Thursday, December 10, 2009

Draft VGIN 5 Year GIS Strategic Plan Public Comment Period

The 2010 VGIN Five Year GIS Strategic Plan is open for public comment. In August, 2009, VGIN began a strategic planning process to bring together geospatial stakeholders to work with us to develop a five year strategic roadmap. This plan defines specific goals and initiatives to help VGIN enhance geospatial functionality, services and strategy in the Commonwealth.

Just as your input was important during the regional town hall meetings, your feedback now on the draft strategic plan is vital

From December 9 to December 23, 2009 VGIN is seeking public input to ensure that VGIN's five year plan serves the geospatial needs of the Commonwealth.

  • To review the 2010 VGIN Five Year GIS Strategic Plan click here
  • Please provide your comments by visiting our online survey
The Strategic Plan will guide VGIN's work and set the direction for the geospatial community by:

  • Providing needed geospatial services to stakeholders;
  • Identifying and developing needed technical and constituent-oriented enterprise geospatial services;
  • Ensuring an interoperable geospatial environment
If you have additional comments or questions a bout the strategic planning process, please direct them to VGINstratplan@touchstone.com
Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

VBMP 2009 Uses Virginia HARN Datum

Starting with the 2009 orthophotography acquisition the Virginia Base Map Program (VBMP) is delivering data in the North American 1983 HARN Datum. Previously, the North American 1983 Datum (NAD83) was used without the HARN upgrade. A High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN) is a statewide upgrade in accuracy of NAD83 coordinates using Global Positioning System (GPS) observations. Generally the HARN upgrade differs from the NAD 1983 Datum by approximately one foot but varies across the state between zero and 3.2 feet.

The mix of datums you are most likely to encounter are NAD83 and NAD83 HARN. The proper geographic transformation between these two datums is the NADCON “VAHPGN” grid transformation method developed by the National Geodetic Survey. In ArcGIS this transformation is referred to as NAD_1983_To_HARN_Virginia.

The datum shift can be corrected in ArcGIS by using the proper geographic transformation in a map document's data frame properties dialog box. The transformation may also be required when using some geoprocessing tools. See this document for more details.

Monday, December 7, 2009

VBMP 2009 Imagery Delivered

The Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) has completed delivery of new imagery to 87 jurisdictions in eastern Virginia (see map) from its 2009-2012 Virginia Base Map Program Orthophotography Program. The imagery was acquired from January to April 2009 and has several new features.

This is the first time VBMP has used digital cameras, the Z/I Digital Mapping Camera (DMC), and the first time the imagery has come with a fourth near-infrared spectral band. The imagery is provided in Virginia state plane coordinates using the improved accuracy of the North American 1983 HARN datum. (The HARN datum typically differ about 1 foot, and up to 3 feet, from the North American 1983 Datum.) The standard resolution is 1-foot pixels, except where jurisdictions ordered upgrades of 3-inch or 6-inch resolution. The deliveries included uncompressed GeoTIFF and compressed JPEG2000 image formats, both of which can accommodate the fourth band. VGIN is providing 3-band MrSID compressed images to jurisdictions upon request. More information on the 2009-2012 Orthophotography Program can be found on the VGIN website.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Healthy Virginia?


From the Center for Disease Control's upliftingly entitled "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" are maps showing the prevalence of obesity and diabetes across the country for 2007. The "Estimated County-Level Prevalence of Diabetes and Obesity - United States, 2007" shows how the South appears to have some of the highest levels in the country. The statistics are estimates for the year 2007 – based on surveys, census figures and other information for that and other years – and include a margin of error. The nation-wide maps show that the deep south and Appalachia have the highest rates of diabetes, of which Type 2 is usually correlated with obesity. Experts say possible explanations include a diet of fatty, unhealthy foods, little exercise, genetics, and perhaps income and education – people living in poor communities may not have the money to eat healthier, more expensive foods or may not have access to gyms or outdoor recreational trails. The Virginia map of diabetes is also interesting. Given that these maps are based upon estimates and statistics, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Or perhaps not.

