Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)

Utilizing the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
Thursday, April 14, 2016
1:00pm – 2:30pm (eastern)

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help professionals manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. The site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government. This interactive webinar will provide background on the Toolkit and lead participants through an activity to demonstrate ways in which they can harness this outstanding resource.

MORE: Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO)

Jack Dangermond Shares Vision of the Future

This article summarizes a speech in which Jack Dangermond weighs in on how GIS can help make better decisions for the future.  Good food for thought!

What Weather Is the Fault of Climate Change?



A new study finds that climate change can be singled out as a factor in some episodes of extreme weather.


Source: What Weather Is the Fault of Climate Change?

Read full Pre-publication Report here – 21852-Prepublication

Hell and High Water

Houston_TXHell and High Water – Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it’s a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Learn why Texas isn’t ready.

by Neena Satija and Kiah Collier for The Texas Tribune, and Al Shaw and Jeff Larson for ProPublica,
March 3, 2016

NSGIC Seeks Qualified Candidates for Executive Director Position

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is announcing that it is seeking qualified candidates to fulfill the role of Executive Director for the organization. The Executive Director Position details are included in the Position Description.

The council has operated for 25 years under the guidance of a Board of Directors and association management firms and supporting contractors. Over these years the council has been a force in the advocacy for a national spatial data structure. The Board of Directors has determined that in order to achieve the organization goals the council needs a full time director focused on the development of the organization. This will strengthen the council so that it develops the resources to meet its objectives.

The council President has appointed a team of members to guide the selection process which begins with this announcement. Prospective candidates should carefully read the position description and respond with cover letter and resume. In your cover letter please address your passion for the NSGIC mission and your long-term leadership for the organization. The selection process requires prospective candidates respond to a written exam. If there is any reason you may be unable to complete the exam in the required time frame please let us know.

This position announcement will remain open until April 8, 2016.

Please send your candidacy documents to:
Fred Stringfellow [ ]

GIS group plans push for national address database, next generation 911 expansion

The president of the National States Geographic Information Council lays out his group’s priorities for the new year.

Source: GIS group plans push for national address database, next generation 911 expansion

DHS HIFLD Open: Open Data for Economic Resiliency

Source: DHS HIFLD Open: Open Data for Economic Resiliency | Esri Insider

Revolutionizing Outdated but Promising Government Mapping Tools

This is a very interesting article about AmigoCloud, a new company who appears to offer an alternate approach to GIS for government users.  I found the last point about the format open data is made available most noteworthy, and it should be kept in mind for the NAD.


Chicago Unveils OpenGrid Map System

The web application described here developed for the city of Chicago sounds very user friendly and worth checking out…

Chicago Unveils OpenGrid Map System

2015 NSGIC Year in Review

As we look to close out 2015, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on all the outstanding work NSGIC has engaged in during the past year.  It is inspiring to witness, no doubt.  I thought I would take a moment to share some of my reflections with you.

2015 was a year of new direction for NSGIC.  We are entering our 25th year and I’m excited and proud to be leading the organization into the next phase.  We have moved past the concept that GIS and geospatial data are “nice to have” they are  now a “need to have”.  All NSGIC members, both past and present, have something to do with that.  While I know all of you would never take a moment and pat yourself on the back, I think you deserve to do just that.  NSGIC should be proud.

A great deal of thought and deliberation took place all year long on the strategic direction of the organization.  Just a few weeks ago the Board approved the creation of a search committee, and in 2016 NSGIC will likely hire our first Executive Director.  I’m very excited about this as it will increase our ability to grow as an organization.  More members and more attendance mean more expertise.  Growth also gives us more flexibility to communicate our advocacy agenda, and to do that with more effectiveness.

The year also seemed to be the “year of the address point.” The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released new rules associated with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act that now includes mandatory collection of address information by Financial Institutions.  This is a big deal because NSGIC provided written comment on address inclusion prior to the new rule change.  CFPB is on record that it would consume the National Address Database (NAD) once it is developed.

Speaking of the NAD, USDOT hosted the first-ever summit on addresses back in April that included a variety of organizations from federal, state, local, tribal, private and non-profit.  NSGIC was well-represented at that meeting and continues to be a strong force behind ensuring there is progress toward the NAD.

