IGIC's Nucleus "Indiana GIS News" Blog has been retired, but all HISTORIC blog posts are still available and searchable. All NEW Blog Posts are now created and managed directly to our WordPress Web site. (See IGIC Blogs, IndianaMap Workgroup Blogs, and Committee Blogs) sections on the right side of the footer on each igic.org web page.
September 11, 2014 Portland, Oregon.
Contributed By: Justin Peters, UITS Indiana University

The annual FOSS4G conference is the largest global gathering focused on open source geospatial software. FOSS4G brings together developers, users, decision-makers and observers from a broad spectrum of organizations and fields of operation. FOSS4G has been held all over the world and draws attendees from over 40 countries. Nottingham, The 2014 FOSS4G conference was hosted this week in Portland[ia], Oregon, USA.

We submitted IndianaMap in the open data category at foss4g map gallery competition this year, and IndianaMap won First Prize!

There were many great submissions, check them all out here: https://2014.foss4g.org/map-gallery/
Beginning in the summer of 2014 the Federal Government will release excess engravings once used to reproduce U.S. Geological Survey ( USGS) topographic and geologic maps and other scientific illustrations.

The process makes these unique engravings, created from the 1880s to the 1950s, available for transfer to Federal agencies; for donation to State and local governments, certain non-profit educational and other organizations, and public agencies; and for sale to the public.

The first round offering of 100 engravings is now complete. In this first round two sets of Indiana maps were available and both were transferred / donated to Indiana.

The second round is being announced today. All information about the engravings and the process for transfer, donation, or sales of the engravings is available through:

( USGS will post supporting status information weekly here.)

If you are interested, be sure to read this flyer [HERE] and the FAQ and other documents available on the FTP site link provided above. Allthose interested in obtaining engravings need to understand how to request the engravings; plan the logistics to receive, pack, load, and transport them; and be ready to request a donation or to make a purchase offer when the engravings become available.

The engravings will be available through a process managed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). State and local governments, certain non-profit educational and other organizations, and public agencies interested in receiving a donation should establish their eligibility now with their State Agency for Surplus Property ( SASP).

The SASPs are listed at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/100851 . Only the SASP can request a donation on your behalf. For Indiana, you need to contact:

Ramona Beaman
State of Indiana
Department of Administration
Federal Surplus Property
601 W. McCarty Street
Indianapolis, IN 46225 PHONE: (317) 234-3690
EMAIL: rbeaman@idoa.in.gov
FAX: (317) 234-3699


Posted From: Indianapolis Star, July 9, 2014

A transportation panel presented a 73-page report to Gov. Mike Pence, which included a roadmap for furthering Indiana’s reputation as a crossroads state. The governor said the report “exceeded my expectations” and will be shared with state agencies for them to study and possibly incorporate into official state transportation planning.
Read the full Indianapolis Star story HERE
You can also download a copy of the full 73-page report HERE
June 24, 2014: Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released updates to the OnTheMap for Emergency Management tool. The public data tool provides an intuitive Web-based interface for viewing the potential effects of disasters on the U.S. workforce and population. Users can easily retrieve reports containing detailed workforce, population and housing characteristics for hurricanes, floods, wildfires, winter storms and federal disaster declaration areas.


For more information click HERE.

Story Contributed By: Jim Sparks
Indiana Geographic Information Officer
Indiana Office of Technology

100 North Senate Ave.
N551 Government Center North
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Office: (317) 234-5889
Cell: (317) 560-9033

During last week’s annual Indiana GIS conference, I shared a few thoughts about changes that I feel are going to have a significant impact on what we do as GIS practitioners and how we do it. Specifically, I mentioned three areas that we need to give special attention: open government data, data visualization / business intelligence software, and community resiliency.

Open Government Data
I read the following in today’s InformationWeek Daily newsletter related to new open data efforts. It is worth a read. Notice the specific references to geospatial data.
White House Issues Open Data Action Plan
Agencies must incorporate feedback from users to prioritize efforts and improve data as part of G7 Open Data Charter pledge.
The Obama administration has issued a new US Open Data Action Plan calling for agencies to solicit feedback from government data users to improve the quality of government data and prioritize its release to the public.

The 20-page document, released May 9, builds on a pledge made by US officials at a June 18, 2013, international Open Data Charter meeting of G7 leaders to publish a roadmap for improving the availability and use of government data for the public.

Data Visualization/Business Intelligence Software
And this was in yesterday’s GIS Café Newsletter: Putting Business Intelligence on the Map

Business Intelligence (BI) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been fusing over the last couple of years. Why are we seeing this fusion and, perhaps more importantly, why is this something beneficial to analysts? The simple answer is that data displayed using map visualization, when compared to basic charts, is visually more powerful.