Neogeography - Andrew Turner @ UVA GIS Day


The GIS Day audience at the University of Virginia enjoyed a talk by Andrew Turner entitled “Neogeography: from Tower to Town Hall”. The talk focused on the ways web maps, mobile devices, and open source data and applications are being used by the "crowd" in efforts such as OpenStreetMap. Andrew touched upon the opportunities for greater transparency, participation and collaboration provided by neogoegraphy (the use of geospatial tools by non-experts), as well as the challenges of data licensing and metadata. There was some lively discussion of the political and cultural issues that can arise with crowd-sourced maps (e.g. Cyprus, Gaza Strip, Kashmir). You can find out more about Andrew's work at his blog or at GeoCommons where he serves as CTO.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imagery Map Service for 2009 November Nor'easter

The NOAA Remote Sensing Division has flown aerial photography for the area affected most by the recent Nor'easter. The images were acquired from a nominal altitude of 7,500 feet above ground level (AGL), using an Applanix Digital Sensor System (DSS) and have a pixel size of 0.5m.

At the suggestion of Brian Crumpler from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, VGIN has made this imagery available as an ArcGIS Server map service. The service is free and open to all, No login is required. Kudos to VGIN staffers Stephen Barbie and John Owens who got this up and running on very short notice.

You can connect in ArcCatalog using "Add ArcGIS Server" and for the “Server URL” enter http://gismaps.virginia.gov/arcgis2/services . Do not enter a username or password. After connecting you will see a folder called Storm_Damage. In that folder is the map service named “2009_11_StormDamage”. The map service uses the WGS84 coordinate system and is cached. The map in this post shows the extent of the imagery

The imagery can also be viewed in a web browser using this simple JavaScipt API

Happy viewing and let us know if you have any problems.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Virginia GIS Day Activities

Updated Post: More GIS Day events added below.
GIS Day is coming up next week. There will be events held around Virginia the week of November 16-20. If you are hosting an event and would like for it to be published send us the details and we will post it here.
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Richmond Region GIS Day, November 17, 8:30 - 3:00, Henrico Training Center, 7701 E. Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23294

8:30 – 9:00 Registration
9:00 – 9:30 What is GIS?: Bob Rike, Government Representative, ESRI
9:30 – 10:15 Virginia GIS Coordination for local, state and federal governments: Dan Widner, VGIN Coordinator
10:30 – 11:00 What is a Planning District Commission and how is GIS used: Chuck Gates, Communications Coordinator, Richmond Regional PDC
11:00 – 11:30 Powhatan County MapViewer – Public Data Access with ArcGIS Server: Worldview Solutions Inc., Jamie Christensen and Jason Overstreet, GIS Coordinator – Powhatan County
11:30 – 12:00 A Case for Interoperability: Angela Harper, Deputy County Manager for Special Services and Juston Manville, GIS Coordinator, Henrico County
12:00 – 3:00 Map Gallery Poster Contest, Social and Booth Exhibitions

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Charlottesville, November 18, Scholars’ Lab, 4th floor of Alderman Library at UVA

November 18th is the final day of the four-day Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship at UVA. The Scholars’ Lab is organizing a GIS Day celebration reception which follows a talk by Andrew Turner both to which you are invited. Andrew Turner is the Chief Technical Officer at FortiusOne and a leader of the neogeography movement. His efforts include GeoCommons, Mapufacture, and two books on the geospatial web for O'Reilly.

Here is the GIS users group meeting schedule:

3:15 PM to 3:45 PM – Business meeting for the GIS users group in the Scholars’ Lab
4 PM to 5 PM – Andrew Turner talk in the Harrison Small Library Auditorium
5 PM to 5:30 PM – GIS Day reception in Harrison Small Library with GIS Day cake!

