Monthly Archives: May 2012

Submit a Nomination for NASCIO's 2012 Recognition Awards

This information is directly from NASCIO.  It would be great to see some geospatial projects nominated for this award.

The deadline is quickly approaching to submit a nomination for the 2012 State IT Recognition Awards. The deadline to apply is June 4, 2012. For details, including the categories and eligibility, visit

NASCIO’s State IT Recognition Awards will honor outstanding state IT projects that exemplify best practices, support public policy goals of state leaders, assist government officials in innovatively executing their duties and provide cost-effective services to citizens. NASCIO state and territory members may submit one project in each of the ten categories. Projects are judged on innovation, significance and overall benefit. Two finalists and one award recipient will be named for each category and announced at the 2012 Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Europeans Continue March Toward Open Data

Two new studies have come out of Europe that support open access to government data.

  • A 2011 Finnish study addressed the question, Does Marginal Cost Pricing of Public Sector Information Spur Firm Growth?   The authors analyze data from 15 counties and conclude “Firms functioning in the countries in which public sector agencies provide fundamental geographical information either freely or at maximum marginal costs have grown, on average, about 15 percent more per annum than the firms in the countries in which public sector GI is priced according to the cost-recovery principle.” Starting in May 2012, all Finnish  geodata is being made available free of charge to all users.
  • An April 2012 Danish study looked at the Funding of a System of Key Registers in a PSI-conomics and Contemporary Perspective.  Three options were considered: people pay to register data (e.g. deeds), people pay to purchase data, and government pays.  The study concludes that it is best for general state government support.  Selling government data is inefficient because it keeps out many potential users and those who do pay distort the market.  Society is better off when data is available to widest number of users.


Spoke with Maryland’s Radio Interoperability Czar about the basics – basics – of FirstNet since I’ve heard a variety of details about it. It’s a federal effort to build a wireless network for first responders (hence the name – FirstNet). It will rely on existing infrastructure where available. A key goal is on dispatch and communication between emergency personnel but in areas where 911 wireless calling is lacking it can be used for 911 too. Fed’s plan to build this using the public/private partnership model. State grants are expected to be available. The D block range of the 700 MHz frequencies will be used. Revenue from the sale of other frequencies to commercial interests are expected to provide the funds for construction. There are many more details about this effort and much remains to be defined but this information helped to make things clearer for me.

Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps

Today, I had a reason to go back and look at the Environmental Sensitivity Index maps produced by NOAA. My first encounter with this effort was in the early 80s as part of the review team for Maryland. At the time, I responded to oil and hazardous material spills and these maps provided a wealth of information for our response efforts. We always kept a paper copy in the cab of our response vehicles. This map series has been updated through the years and they are now available in GIS formats. I thought I would pass along some information on how to access these maps for the 28 states and insular areas, and 9 major river basins that have been mapped. You can go to to learn more about the maps and to download copies.

Webinar will discuss service on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC)

FGDC will be holding a webinar briefing and discussion on Thursday, May 24 from 2:00-3:00 pm EDT about the next round of nominations and appointments to the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). Webinar and conference line instructions are included below.

NGAC Background
The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that provides advice and recommendations to the FGDC on geospatial policy and management issues and provides a forum to convey views of non-Federal stakeholders in the geospatial community. The NGAC includes members from all levels of government, non-profits, academia, and the private sector. NGAC members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The NGAC meets 3 to 4 times per year, and subcommittees work between meetings to develop draft products for review by the full committee. Additional information about the NGAC, including the NGAC charter, key products , and summaries of meetings are available on the NGAC website at

NGAC Nominations/Appointments
10 of the 28 current appointments to the NGAC will expire in December 2012. The next round of appointments to the NGAC will be initiated with a Call for Nominations in early June 2012. The Call for Nominations will be open for 45 days. In the May 24 briefing, we will provide information about the nomination and appointment process and answer any questions from partners in the geospatial community. Our goal is to seek highly-qualified nominees who will provide a representative cross-section of organizations and perspectives on the committee.

We encourage you to attend this briefing and to consider submitting nominations of qualified candidates for appointment. If you are not able to attend the webinar but would like information about the nomination process, please let us know. If you have any questions about the webinar or about the nominations process, please contact John Mahoney at FGDC (, 206-220-4621)

To join the Webinar via GoToMeeting:
Step 1: Register for the Webinar
1. Go to the following Registration Page link:
2. Complete the Registration form.
3. Click Register Now.
4. You will receive a confirmation email providing you with a unique link to join the Webinar as well as a link to add the event to an Outlook or Lotus Notes calendar.

Step 2: Join the Webinar
1. At the time of the Webinar, open the confirmation or reminder email for the Webinar event.
2. Click the link provided in the email to join the Webinar.
3. If prompted, click Yes, Trust or Always to accept the download. If the automatic download does not occur, follow the instructions on the download Web page to do it manually.

To join the Audio Conference:
Dial: 218-844-0850
Code: 1017284#

Prison Gerrymandering

While doing some background work on another issue, I came across a web page that has specific information for each state about possible gerrymandering using prison populations.  I thought the information was interesting and might be of interest to many states.  You can visit the site at: