Financial Transparency of States

How does your state rank in its financial transparency to taxpayers?  Find out through this map:

Tischler Named as New Director of USGS National Geospatial Program

Shelby Johnson,  Arkansas GIO & NSGIC President

Shelby Johnson, Arkansas GIO & NSGIC President

NSGIC and the U.S. Geological Survey have a pretty deep history in geospatial time.  Many of the modern geospatial data programs were born out of work like the Digital Line Graph data, or the Digital Elevation Model that became the building blocks of the National Elevation Data set (NED).  In the not too distant past, USGS geospatial staff sat through all of our meetings and participated heavily in many of our annual conferences.  Many of our state GIS coordination offices benefited from their presence at state meetings. The liaison program is still among my favorite things that USGS has done in partnership with states.  I always look forward to their updates on programs and opportunities to coordinate with the agency on improving our nation’s geospatial data, one state at a time.   We all know it is pretty hard to do core science without framework data.

With that bit of background in hand, it is my pleasure to share this news today that ushers in a new era of leadership and what I hope will be a renewed bond between our organizations, cultivating an environment of coordination and cooperation that will push our nation’s geospatial standing to new heights and address any challenge.

Subject: Announcing Michael Tischler, New Director of the National Geospatial Program

It is my pleasure to announce that Michael Tischler has accepted the position as the Director of the National Geospatial Program (NGP) and will join the USGS on Monday, April 6th.

Mike brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the USGS and NGP.  He comes to the USGS from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he served as the Associate Technical Director of the Engineering Research and Development Center.  Mike’s many accomplishments include managing the research for a $30 million broad-based research portfolio with both domestic and international applications.  He has held a breadth of positions, from a research scientist collecting, analyzing, and processing geospatial data, to Acting Technical Director, responsible for strategic planning and program implementation for a diverse portfolio of geospatial research projects.  In his most recent role as Associate Technical Director, he defined cutting edge research projects that affect the direction of geospatial science and how geospatial data is used throughout the U.S. Army.   Mike holds a Master of Science in Soil and Water Science and a Bachelor of Science in Soil Science.  Currently, Mike is a Ph.D. candidate in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences at George Mason University .

I look forward to welcoming Mike and introducing him to you.

I would also like to thank Pam Haverland for serving as the Acting Director for the National Geospatial Program.  Over the last 6 months, Pam has provided caring and visionary leadership all while completing the SES Candidate Development Program and working in the USGS Budget Office as required. She will be sorely missed!

Please join me in thanking Pam, and welcoming Mike to Core Science Systems and the National Geospatial Program.


Kevin T. Gallagher
Associate Director, Core Science Systems
U.S. Geological Survey

SO… Thank you Pam for your service as Acting Director.   And… to Mike; the triad of Incoming, Current and Outgoing NSGIC Presidents have already exchanged notes about forming a NSGIC welcoming party for you as you begin this new adventure.

Sincerely, Your NSGIC Partners

What do people in your state research the cost of?

This is too good not to share.  The map here shows the most common Google autocomplete for the question, ‘How much does ** cost?’.

A Teenage Perspective on NSGIC

My oldest daughter, Megan, just turned 13 years old this week. Megan saw my Midyear badge sitting in a pile and asked if I would get to meet the “real President” after I become President of NSGIC. I told her it didn’t work that way.

She thought the real President should consider what would happen if NSGIC didn’t exist? I pondered the question for about 15 seconds. What if NSGIC didn’t exist? She asked me the implications of our nonexistence and I replied that lives would continue to be in danger. I cited 9-1-1 as an example and talked about the basic principles of addresses and the importance of tying the address to a coordinate. “Like Lat Long?” Way to go Megan!

I explained to her that a mobile 9-1-1 call doesn’t always find the exact location of the mobile phone. Her response was priceless. “Well that is stupid. That sort of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?”

NSGIC is a wise and thoughtful organization, but if you want perspective on something, every once in a while you need to ask a teenager. They tell it like it is.