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Fairfax County, November 18, Fairfax County Government Center

Fairfax County Department of Information Technology is hosting a GIS Day Technology Exhibition on Wednesday, November 18th at the Fairfax County Government Center at 12000 Government Center Pkwy. Fairfax, VA 22035.

Schedule of activities:
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. is the GIS Excellence Awards in Conference Rooms 4 & 5. Awards will be given to Fairfax County employees and agencies who have demonstrated exceptional use of GIS.
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. is the Agency Exhibits & Map Gallery in the North Atrium. There will be demonstrations, presentations, map & project displays from at least a dozen county agencies, plus drawings and giveaways!

For more information, please contact:
Fairfax County GIS & Mapping Services
12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 117, Fairfax, VA 22035
Phone 703.324.2712 Web Page: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/maps/gisday.htm

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Frederick County, November 20,

Frederick County will be holding its Annual GIS Day on Friday November 20, 2009 from 9AM - 3PM at the Frederick County Government Office building, 107 N. Kent St.

All Day Events:

Map Gallery
Hands on GIS Experience
Door Prizes
Aerial Photo Quiz of Frederick County

Presentation Schedule:

9:00 Welcome/What is GIS
Annie Cahill, Frederick County Information Technologies, GIS Division
9:30 GIS & Aerial Photo Interpretation
Matt Mullenax, Parsons Brinckerhoff
10:00 Using GIS Data for Natural Resource Conservation Service Projects
Fred Garst, USDA NRCS
10:30 Geocaching and Orienteering
Patrick Fly, Frederick County Information Technologies, GIS Division
11:00 GPS Survey of Revolutionary War Site in Frederick County
Bob Jolley, Virginia Department of Historic Resources
11:30 Pictometry-Intelligent Images
Eddie Starr, Pictometry
1:00 GIS in Agriculture Conservation
Jed Rau, Lord Fairfax Soil & Water Conservation District
1:30 Internet GIS
Ellen Peng, Frederick County Information Technologies, GIS Division
2:00 Frederick County E-Services
Karen Vacchio, Frederick County Parks & Recreation
2:30 E-911 Addressing and Road Naming
Annie Cahill, Frederick County Information Technologies, GIS Division

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Hampton Roads Area, November 20 9 AM - 4 PM

Advanced Technology Center, 1700 College CrescentVirginia Beach, VA 23453

9:00 - 9:15 Welcome Jonathan Soulen – HRUG

9:15 - 9:30 Speaker ESRI Bob Rike What is GIS?

9:35 - 9:55 Speaker ODU Dr. Hua LiuIntegration of GIS and RemoteSensing in Risk Assessment of WestNile Virus

10:00 - 10:20 Speaker Geo-Marine RhiannaMcCarter GIS at Geo-Marine

10:25 - 10:45 Speaker McKim &CreedAndrea Nifong/Scott AndersonMunicipal Modeling Applications:Hydraulic and Hydrologic Capabilitiesof the GIS Interface

10:25 - 10:45 Planetarium *Note: Planetarium show runs concurrent with presentation

10:50 - 11:10 SpeakerHamptonRoadsSanitationDistrictJulesRobichaud,GISPPlanning Our Future Sanitary SewerInfrastructure: Simulating Flows UsingGIS

11:15 - 11:35 Speaker Greeley andHansen Rama JavvajiThe Multi-Faceted Roles andApplications of GIS to Water andWastewater Facilities

11:15 - 11:35 Planetarium *Note: Planetarium show runs concurrent with presentation

11:40 - 12:00 Speaker York County Claiborn L.PhillipsLiDAR data used with the ViewShedSpatial Analysis tool

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 1:20 Speaker ODU Student Paul Anderson Mapping the ODU campus in 3D

1:25 - 1:45 Speaker LoyolaEnterprises Tommy Nichols GPS/GIS Integration

1:25 - 1:45 Planetarium *Note: Planetarium show runs concurrent with presentation

1:50 - 2:10 Speaker Baker Scott Howell Mobile LiDAR2:15 - 2:25 Speaker TCC Mike Lyle GeoCaching