Did you know that over 80% of business data has some kind of location component? It’s no wonder why Cognos, MicroStrategy, Business Objects and Information Builders have invested in mapping technology, specifically Esri’s mapping technology, to integrate location analytics seamlessly into their solutions. Even SAS and Tableau have built integration points in their products that can consume and produce geospatial intelligence. So what’s the point? The point is that when 80% of all your data has some kind of location component, it makes sense to visualize the data geospatially.

Community Resiliency
Finally, to round things out, here is a snapshot of recent natural disasters by state to underscore why “community resiliency” will be our new mantra. These FEMA Disaster Declarations were collected by Bill Burgess, Washington Liaison, National States Geographic Information Council. Notice that all of these incidents happened in the last six months.

Florida Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4177)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 6, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 6, 2014

Alabama Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4176)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 5, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 2, 2014

Mississippi Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (DR-4175)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 3, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 30, 2014

Arkansas Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (DR-4174)
Incident period: April 27, 2014 to April 27, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 29, 2014

Indiana Indiana Severe Winter Storm and Snowstorm (DR-4173)
Incident period: January 5, 2014 to January 9, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 22, 2014

Montana Ice Jams and Flooding (DR-4172)
Incident period: March 1, 2014 to March 16, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 17, 2014

Tennessee Severe Winter Storm (DR-4171)
Incident period: March 2, 2014 to March 4, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 11, 2014

Maryland Snow Storm (DR-4170)
Incident period: February 12, 2014 to February 13, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 10, 2014

Oregon Severe Winter Storm (DR-4169)
Incident period: February 6, 2014 to February 10, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 4, 2014

Washington Flooding and Mudslides (DR-4168)
Incident period: March 22, 2014 to April 28, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 2, 2014

North Carolina Severe Winter Storm (DR-4167)
Incident period: March 6, 2014 to March 7, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 31, 2014

Washington Flooding and Mudslides (EM-3370)
Incident period: March 22, 2014 to April 28, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on March 24, 2014

South Carolina Severe Winter Storm (DR-4166)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 12, 2014

Georgia Severe Winter Storm (DR-4165)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 6, 2014

South Carolina Severe Winter Storm (EM-3369)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 19, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 12, 2014

Georgia Severe Winter Storm (EM-3368)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 11, 2014

Pennsylvania Severe Winter Storm (EM-3367)
Incident period: February 4, 2014 to February 20, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 6, 2014

Oklahoma Severe Winter Storm (DR-4164)
Incident period: December 5, 2013 to December 6, 2013
Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 30, 2014

Vermont Severe Winter Storms (DR-4163)
Incident period: December 20, 2013 to December 26, 2013
Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 29, 2014
The National Information Security and Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC) a Dept of Labor funded center has posted five courses as part of the National Training and Education Resource site. Topics include intro to GIS, cartography, remote sensing and all are based on the Department of Labor’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) - http://www.careeronestop.org/COMPETENCYMODEL/competency-models/geospatial-technology.aspx

These training courses are well written, and can be used without the labs so GIS software in not necessary to benefit from the courses, but the hands-on experience provide through the labs are a valuable addition. The labs Iv'e looked at are written for ArcGIS 10.1, but they could be adapted for other software, including the free OSGeo-Live suite of geospatial software - http://live.osgeo.org/en/index.html. Once you register on the site and access one of the courses, you can take the course online or download all of the training materials, labs and data - (very cool!!!)

Geospatial Technology, Introduction to Geospatial Technology (Course) - https://www.nterlearning.org/web/guest/course-details?cid=2501

Geospatial Technology, Spatial Analysis (Course) - https://www.nterlearning.org/web/guest/course-details?cid=2502

Geospatial Technology, Data Acquisition and Management (Course) - https://www.nterlearning.org/web/guest/course-details?cid=2503

Geospatial Technology, Cartographic Design (Course) - https://www.nterlearning.org/web/guest/course-details?cid=2504

Geospatial Technology, Introduction to Remote Sensing (Course) - https://www.nterlearning.org/web/guest/course-details?cid=2709

About THE NATIONAL TRAINING & EDUCATION RESOURCE (NTER) - https://www.nterlearning.org/home
NTER is an open source suite of browser-based software solutions built to help institutions develop, deploy, and manage educational and training courses for audiences of any type. This system was built with the capability to securely share content across all institutions and with the public. As an open source project, the NTER platform is free and has no licensing fees, allowing end users to free up resources for improved content development and customization. The costs associated with running your own NTER node are largely dependent on the number of users, the number of courses, and institutional IT experience to provide installation and maintenance support.
The USGS Streamer web site is a very cool and easy way to explore our major waterways. Click here to visit the new USGS Streamer web site: http://nationalmap.gov/streamer/webApp/welcome.html

Streamer Downstream 1b.jpg
With a simple map click, anyone can trace rivers and streams from a starting point all the way downstream to where a stream drains.
Streamer Downstream 2.jpg

