Dear NSGIC Member,
Shelby Johnson, Arkansas GIO & NSGIC President
It dawned on me today I have not communicated much with all our members since assuming the Presidential role. I wanted to take a minute to share a few thoughts. Some of these are my way of thinking about how NSGIC works and where we stand. I’ll try to be brief.
NSGIC has a proven leadership system in place. The organization has a President-Elect, a President and Out-Going President. The result, is a nearly seamless transition from year to year, and the passage of institutional knowledge about the organization works extremely well. I’ve been blessed to serve alongside very capable leadership from Tim DeTroye, Out-Going, to Kenny Miller who is transitioned to Out-Going, and Chris Diller, as President-Elect. The chemistry we have is excellent, and each other plays off our strengths. We talk about NSGIC nearly every day.
NSGIC is led by capable staff at headquarters including Kathy DeMarco, our Association Manager, Diane Schaffer, Director of Meetings, and our DC Liaison, Bill Burgess. On most days, they are operating in the background, and also in the foreground such as when Bill represents NSGIC at formal events.
NSGIC has an outstanding Board of Directors. These servants are the financial steward and the think-tank of the organization. They do monthly Board meetings where they conduct business, and they are so committed that nearly every Monday, they participate in a Leadership briefing where initiatives become results.
NSGIC’s Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs are the gears of the engine. They all have missions and are passionate about serving. They strike a balance between their career job and their volunteer job by leading monthly calls, drafting position papers and shepherding their members. They advise the Board and steer on things that need to get done.
The early years of NSGIC were formative, that’s obvious. But NSGIC’s last decade has been one of influence. On national geospatial activity, NSGIC has been at the table. In several cases NSGIC has led. I would go so far as to say, that State influence on national geospatial policy is at an all-time high.
Curious or Hungry
Here’s an interesting tidbit. NSGIC has nearly 2,300 followers on Twitter which is a very large number compared to our dues paid membership of nearly 400. It makes me think those folks are curious about what we do; or even better, they are hungry for leadership, and understand that NSGIC leads. I may be over inflating our worth but I think it’s the latter.
Connect & Participate
I’d be failing my duty if I did not remind you to participate in our 2015 Mid-Year conference. The call for Abstracts is open and participation is valuable. We are returning to Annapolis, Maryland. The agenda is taking shape and true to our colors there will be focus on national geospatial policy. The details are here: http://www.nsgic.org/2015-midyear-meeting
I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve as your President. If you find ways I can serve you better or improve the organization I would sure like to hear from you. Rest-assured the sleeves are rolled up. Things are happening and I will try to do a better job of staying in touch members.
To kick of Geography Awareness Week, here’s an article that highlights some of the discussions related to how our field is changing. I think the challenge of state coordinators is to make our data and our tools applicable to all those interested in our ‘expanding’ field.
The original article calls them drones, but we know better. This is an intriguing concept, but we all know there’s lots of work to do to be able to dispatch anyone (or anything) to where someone in distress is calling from their cell phone.
Thanks to Shane White for picking up my error in the previous post. For those of you on the RSS feed, please note this is the correct link: http://story.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/?appid=d14f53dcaf7b4542a8c9110eeabccf1c
On October 29th, Shelby Johnson, NSGIC President and Arkansas State GIO, forwarded comments on proposed rule changes issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Docket No. CFPB-2014-0019, RIN 3170-AA10). The Bureau is trying to determine how to track and analyze home mortgages with greater granularity than in the past. NSGIC’s suggestions include:
- The Bureau should not use parcel identification numbers because there is no standard numbering system in the United States.
- The Bureau should use address points and sub-addresses with the caveat that approximately 30 counties in the U.S. have not converted to physical addresses and they cover approximately 12 million addresses.
- The Bureau could partner with states to ‘roll-up’ local government address data and make it publicly available.