2:30 - 3:50 GeoCaching Game *Note: GeoCaching Game runs concurrent with Regional Roundtable

2:30 - 3:50 Regional Roundtable *Note: Regional Roundtable runs concurrent with GeoCaching Game

3:50 - 4:00 Closing Tracy Wamsley – Baker

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GIS Day at Old Dominion University, Friday, November 13, 9 AM - 4 PM


Cape Charles/Isle of Wight Room, Webb Center, ODU, Norfolk


Presentations include representatives from:
- City of Norfolk
- Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering
- Fort Monroe
- NASA Langley Research Center
- Old Dominion University
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
For details of student poster competition please email Daniel Fourquet (dfour001@odu.edu)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Google Maps - User Reporting Update

In a previous post I reported on an error in Google Maps in which my driveway was mislabeled and the problems it caused in address locating. I dutifully reported the error via the Report a Problem link. I noticed last week that the error had been corrected. This morning I received an email from Google reporting the correction back to me and giving me the opportunity to reopen the problem. No need to do that as they got it right, removed my driveway from the map in the process (which I did not request), and now address locating works correctly in the area. Seems to be an efficient process.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Identify Virginia Counties with Online Game

You can hone your county locating skills in an online game that asks you to identify the counties of Virginia. The independent cities are excluded, but another game is provided (it erroneously includes Clifton Forge and South Boston which have reverted to town status). Be forewarned, the time to beat on the county game is 2:47 minutes with 100% accuracy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

LiDAR Funding Opportunity from USGS

The USGS has announced competitive grants opportunities of up to $500,000 to fund imagery and LiDAR acquisitions. A priority area has been identified in Virginia as seen in the attached map. VGIN is planning a cooperative grant application to acquire LiDAR for as much of the priority area as possible. We plan to concentrate on areas without existing LiDAR. We are looking for partners to provide letters of support and additional funds to increase the area covered. If you are interested in learning more or helping with the effort please contact me at John.Scrivani@vita.virginia.gov

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lynchburg's Online GIS Receiving Recognition


Lynchburg's newly revamped GIS system is receiving recognition in both the GIS blogosphere and public media. A recent News and Advance article focuses on the new features available in the public viewer including user markup tools, export tools, and links to Google Street View and Bing Maps. A recent post on All Points Blog includes a discussion of the public viewer and the intranet functions available to City staff. The blog post views the application as an indicator of the growing trend of moving from desktop apps to enterprise web GIS. Both applications are hosted and maintained internally by the City, with support provided under contract with the system developer WorldView.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

VGIN Strategic Plan Update - Webinar Wednesday, October 21

The initial public input phase of VGIN's strategic planning effort is drawing to a close. The results of the input to date were presented to the VGIN Advisory Board on October 14. The last Town Hall meeting will be held as an webinar tomorrow to engage the GIS stakeholders in Southwest Virginia. The VGIN Board had a lively discussion on the strategic planning process. The agenda and the presentation can be accessed at the VGIN website.

The Wednesday, October 21st webinar will run from 10:00AM to 12:00PM and can be accessed
here and using the password southwest. Alternatively you can call in on a teleconference number 866.808.8516 with access code 7080539035. While the webinar is intended primarily for Southwest Virginia, folks who could not make one of the other Town Halls are welcome to join in.

