Chair, Susan Cromwell at 6:00pm. After review, Suzanne Wiley moved to approve as amended the minutes of the last meeting for February 20, 2003. Shirley Sandlin seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of the Guests

Shelby Johnson gave a brief introduction of Mark Coppersmith, USGS Coordination and Requirement Liaison, from the Mid-Continent Mapping Center in Rolla, Missouri and then turned the floor to Mark for further introductions. Mark formally introduced Bill Sneed, the new Mapping Partnership Office director to be stationed at the Little Rock Water Office of the USGS. Mark stated his enjoyment in working with the Board and working in Arkansas and that he would continue to be supportive of ongoing work here, but that his coordination role would lessen now as Bill would become the primary USGS contact point in the state. He commented this event would be the point at which he would no longer serve that official role and all coordination activities would rest with Bill. Mark then turned the floor to Bill. Bill introduced himself and gave a brief overview of his career track and the types of work he had performed during his tenure with USGS. He provided some details about getting relocated from Rolla, Missouri to Arkansas and that he would be building a home in Perry County. He concluded his introduction by stating his excitement to be in Arkansas and that he was looking forward to establishing the partnership office and directing the National Map partnership activities in the state. Board Chair Susan Cromwell recognized Mark for his past efforts and then welcomed Bill. Then it was suggested for all present to introduce themselves to Bill.

Process for Loading Spatial Data into GeoStor and its Promulgation Status

Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator, presented a review of the policy and then asked Learon Dalby, GIS Program Manager, to review the steps. Learon reviewed the data loading workflow for the Board and then referred the members to a list of specific data requests that was prepared according to the data loading policy established by the Board. Learon presented specific proposed load requests. For example, one set of data on the list included county road centerline files where they have achieved compliance with Arkansas Centerline File standard. Learon noted these files met the qualifications to merit loading and should be generally accessible for use by the GIS user community. Other data requested to load included: Arkansas Electric Cooperatives service boundaries, various counties including Cross County Assessor Mapping data, Health media coverage layers. (The Board was presented with a full list on the attached document.) Following a short discussion there was discussion on which agency or organization would be the data custodian.

Learon reviewed with the Board a prior Board decision to utilize the City of Van Buren, Arkansas and its GIS data as a pilot test for the development of a data loading policy. Learon reported that CAST is prepared to load the initial City of Van Buren dataset based on the decision from the Board. A discussion followed on Van Buren data pilot loading set quality control issues, data size and other issues. The question was raised about the establishment of fees to host local level data. AGIO staff reported no fee structure had been set and that a Van Buren cost was unknown. However, this will serve as model for fee determination. Bill Bush motioned to accept the recommendation to load Van Buren data; Randy Jones seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Fred Limp rescued himself from the vote on the basis that the Board’s decision impacts the operation of GeoStor. A discussion followed on particular technical requirements for loading, dealing with data format, and other technical issues related to actually loading the data. Fred explained that all these issues are under development and that staff would prepare a technical document outlining the details for technical requirements and pass that documentation to the AGIO. Susan Cromwell voiced concern regarding a process for ongoing maintenance, and commitments by the custodians of the data, for the files that are uploaded into GeoStor.

Update on GeoStor and GeoStor Operational Options

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) pilot to test direct connect to GeoStor. Shelby presented an update on interest and potential from ADEQ to subscribe to a service that would allow ADEQ users to connect directly to GeoStor. The test provided no conclusive results on the initial attempts at ADEQ. There are a variety of limiting factors, including client bandwidth at the ADEQ facility and other issues associated with how the GeoStor database is tuned. A follow-up test is necessary and Shelby told the Board this would be coordinated with ADEQ.

Shelby also presented a document detailing improvements to GeoStor. There was some discussion about data already loaded recently without applying the policy for data loading. Some of the notable changes to the GeoStor architecture in Version 3 include: ability to take advantage of distributed computing for the future based upon Linux operating system and distributed workstations sharing processing threads. With Version 3 transition, the most significant change for end users is that Metadata distribution will include metadata for the delivered file, not the source metadata e.g. datum, projection, and extent; which will resolve consistency issues.

Chris Boudreaux asked if the MrSid compression issue had been resolved. Learon Dalby explained the issue dealt with software licensing by LizardTech and an agreement could not be reached with them. Therefore, MrSid compression is not offered as a format in GeoStor.

Suzanne Wiley asked about the outcome of the Oracle video. Shelby reported briefly that Arkansas would be showcased by Oracle at their international conference with a video about GeoStor technology and how the state uses the Oracle database to serve GIS spatial data. Shelby, Governor Huckabee and Carolyn Walton play starring roles.

Report from Arkansas Geographic Information Office

Shelby introduced AGIO staff and asked them to provide highlights of the written reports.