NSGIC noted that local governments are the address authorities and at least 21 states are already partnering with their local governments to produce high-quality address point data. As they are posted, you will be able to view all of the comments on this proposed rule change at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/notice-and-comment/
Is it OK to let people dig up old dirt? At issue is the balance between privacy and freedom of information. In the US, we say “sure” even when the dirt is no longer relevant. It’s different in Europe. Thanks to a recent lawsuit, Google allows people to opt out when the information is “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant.”
The October 4 issue of The Economist describes the situation in an article, The Right to be forgotten: Drawing the line. In 1998 Mario Costeja González, a lawyer, was forced to sell his home to pay some debts. Notice was posted in a Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia. Google linked to it, causing González no end of professional problems. He sued to be forgotten and won.
America (and Google) has a history of openness and freedom of speech. Everything is fair game. Europe has a different history, that includes fascism and communism. Public information has been used to hurt innocent people. Europe is more willing to suppress information that doesn’t serve a public good.
The balance is not always easy, but Google has risen to the challenge and is allowing people to petition to have links removed. Each appeal is reviewed and most are refused, but many have been granted. Requests by doctors to remove patient reviews have been denied. A teenage drunk-driving accident report was removed because it happened years ago, but an old report about professional misconduct was retained.
The process is evolving. Google has established a high level advisory council to help develop the process. Their report is due early next year. At the same time, government privacy regulators are working on shared guidelines for appeals.
The GIS community should watch closely. Our GISCI Code of Ethics commits us to serving society on the one hand and respecting individuals on the other. Society needs information, but individual privacy needs to be respected too. People should have enough autonomy to opt out, but not always. Where is the balance? The Google case will help us understand the balance and make more informed decisions.
There are other reasons to watch closely. Rules adopted in Europe may prove useful in other parts of the world, including the US.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently published a report: Integrating Airport Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Data with Public Agency GIS. It is based on a literature review and surveys of 44 organizations, mostly airports themselves. The report was commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to benefit airports, but results will be equally interesting to readers from public agencies.
Airports need air photos, parcel, land use, zoning, centerline, construction areas, utility, flood zone, and wetland data from public agencies. They can be strong partners in collecting new air photos and contour information. Interestingly, some of the smaller airports rely on local agencies as their GIS resource: software, hardware, and even staff in some cases.
Public agencies could use airport data for their own work. Noise contours, construction areas, internal building addresses, and outside building height limitations are some of the most useful items. Airports also supply useful information on the basic airfield layout, ground transportation data, utilities, and impervious surfaces and other themes with environmental impacts, .
There are clearly benefits from interaction, but organizational and technical challenges limit progress. Organizational challenges include cost, cumbersome agreements, excessive protection of sensitive data, lack of awareness, and limited awareness of high-level administrative officers about the value of collaboration. Technical challenges include lack of metadata and lack of consistently applied standards.
Nine successful case studies show how those obstacles have been overcome. The Minneapolis-St. Paul example benefited from the broader spirit of cooperation facilitated by MetroGIS, which has involved counties, cities, and the airport from the beginning. Each of the other examples focuses on a particular activity or approach that led to their success.
You are invited to submit proposals for the 2nd National Adaptation Forum, the biennial gathering of the adaptation community to foster information exchange, innovation and mutual support for a better tomorrow. The Forum will take place from May 12 – 14, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. It will engage key individuals from industry, academia, government, non-profit organizations, communities—all working across traditional boundaries to develop adaptation solutions and partnerships. The Program for 2015 centers on adaptation integration: Make adaptation part of everything you do, and Break out of silos to create holistic, durable solutions. Submit your proposal here. Deadline for submissions is October 24, 2014.
I just heard this TED Radio Hour piece on how much we want to know where things are. Predictions on how our GPS use will continue to increase has implications on our privacy.
LAYING THE BRICKS FOR A RESILIENT COMMUNITY
By Patrick Fiorenza, govLoop October 9, 2014
Today, you are challenged to stay resilient no matter what challenges your community faces. Governments must operate efficiently regardless of any crisis or event. That’s where GIS comes into play. GIS is an integrative technology, and seamlessly connects mobile, ECM and cloud to help gain a holistic view of the community, building more resilient communities. This infographic explores how. More HERE.
