March 22 , 2005
UALR Reynolds Business Center, Room 460, Little Rock, AR
9:00 am-12:30 pm
Board Members Attending
Mr. Bob Stanley
Mr. Yancey Reynolds
Ms. Tracy Moy
Judge David Hudson
Dr. Fred Limp
Ms. Phyllis Poché-Smith
Mr. Russell Gibson
Mr. Bill Bush
Ms. Mary Kay Sullivan
Ms. Suzanne Wiley
Ken Brazil proxy for Mr. Earl Smith
Board Members Absent
Mr. Mark Ouidin
Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) Staff
Mr. Shelby Johnson
Mr. Learon Dalby
The meeting was called to order and a quorum declared at 9:07 a.m. by Chair Russell Gibson.
Approval of Minutes
Approval of Minutes for December 1, 2004 ASLIB Advisory Panel Meeting: Phyllis Smith moved to accept the minutes of the December 1, 2004 ASLIB Advisory Panel Meeting. Fred Limp seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Approval of Minutes for January 10, 2005 ASLIB Meeting: Judge David Hudson moved to accept the minutes of the January 10, 2005 ASLIB Meeting. Bob Stanley seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Approval of Minutes for February 2, 2005 ASLIB Meeting: Phyllis moved to accept the minutes of the February 2, 2005 ASLIB meeting. Yancey Reynolds seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Report from State Geographic Information Coordinator
Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator, gave a report:
UPDATE ON ADOP II.
Currently AGIO aims to reissue an RFP for ADOP II in late May/early June, in order to have a contract in place by October/November. Shelby recently returned from the NSGIC 2005 Midyear Conference where he met a director of cooperative funding for orthoimagery from USGS, and got a verbal commitment for cooperative funding from the USGS. This would potentially consist of $200 to $300k on the part of the USGS. The extensive list of deliverables, dependent upon funding, includes urban 1’ and rural 3m resolution imagery; 10m DEM softcopy; natural color and color infrared at 1m statewide; and 10m DEM derived from 1m stereoimagery.
STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE.
- The revision of LIB code was signed into law as Act 264.
- Act 1178 changed the state’s surveyor designation from “registered land surveyor” to “registered professional surveyor.”
- Legislative budget initiatives are all still pending.
FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
The US House of Representatives recently passed House Resolution 1370 to develop a multipurpose cadastre to assist with federal real property inventory. NSGIC has not yet taken a formal position on HR 1370 but one will be forthcoming.
Shortly after its creation, the LIB signed an MOU with the FGDC pledging cooperation with the activities of the NSDI. The National Geospatial Programs Office’s realignment of the FGDC and other federal components of the NSDI will require a new, updated MOU, which would involve Russell Gibson, LIB Chair; a representative of USGS; Shelby Johnson, State Geographic Information Coordinator; and possibly the Governor.
Physical Relocation of GeoStor
The process of the relocation of the GeoStor infrastructure from Fayetteville to Little Rock has been undertaken based on the following factors:
- The long-range plans for GeoStor were that it should be operated by the state and that DIS would be the best-qualified hosting entity.
- Given that Sun Microsystems will no longer be supporting the server as of August, and the recent intermittent failures of hardware, it would be imprudent to risk future component failure in light of the importance of GeoStor to the state.
- The recommendations of Shelby Johnson, AGIC; Fred Limp, director of CAST; Doug Elkins, ECIO; and Claire Bailey, director of DIS, are that this is an opportune time to make the transition.
There was brief discussion regarding whether the move of GeoStor fell under the Board’s purview. Shelby asked for the Board’s review and involvement and stated that it is important for the Board to approve the strategy for relocation because of the LIB’s ties to AGIO and DIS.
Fred moved that the Board approve the physical relocation of the GeoStor infrastructure from Fayetteville to DIS. Judge Hudson seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Software Change in GeoStor
At present the AGIO recommends that concurrent with the physical relocation of GeoStor, it should switch from Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server, and change to an ESRI interface plus a Safe Software FME data delivery extension repackaged for ESRI and operating on a Windows platform. Points of consideration presented by AGIO included the following:
- There has been a shift in the market towards using browsers without plug-ins in searching for and delivering data. Usage reports and familiarity with the Arkansas GIS community show that ESRI is the predominant GIS software used in the state.
- Both ESRI and Microsoft have been contacted regarding the project and neither has reservations about it. ESRI has committed its support of the project. There has been no formal commitment from Microsoft.
- The cost of moving GeoStor is already substantial because of hardware acquisition. AGIO’s feeling is that transitioning to new software platforms should not increase the overall cost significantly.