Look for a draft strategic plan open for comment in the coming months.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Suggest Places for Google Street View Trike

Google Street View is expanding to places when cars cannot go, like pedestrian malls, college campuses and bike trails, using a tricycle mounted video system. Google will be accepting suggestions for US locations until Wednesday October 28, 2009. The public will then be able to cast their final votes and choose the top locations Google will add to Street View. Any suggestions for Virginia?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Santa Clara County pays $500,000 over records dispute

This news from Santa Clara County, California, is having a mild rippling effect on local and state GIS professionals across the country. "Santa Clara County's move to charge astronomical fees for public access to its electronic maps has backfired in a $500,000 legal settlement. Government watchdogs say it is the largest payment of its kind in a California records disclosure dispute."
While this decision is from the California court system, the issues litigated are common in every state. The full article is available from the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Google Maps – Sleuthing Changes in Data Sources and Geocoding Methods

Google has caused a bit of a stir by dropping Tele Atlas as their US data provider and switching to their own, self-managed dataset. Google has caught some flack in the blogosphere for being less than transparent about their data sources and providing nothing even resembling metadata. Users must discover for themselves what and where is new. The road centerlines have changed, public parkland and campus maps have been added, and in some areas parcel lines are displayed. Also, Google has added a quick link for reporting user suggestions for error corrections and updates.

Looking at my neighborhood it appears that Google is using a mix of parcel addresses and route geocoding to locate addresses. In my area if you search for a correct parcel address the marker is placed within the parcel boundary, as in the first map example. There is an error here in Google Maps. The road marked Gardenwood Ln is actually my unnamed driveway and Gardenwood Ln is the private road to the east. If you search for a correct Gardenwood Ln address the marker is correctly placed within the proper parcel (the second map). However, if you search for a Gardenwood address which is not in the parcel data, the route geocoding places the marker on the incorrect Gardenwood Ln (i.e. my driveway on the third map).

The Gardenwood Ln error seems to have come from the US Census Tiger Data, suggesting Google is using TIGER data as a source, at least for Albemarle. (OpenStreetMap, which uses TIGER data has the same error.) Albemarle County GDS and the VGIN RCL datasets both have the correct Gardenwood Ln. Presumably, Google is using Albemarle GDS parcel data for parcel lines and addresses. I have reported the error to Google but have not yet heard back. Is anyone else finding parcel lines in their locality? Is parcel information available? Comments welcome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Geo and Social Media

At the National States Geographic Information Network (NSGIC) conference in Cleveland, OH this week, there was much discussion about the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter combining location information in their technology. Twitter announced in August that a lat/long metadata tag based on location of origin would be available soon as an option to people who twitter. The discussion amongst the attendees (state GIS coordinators, federal, MPO, private participants) was at a high level and was not able to make any conclusions on this fast moving technology, other than this: Governments will need to keep abreast of the technology or else get run over by it. Traditionally, government is one of the last to adapt to newer technology and this is not necessarily a bad thing. In a related topic, the term "crowdsourcing" was also a hot subject, with a presentation about OpenStreetMap. Discussion centered on the use of authoritative data and the ever increasing availability of social media location information. I doubt one would want to rely on crowdsourced data to route an emergency vehicle responding to a 911 call. I also doubt that many users of online maps would care as long as they could find their nearest coffee shop. Change is definitely a constant in the field of GIS. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Google Maps Now Self-Manages Address Data, Allows Error Reporting


I saw this post on All Points Blog that Google had dropped Tele Atlas as its addressing data provider for the United States (but not elsewhere) and is now managing these data on its own. Checking out my "favorite" addresses I found some obvious changes. Address points now seem to be located on or near buildings in some areas. Some previous omissions and errors are now corrected. However some new errors were also found; my driveway for instance is incorrectly labeled with the name of the private road to the east. This gave me an opportunity to try another new Google Map feature, Report a Problem, which allows users to suggest edits or changes to their map data. I reported my driveway problem last night and I will let you know if and how it is resolved.

Monday, October 5, 2009

State GIS Apps Win 2009 Governor's Technology Awards

Two state agency GIS applications received recognition at the 11th Annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) in Williamsburg. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, VIPER application won the IT as Efficiency Driver Award.


An Honorable Mention in the same category was given to the Virginia Department of Forestry for its Forest Protection and Mobile Computing (IFRIS-FPMC) Project.