GIS: YOUR PLATFORM FOR A RESILIENT COMMUNITY
By Patrick Fiorenza, govLoop, October 9, 2014
Government must stay efficient and deliver services no matter what trials the community faces. Technology offers the opportunity to build for the future in a way that allows for foundational strength for service delivery– as well as flexibility and innovation when communities need it. Our industry perspective will:
- Identify what it means to be a resilient community
- Share case studies from 5 resilient communities
- Insights from Patricia Cummens, government strategist, Esri
Under the leadership of NACo President Linda Langston, NACo Resilient Counties initiative bolstered county leaders’ ability to thrive amid changing physical, social and economic conditions.
Read More from NACo HERE, and here…..
Strong Economies, Resilient Counties: The Role of Counties in Economic Development
Counties are responsible for providing core services, such as human services, criminal justice, public welfare and infrastructure, to communities of all sizes across America. To ensure the delivery of these essential services, support job growth and maintain a healthy revenue base, counties invest in economic development activities in a number of ways.
Planning Resilient Water Systems: Coastal Resiliency County Case Studies, Vol. 1
The case studies showcase counties that have experienced negative effects of poor water quality and are now striving to reverse this course. In each case, counties have found that partnerships have been key components for achieving success.
Sustainable Ports: Strategies for Port Development and Operations
This issue brief explores the vital role that ports play in counties across the U.S., and what steps counties can take to ensure that they minimize their ports’ environmental impact while remaining competitive in local and global commercial activities. Case studies highlight innovative work that counties are already doing, and offer ideas and additional resources to support counties in promoting more efficient and sustainable port development.
Restoring Habitats for Resilient Coastal Economies
This issue brief provides coastal counties and coastal managers with an overview of how environmental restoration initiatives can help strengthen the ongoing vitality of coastal economies. Specifically, the issue brief provides examples from counties that are pursuing coastal restoration projects to promote storm and flood resiliency, support coastal tourism, protect healthy fisheries and create coastal jobs.
Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action
This publication features eight case studies demonstrating how some county leaders are pursuing innovative strategies to create healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities. From crafting economic visions and supporting new business ventures, to training local workers and assisting entrepreneurs, county leaders and their partners are approaching economic development in compelling new ways.
Digital Coast: Tools to Promote County Resilience
The report provides an overview of Digital Coast, a suite of tools to analyze and communicate about coastal natural resource management issues. Developed by NOAA Coastal Services Center, with support from partnership organizations, Digital Coast offers powerful tools to assist users in accessing data on coastal vulnerability, simulating projections of impacts, creating publishable visualizations and ‘snapshots’ of potential future scenarios, and more.
Is Data the Best Preparation Against Natural Disasters? Open data and analytics have become fundamental tools in disaster preparedness, experts say. But public officials aren’t using them enough. / OCTOBER 6, 2014 [LINK]
How Can Predictive Analytics Improve Disaster Response and Recovery? Adam Thiel, deputy secretary of public safety and homeland security for Virginia, talks opportunities and challenges. / SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 [LINK]
Appallicious Launches FEMA Disaster Dashboard, The Disaster Assessment and Assistance Dashboard pairs local resources with open data to improve local resiliency. / JULY 29, 2014 [LINK]
What does GIS have to do with building Resilient & Sustainable Communities? Today, GIS data and technology plays a critical role in helping efficiently manage and improve our infrastructure, government services, natural resources, environment, and public safety in our communities. We see clear examples from the Emergency Management community of Planning, Mitigation, Response and Recovery efforts enhanced by ready access to GIS data and technology. Resiliency & Sustainability often impact six interconnected domains, individuals, communities, businesses, institutions, natural and manmade systems.
Each of these six domains have strong geographic elements and similar life-cycles for us to focus our existing geospatial resources as well as develop new geospatial resources to support these domains, thereby helping increase our local, statewide and national resiliency to emerging challenges.