The White House had an opinion on addresses.  In October The White House released the Third Open Government National Action Plan for the United States of America in which they called for an Initiative to Launch a Process to Create a Consolidated Public Listing of Every Address in the United States.

MAPPS also had an opinion on addresses and NSGIC 100% supported their recent MAPPS Privacy Best Practices Guidelines (v.2) in which “Data depicting the physical locations of street addresses, without associated personal information” is public information.

Waldo Jaquith of US Open Data keynoted the Midyear Meeting and talked about the value of GIS data inside and outside of government.  During his talk Waldo challenged NSGIC to build the NAD ourselves.  Waldo’s comments are inspiring and have helped drive NSGIC to solving these issues, which brings me to an important note I’d like to make.

If you are not attending the NSGIC 2016 Midyear you will be missing out.  The Midyear is changing structure a bit to be more focused on developing outcomes.  I’m excited about this because we are taking some time to break out into “working” sessions to address real problems and hopefully develop solutions to these problems.  Be sure to get registered soon.  The dates are February 22-25, 2016 at the Annapolis Hotel.

2015 was not just all about addresses.  In February the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “GEOSPATIAL DATA Progress Needed on Identifying Expenditures, Building and Utilizing a Data Infrastructure, and Reducing Duplicative Efforts”.  Several states participated by giving interviews, example datasets and expenditure results.  The overall report put a spotlight on our national geospatial priorities and the need to better identify geospatial expenditures and find ways to reduce duplicative efforts.

At about the same time the GAO report was released, the Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) released their first-ever Report Card on the U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure.  Thirteen national geospatial organizations came together in unison to provide this report.  While not failing as a nation the report gave the NSDI an average rating, a “C”.  We can certainly do much better.

The report card is an important tool in helping move Senate Bill S.740 ‘Geospatial Data Act of 2015’ through Congress, which was introduced in March.  Progress continues and I’m happy to announce that as of last week Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has signed on as a co-sponsor for the bill.  We now have nine sponsors.  I’m impressed by your dedication to help write letters and seek other letters of support for the bill.  However, there is much work to be done in this area and I once again ask for your help in sending letters.   It is never too late.  If you need assistance in this area, then please reach out to me directly at .   I’m happy to help.

Terrific and exciting news also took place at the Annual Conference when the membership voted in favor of a MOU between NSGIC and the National Tribal Geographic Information Support Center (NTGISC).  I was very happy to sign that MOU on behalf of NSGIC.  The relationship between States and Tribes are unique. This MOU allows for more open dialog and opens the door for collaborative efforts to work on important issues.  It really opens a communication channel we never had before, and I’m excited to see how this relationship will evolve over time.

Lastly, I want to take a moment to wish each of you and your families a safe and Happy Holidays. I look forward to what 2016 will bring.

Chris Diller, NSGIC President

What Maps Really Say

NPR did this piece about maps and cartography, highlighting the fact that for a map there’s just as much value (if not more) in the reflection of what’s important to the cartographer than their purpose of navigation.  I’d love to tour the map collection they reference at the Library of Congress!  Perhaps NSGIC could arrange a tour one of these days…

Developing Pre-Disaster Resilience Based on Public and Private Incentivization

Recent major disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy—and their considerable financial, social, and environmental impacts— have substantially raised the profile of resilience in communities.  Resilience has come to occupy a place in public policy and programs across the United States. Yet, even in the face of growing losses and the deleterious effects of natural disasters, the nation’s capacity and appetite is waning for continued funding of federal and state pre- and post disaster mitigation efforts to create resilience.

The National Institute of Building Sciences, Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC), MMC Resilience Committee, and the Council on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (CFIRE), as well as members of the Institute’s Board of Directors, supported the development of this white paper to define a new approach [HERE].

ResilienceIncentivesThis new approach is focused on capturing all of the potential incentives provided by both the public and private sectors for preand post-hazard investment. The most cost-effective manner to achieve resilience is through a holistic and integrated set of public, private, and hybrid programs based on capturing opportunities available through mortgages and loans; insurance; finance; tax incentives and credits; grants; regulations; and enhanced building codes and their application. This focus on private/public-sector opportunities to induce corrective action is called “incentivization.”