Both applications utilize some of the latest in GIS technology. VIPER uses ArcGIS Server and the FlexViewer. FPMC uses ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Mobile with mobile replication. Congratulations to VDEM and VDOF!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Geospatial Revolution Project from Penn State Public Broadcasting

Need some video to help explain the value of geospatial technologies? Well Penn State Public Broadcasting may be able to help you. Their Geospatial Revolution Project is developing a series of eight video episodes "...about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact." You can view the trailer below:


video

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GIS Town Hall Meeting - Roanoke Thursday

Please join the 31 people registered for the third GIS town hall meeting in Roanoke on October 1st. Walks-in are welcomed. The meeting will be held from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Claude Moore Education Auditorium (108 N Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA). To date 147 people have responded to the online survey. The Town Hall Meeting schedule can be found here. Take the online survey if you haven't already. VGIN wants your input!

Monday, September 28, 2009

When Is a Boundary Really a Boundary?

Controversy is brewing between Highland County, Virginia and Pocahontas County, West Virginia over their common boundary. The planned Highland County Wind Farm has sparked debates over nearby historic resources and environmental impact. In addition, an issue of interest to geographers is the location of the shared boundary. Where is the “official” state boundary between West Virginia and Virginia? Turns out this is not such an easy question to answer and highlights some of the difficulties Virginia will face when tasked with improving the accuracy of geospatial boundary data.

The West Virginia perspective – state boundary.
West Virginia, uniquely among the 50 states, has declared in Code that its state boundary is that which is represented on the US Geological Survey quadrangle maps (See Section 2.2.3 of USGS Quad Specs and West Virginia Code ).

The Virginia Perspective – state boundary.
References to the Virginia boundary with West Virginia in the Code of Virginia are generally absent, other than a reference to the WV – VA boundary between Loudoun County, VA and Jefferson County, WV. Details are provided for the boundaries with North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Where does this leave the Virginia definition of the state boundary for the Virginia border with West Virginia? Thanks to Mike Zmuda, State Surveyor at VDOT, I can point to the following historical information. It seems to boil down to the County Boundary definition at the time of the formation of the state of West Virginia. More specific information about the Virginia counties that became part of West Virginia can be found at the Proceedings of the Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention, August 20, 1861.

So where is the county boundary between Highland County, Virginia and Pocahontas County, WV? The following was excerpted from a letter that the surveyor Jeffrey Hiner, who was hired by the Highland New Wind Development company, wrote to describe his survey work in support of the project:

Highland County was formed in 1847 from Bath and Pendleton Counties. The survey of Highland County is recorded in Surveyors Record Book 1 page 1 in the Courthouse at Monterey…. The northwestern corner of Highland County is described as “eight hemlocks and three small beeches and a small maple on the top of Alleghany Mountain in the Pocahontas County Line.” The line then runs southward “along the main top of said mountain with said county line to the plum orchard,” where the surveyors “marked one plum tree on the top of said mountain.” …
…An excerpt of the 1821 Acts of the General Assembly obtained from the book History of Pocahontas County West Virginia states the Pocahontas County Line ran “a straight line to the top of the Allegheny Mountain opposite the head of the east fork of Greenbrier River; thence with the top of said mountain to the Pendleton line, and thence with the top of said mountain to the beginning.”

The ridgeline of Allegheny Mountain is apparently a factor of the boundary definition. From a GIS data perspective, a couple of things come to mind when defining the ridgeline:
  • If USGS quads are used to define the ridgeline, the National Map Accuracy Standards for USGS quads should be considered. A horizontal distance of plus or minus 40 feet for “well defined points” is the NMAS value for 1:24,000 scale USGS quads. Positional errors for features can be greater than 40 feet when located away from “well defined points”.
  • How should the West Virginia reference to USGS topographic quadrangle maps be used for more precise boundary delineations? Is the authoritative source the cartographic representation, or the terrain feature (the ridgeline) which it appears to represent?
  • Elevation data such as Lidar and/or Digital Terrain Models could prove very useful if available.
Of course, Virginia law states that the determination of property lines and boundaries for legal purposes are the domain of Licensed Land Surveyors; otherwise, they are to be used for general information (§ 54.1-404 or 54.1-406 ).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where.gov - Good Idea or Utopian Ideal?