- DIS will use existing staff, restructure its backup system, and work with Dell on equipment design. DIS will be responsible for operation, hardware maintenance, and system administration. AGIO will help with building the GIS component of the system and loading the data.
- Additional security risks to the operating system will be addressed by DIS, which has a staff of five people whose exclusive role is system security.
- Switching from Oracle to MS-SQL would restrict direct-connect capability to data custodians who are using ESRI software. AGIO’s observation is that cities, counties, and state agencies which are creating framework data and who are the major contributors to uploading are primarily an ESRI-centric user community. AGIO emphasized that this change will not affect data delivery, only write-in.
- There was discussion regarding whether direct-connect functionality is a mission of GeoStor. AGIO states that it has been a long-range objective to facilitate regular data maintenance. Alternatives to direct connect include submitting data via CD or an ftp drop site; however, these methods are effectively rewrites of data rather than data maintenance.
- AGIO urged the Board to consider whether direct-connect access is a policy issue, in light of the fact that the Board already has a data-loading policy which could potentially be amended to address direct-write capabilities. Switching to Microsoft SQL Server would eliminate direct-connect capacity for non-ESRI users
- It was generally agreed that direct connectivity is a policy issue that LIB should be aware of. No action was taken.
- The Board asked AGIO representatives how the relocation of GeoStor would affect staffing issues. AGIO already has the staff it will have through 2007. Fred said that operating GeoStor currently requires at least one FTE besides the database administrator. This would mean the current AGIO staff would effectively lose one FTE, especially during the six- to 18-month transition period. Fred encouraged the AGIO to consider in what capacity it will be required to step down in order that the user group will know what to expect.
Judge Hudson asked whether it would be appropriate for the LIB to have a role in an MOU between AGIO and DIS regarding the coordination efforts and staff support the AGIO would be receiving from DIS. Learon Dalby responded that there is already in place a technical service agreement between AGIO and DIS which outlines the respective responsibilities of AGIO and DIS. No action was taken.
The Board proposed that Oracle should be approached and given the opportunity to meet the requirements of AGIO for maintaining GeoStor on an Oracle server. The AGIO agreed to broach discussion with Oracle regarding the possibility of Oracle’s meeting their demands. Russell asked AGIO to explore all its possibilities and come up with the best solution given the existing resources, and there was general agreement that the presentation of the solution to the GIS community should be considered. No further action was taken.
Discuss alternative funding sources for ensuring the statewide completion of the Arkansas Centerline File Program (ACF).
The AGIO submitted to the Board a document entitled “Acceleration of the Arkansas Road Centerline File Program,” outlining three options for managing the disbursal of a requested $750,000 of State General Revenue Funding for ACF development. The Board discussed which funding scheme would be the most appropriate allotment of state funds.
- Option One: AGIO manages multiple contracts between a selected list of counties and ACF Feature Vendors. Counties receiving funds would primarily be those in which at least some ACF data have already been created.
- Option Two: AGIO administers a single contract with the Feature Vendor able to complete as many counties as funding permits.
- Option Three: AGIO administers grant program under which counties with no ACF data are eligible for matching funds, possibly at a rate of 80% state: 20% county funds.
During general discussion among the Board members the following points and positions were raised:
- A competitive business environment for creating ACF data has already been created; choosing a single vendor as suggested in Option 2 would discount all other certified vendors.
- Poorer counties may not even be able to raise the suggested 20% matching funds required to support technical staff. It is important to extend capabilities to smaller and poorer counties.
- Counties who are already creating and maintaining the data should receive state support for their efforts.
- The overreaching goal of the ACF program is to achieve statewide coverage, efficiently and effectively.
- The program title “Arkansas Centerline File” or “ACF” may be an obstacle in raising public support for the project. A title emphasizing its value to public service such as 911 emergency response would highlight its importance to emergency management coordinators, sheriffs, and other officials.
- Successful administration of a program increases the likelihood of reappropriation in the next funding cycle.
The AGIO reminded the Board that under law, the Board can direct available funding to state projects. Administration of funds received for the acceleration of the centerline mission is a policy issue that LIB needs to weigh in on.
Discussion focused primarily on the benefits of Option 3. Fred suggested that the Board charge AGIO with the development of a competitive grant scheme more or less like Option 3. No action was taken.
Future meeting dates – April/May
Shelby suggested that the Board prepare for a meeting via conference call to address the ACF funding issue and to get updated on the status of GeoStor, and then meet in person in May. Russell agreed to a teleconference in April and a physical meeting in May.
Comments from guests
Tracy moved that the meeting be adjourned. Phyllis seconded the motion. The motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 12:35 pm.Minutes prepared by Rachel Kluender.