Streamer-downstream 3.jpg
Streamer also produces a report that includes a map and information about the people and places encountered along the streams traced.
Streamer Downstream 4.jpg
Even more impressive, they can click on a stream and trace all others that drain to that point.
Streamer Upstream 1.jpg

Streamer Upstream 2.jpg
A new map layer displays the locations of real-time streamflow stations across the country. Streamer updates this information hourly and symbolizes these stations to illustrate current streamflow conditions compared with each station’s observed mean streamflow on the same day of the year. You can tell at a glance whether conditions are above, below, or at normal levels at each station.
Streamer Upstream 3.jpg
Another new map layer has been added that shows weather radar across all 50 States.
Streamer Upstream 4.jpg
Click here to visit the new USGS Streamer web site: http://nationalmap.gov/streamer/webApp/welcome.html
Contributed by: Phil Worrall
Executive Director, Indiana Geographic Information Council, Inc.

In 2012 Jim Sparks, Kevin Mickey and I were discussing over drinks [coffee not beer] our disappointment over the lack of effective National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) programs to develop key framework data layers at a state and national scale. During this same period of time, with no budget and no permanent funding, Indiana had been very successful in our own State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) efforts. Why? To simplify, we will chalk up Indiana’s success to Hoosier Hospitality.

Fantastic World of Fables, Copyright 2013 Wabush

A few Indiana examples: The IndianaMap and Indiana Spatial Data Portal were built with over 260 layers of statewide geospatial data freely available, our 2005 statewide orthophotography and 2011-2013 Ortho-LiDAR projects, our County Data Sharing Initiative, our Local-Resolution NHD development project, and our Broadband Mapping program. Looking at Indiana's success we recognized that we had a story worth sharing, and we also saw key pieces of the puzzle that we could identify [morals to the story] as best practices / lessons-leaned from a number of previous, current and planned state and national efforts that we could document and share.

We also conjured the notion that a strong NSDI would make our jobs easier here in Indiana. We wanted to see Federal Agencies stop using our tax dollars to build redundant and closed geospatial silos of framework data layers. We wanted to see the “Build-Once, Use Many Times” model of the IndianaMap show the way. We wanted to see Federal Agencies become true partners in NSDI initiatives by not only sharing their standards, management, technology, data warehousing and distribution - like we do every day, but also their money. With Federal Agencies as true financial partners we believe the problem of inadequate geospatial data development funding for national initiatives can be solved simply by pooling and reallocating a portion of the existing budgets to go directly to the data producers and stewards wherever they exists at the Local, State or Federal level for each of the framework data layers.

NSDI Funding.jpg

Each framework layer has to be evaluated separately by looking at a "Federal Government->State Government ->Private Industry->Local Government" partnership model and workflow that best fits the data. There are three basic workflows that we have successfully used here in Indiana - we just need a larger Federal contribution/partnership in the first two to make them work perfectly. In each of these models the State serves at the “Middleware” (to use a software term) to make it all work and flow up and down the stack.

1. Top-Down: (Ortho, LiDAR). Federal structured and funded program and nation-wide contracts in place. Feds partner with States for support and coordination within their geography. States serve as liaisons with agency/local/regional governments for state government financial contributions, local/regional buy-ups, quality control, data distribution, and local support.

2. Bottom-Up: (Addresses, Parcels, Centerlines, Jurisdictional Boundaries). In most of the 50 states, Locals governments are the authority for these layers, and in the others the States are. A bottom-up approach with federal and local funds pooled to support the creation and maintenance at the local levels, with support at the state level for data roll-up, cleanup, and improvement (State effort with private industry support), followed by State roll-up of data to the different Federal Agencies for their specific uses.

3. Middle-Out: (NHD, Broadband). States serve as Stewards for statewide data development, maintenance and management (working with private industry). Feds provide technical and financial support to states, and locals provide local knowledge to state to help build the data, perform quality control and maintain the data.

Based on this thinking we collaborated to write the following paper to describe this model and to identify the existing best practices to make it work:


Just this week the new URISA GIS Management Institute (GMI) published our paper on their web site. GMI plans to occasionally publish GIS discussion papers on their site to stimulate thought and open discussion about issues related to GIS management that are important to the GIS community We are very pleased to be the first paper that GMI has published, and we look forward to the discussion.

Link to the URISA GMI Home page: http://www.urisa.org/main/gis-management-institute/

Direct link to our paper: http://www.urisa.org/clientuploads/directory/GMI/Discussion%20Papers/GMIDiscussionPaper1.pdf

The moral[s] of our Geospatial Fable are documented throughout the paper, but it’s still to be determined if we can successfully piece them together at the national level. Until then – we will keep on moving forward in Indiana!