Christopher Tucker put forth this clear and simple vision in Federal Computer Week yesterday:
From the lowliest citizen to the president of the United States, we should all be empowered to fire up an application I will call Where.gov. At that portal, you could draw a bounding box on a map, declare a slice of time and instantaneously discover everything our government knows about that place. And we should be able to marshal that data instantaneously to support our needs.
To me this encapsulates all the recent talk of Gov2.0, open standards, cloud computing, common platforms, and GIS one stop-shopping.  This vision is simple and idealistic. We welcome you comments on whether this should or should not be a proper vision, what obstacles are in its way, or what factors you think make it impossible. 



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Virginia GIS Conference

The first full day of the 2009 Virginia GIS Conference was completed today. This year marks a first in conference collaboration between the VAPDC and VAMLIS organizations, representing the conference theme of "A New Spirit of Collaboration". The Plenary Session started with opening remarks by conference co-chairs Matt Miller (VAPDC) and Russell Minich (VAMLIS), followed by a humorous and encouraging invitation to "spend money in Henrico" by Mr. Virgil Hazlet, the County Manager of host county Henrico. There was the usual excellent diversity of topics represented by federal/state/local government, private sector and non-profit presenters, enjoyed by approximately 325 atttendees.

The conference continues through lunchtime on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Over Sixty Stakeholders Attend Richmond GIS Town Hall Meeting

Over Sixty Stakeholders Attend Richmond GIS Town Hall Meeting

GIS Stakeholders from all sectors of government, academia and the private sector attended the second of 5 Town Hall Meetings for GIS Strategic Planning in Virginia. The meeting was held Friday afternoon at the VITA facility in Chester. Lively dialog and constructive discussions were the rule of the day.

The next Town Hall meeting will be held in Roanoke on October 1 from 12 to 4 PM at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, Claude Moore Education Auditorium, 108 N Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA 24016. Click here for directions.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

30 Stakeholders Attend First GIS Strategic Plan Town Hall

The first of four town hall meetings hosted by VGIN to garner input on a Five-Year GIS Strategic Plan was held this Wednesday in Culpeper. And according to participants' post-evaluations it was “… an effective use of time". Most felt they could speak freely and many good ideas were offered by those in attendance. With these initial meetings we hope to achieve the following outcomes:  


  • A Clear Understanding of the Current State of GIS in the Commonwealth
  • A Vision for the GIS Community
  • Understanding How VGIN Can Help Us Get There
  • An Understanding of Next Steps in the Development of VGIN’s Strategic Plan
The Town Hall Meeting schedule can be found here. And please take the online survey if you haven't already.

Monday, September 14, 2009

GIS Strategic Planning - Town Hall Meetings


VGIN was established by the General Assembly in 1997. After 12 years, now is a good time to take a look at how far GIS has come in Virginia, and more importantly, where do we want to it go into the future. So VGIN, with the help of the Touchstone Consulting Group, is starting a stakeholder driven planning effort to develop a Five Year GIS Strategic Plan for Virginia. Already a number of interviews have been conducted with key stakeholders and an online survey has been sent out. The next step is a series of Town Hall meetings. At these meetings we will share the results to date and develop a shared consensus on our future direction  The Town Hall Meeting schedule can be found here. And please take the online survey if you haven't already.

Welcome to GISVirginia

Welcome to GISVirginia, a blog for GIS users and professionals working in Virginia. In this blog we will cover GIS topics specific to Virginia. This blog is hosted by the staff of VGIN, the Virginia Geographic Information Network, but we hope that it will prove informative to the entire Virginia GIS community. It will not be limited to VGIN programs or services. We encourage your comments and contributions. Comments will be moderated to avoid spam but we do not intend to limit legitimate discussion.