For more information about The National Institute of Building Sciences, click here –

States at Risk - America's Preparedness Report Card

Contributed by: Larry A. Larson, P.E., CFM
Director Emeritus-Senior Policy Advisor
Association of State Floodplain Manager (ASFPM)

States at risk report was done by collaboration between Climate Central and ICF International. Climate Central*** is an independent, non-profit organization of scientists and journalists researching and reporting about our changing climate and its impact on the American public. This analysis and report was funded by the ZOOM Foundation, a family foundation which has a focus on education and the environment. The ZOOM Foundation focuses its philanthropic investments on innovative change efforts that have the high potential for sustainable, scalable impact, especially in the areas of education and the environment.

States at Risk held a telecom 18 Nov for media and released the report.  Read the full press release here [States at Risk National Press Release FINAL]


This report gives states a grade from A to F for their level of preparedness to face the significant and increasing risks posed by changing levels of extreme weather, including: extreme heat, drought, wildfires, inland flooding and coastal flooding. This report is focused on threats that are projected to become more frequent and/or severe as a result of changing climate. It does not address threats like earthquake or terrorism which are not necessarily impacted by a changing climate. Wind damage has not been analyzed due to the lack of data at the appropriate scale and the relative uncertainty of future projections.

The attached Q&A document [States at Risk Report Q&A Nov 2015gives added background on how the report was developed and what was used to grade the states. You will note a key factor for determining if a state is looking at future threats from extreme weather is to see if they are addressing the future conditions in their hazard mitigation plan. Remember, while many states do well with addressing existing hazards, this report evaluates if they are addressing future risks related to changing levels of extreme weather. While the report was developed by looking at actions and plans states had in place or are implementing, States at Risk says they talked with state officials to ensure that state actions not in printed documents were captured in the analysis.

ASFPM spoke on the telecom in support efforts like this that focus attention on building state capability. Attached is the statement ASFPM gave on the telecom [States at Risk telecon-PR–Larson talk 11-18-15]. You can get to the report for all the states through the links in the press release or from this link opens to a map where you see an interactive US map, where you can click on each state to get that report.We urge State Floodplain Managers and SHMO’s to vet and utilize this information in your work and to discuss it with your agency leaders. Chapters can use this to urge their State decision makers to consider and address these increasing hazards through mitigation, and improve flood risk management approaches. Those Chapters and states that have worked with the ASFPM Foundation to use a state symposium to identify key actions your state can do to improve its managing of flood risk may find this a useful added tool for those actions / discussions.

***Climate Central A non-partisan research organization communicating the science and effects of climate change to the public with some neat tools and resources


The Nature Conservancy - Coastal Resilience

Contributed by: Nathalie Smith
Esri, Olympia, WA
M 360-485-2371

Esri video highlights TNC work on Coastal Resilience and Ecosystem Adaptation leveraging the coastal resilience mapping portal and 3D GIS analysis.  Watch this video:

TNCLogoPrimary_RGB2Coastal Resilience is a global network of practitioners who are applying an approach and web-based mapping tool designed to help communities understand their vulnerability from coastal hazards, reduce their risk and determine the value of nature-based solutions.


Links: here
Coastal Resilience mapping portal here

Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month!

DHS-CI MonthCritical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, observed in the month of November, builds awareness and appreciation of the importance of critical infrastructure and reaffirms the nationwide commitment to keep our critical infrastructure and our communities safe and secure. Securing the nation’s infrastructure, which includes both the physical facilities that supply our communities with goods and services, like water, transportation, and fuel, and the communication and cyber technology that connects people and supports the critical infrastructure systems we rely on daily, is a national priority that requires planning and coordination across the whole community.

During November, the Department focuses on engaging and educating public and private sector partners about the systems and resources that support our daily lives. DHS calls on our partners, stakeholders, and communities to serve as force multipliers of this message. By raising awareness of the importance of securing the assets, systems, and networks we count on every day, we can build on the great work of this public-private partnership and further enhance the security and resilience of our critical infrastructure.

For more information click HERE.