Update on CAMP and Cadastral Standard

Richie Pierce, Cadastral GIS Specialist, discussed highlights of the County Assessor Mapping Program and the Draft Cadastral Standard which was presented to the Board. Richie reported on county status. See doc for details. He will be presenting a detailed update of the program at the County Assessors conference later in the month. Shelby Johnson mentioned that AGIO had hosted Senior staff including, Debra Asbury, Director, Page Kutait, Deputy Director, and John Zimpel, all from the Assessment Coordination Department, to show them the resulting data. Assessor points are proving very useful for locating school districts by the school code associated through the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal databases. Richie also reported on his work with the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department’s Highway 412 Bypass Project around Springdale, as a test case for use by AHTD in public notice mail-outs.

Update on ACF Tool

Vince Guillet reported on initial development and testing of the ACF Tool with Benton County, and additional improvements made to the tool following the beta tests. Counties that utilize the tool should see tremendous time and resource savings in maintaining ACF compliant centerline data.

Update on Interest in Water Boundary Standard

Learon Dalby reported on initial interest in a water utilities, waterline and water boundary GIS data standard. He stated the initial need for water data came through Rusty McAlister from Soil and Water. In a follow up, the AGIO planned to host a preliminary meeting with representatives from both private and public sectors and to establish a working group that would develop a standard for future Board approval for promulgation.

Update on Regional National Map

Learon Dalby reported on the progress of the USGS grant for National Map pilot project. Learon reported on specifics for the project. Future work will be coordinated with Bill Sneed. A general discussion on possibilities followed.

Update on Homeland Security Grant

Shelby report on proposals submitted to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. The proposals were not successful. Shelby reported one significant outcome was that both Carolyn Walton and Gary Underwood were now engaged in the state homeland security task force and that from a GIS perspective the next rounds of funding opportunities may be better. He also mentioned that all County Judges had been sent memos to encourage them to place GIS as a priority in their new county homeland security need assessment. Only the state of Indiana put funding into GIS during the last round of the grant program. Shelby also stated that NSGIC was putting forth a resolution for GIS in disaster recovery and emergency management to increase the potential of funding GIS related projects in support of homeland security.

Update on FEMA and ASWCC

Shelby reported on the FEMA activity related to the Flood Map Modernization Program being launched by FEMA. The AGIO prepared and submitted a proposal in response to AR Soil & Water which manages the state floodplain program. FEMA is moving Flood Map Modernization into digital mapping. The draft proposed adding GIS specialist staff personnel at the AGIO for flood plain and elevation data coordination.

SB697/GIS Interim Study and Funding Strategies (fees, taxes, etc.)

Shelby reported that the Joint Committee on Advanced Communications and Information Technology (JCACIT) met and approved SB 697 as an interim study. He sent copies of the Interim Study proposed outline to various agencies, and has presented it to various groups with a request for specific comments. The County Judges Association requested that the AGIO keep David Morris appraised of the study progress.

ADOP II – Project Discussion

Shelby discussed interest by numerous stakeholders in new digital orhtophotography data. He stated several forest industry constituents voiced interest in new data. He reminded the Board of the General Improvement Fund Appropriation from ACT 1511 of 2003 and that existing appropriation was included but no funding was allocated. A mechanism is in place to potentially coordinate another statewide program. Shelby also commented that many utility industry constituents voiced interest as well. Staff within the AGIO have started looking at a funding model and researching costs. It was mentioned that elevation data should also be a priority. Shelby mentioned that these data are related. Good elevation data now would support improved image data quality in the future. A general discussion for a funding model ensued. Shelby talked about the survey sent out to participants in the previous program that was designed to gauge interest in ADOP II. Respondents indicated a positive response for the project and said that it should be updated in 2004. Digital Globe satellite data was discussed as a possible source. Learon discussed various LIDAR solutions that might be used to generate accurate elevation data. Shelby requested that the Board direct AGIO to investigate this further. The motion was made and seconded. Following a brief discussion the motion passed unanimously.

Board Appointments

Appointments for Chris, Shirley and Susan expired in August. Act 1250 provides that “with the exception of members representing a state agency, no person shall serve as a member of the board for more than two consecutive terms.” However, Chris, Shirley and Susan will serve until the governor processes new members.

Other Business

Fred Limp mentioned credit to the AGIO for recognition by industry leaders from outside of state.

Shirley Sandlin reported that the Assessment Coordination Department and AGIO received an award from ESRI recognizing the County Assessor Mapping Program.

Susan Cromwell reported on her participation in the Open Data Consortium, which is talking about GIS program funding and sharing public business models for public data and GIS creation.

Learon Dalby reported on Amrut Khatri’s article about his work on GIS health data. He stated that the AGIO had been contacted by other agencies outside Arkansas seeking more information in order to copy the model of cooperation between AGIO and the health department.


Following the conclusion of business, a motion was made by Phyllis Smith and seconded by Randy Jones to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm.

COMMITTEES (* Indicates chair):
Strategic Planning – Susan*, Fred, Bill, Suzanne, Earl Smith
Electronic Plat Filing/Parcel Mapping – Randy*, Susan, Jim, Chris, Shirley
AR Spatial Data Infrastructure Policies – Fred*, Jim, Susan, Suzanne
Funding and Economic Development– Jubal*, Mike McGibbony*, Phyllis, Suzanne, Bill
Communication/Public Relations – Shirley*, Jubal, Phyllis, Chris