Chris Diller
NSGI President-Elect.

CROs: the human element of resilience leadership



Over the past 18 months, 100RC has been hard at work bringing together resilience practitioners with backgrounds in local government and the NGO and private sector to build the world’s first international city resilience network.

But it’s the people behind this Network — the dedication, passion, and personalities of the world’s first Chief Resilience Officers — that truly bring the 100RC mission to life.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officers putting their passion into practice with this behind the scenes look at the world’s first CRO Summit.



Michael Berkowitz
President, 100 Resilient Cities
Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

Mapping Childhood Trauma

This article is highlights the benefit of using GIS to help target HHS programs and initiatives.

UN Resolution on Geospatial

The UN passed its first resolution regarding geospatial data:

Sophisticated Resilience Model in Development in Colorado

Backed by a $20 million grant announced this week from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Community Resilience Center of Excellence is being established at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. [PRESS RELEASE]

The Community Resilience Center of Excellence will focus on development of FREE tools to support community disaster resilience. The center will work on developing integrated, systems-based computational models to assess community infrastructure resilience and guide community-level resilience investment decisions. The center also will develop a data management infrastructure, as well as tools and best practices to improve the collection of disaster and resilience data. For more information on NIST’s programs click HERE.

These efforts will build a sophisticated computer model that will offer a look down to the minute details at just how communities may withstand – or crumble under – perils like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and other catastrophic risks.  Additionally, the City of Boulder Colorado’s first-ever Chief Resilience Officer, Gregory Guibert indicated that Boulder, as a 100 Resilient City, will serve as a future test bed and living lab as they develop the models.


The City of Boulder is one of the first 32 cities chosen to participate in 100 Resilient Cities. The program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, is funding 100 chief resilience officers in selected cities worldwide. These officers are working together — and with their communities — to build resilience. For more information about Boulder’s 100 Resilient City efforts:

Mid-Year Meeting - You Were Missed

Our Mid-Year meeting wrapped up this week, and despite bad weather many of our members made the trek.  My regret for the week is that you were not there.  I missed you.

Shelby Johnson,  Arkansas GIO & NSGIC President

Shelby Johnson, Arkansas GIO & NSGIC President

Our attendees were treated to another good lineup of speakers, federal agencies, sponsor updates, and opportunities to share with each other.  I wrote a quote down from Sandy Dyre of Arizona.  Sandy said, “My benefit at NSGIC is your wisdom.”  Sandy’s pretty wise, and don’t be fooled, she’s a wealth of experience on 9-1-1 geospatial issues.   Diversity is one of my most favorite things about our organization; that and the fact that all of our attendees care so much about GIS coordination in our respective states.

Another big treat was the industry insider information that always seems to unfold at our meetings.  Just when you think you know everything, someone develops new technology, techniques, or systems and our sponsors are the best at teaching us about these important developments.  I won’t try to tell you what all I learned, but to be sure, if you were not there you missed out.

There’s three more things you missed:

I missed you, and hope to see you in Kansas City.


Sentinel-2 is similar to Landsat with additional capabilities

There is an interesting article at about the Sentinel-2 satellite launch scheduled for June 12th.  This ‘bird’ flying out of Europe will provide some continuity with the Landsat mission, but it has additional multispectral bands, a much wider swath, and higher resolution color.

Civic Hackers Improve on MTA Bus Route app

This is timely given our discussions at the mid-year conference on open data and transportation data.

Resiliency Task Force Meeting 2-25-15



2015 NSGIC MidYear – Resiliency Task Force Meeting 2-25-2015


Chrome mapping experiments

While this type of mapping may not be very useful for us at a state level, it is really cool how they’re visualizing the variety of datasets.  My favorite is the world elevation map.

Climate-Smart Conservation Guide

Contributed by:  Leland Pierce
NM Geospatial Advisory Committee
NM Geographic Information Council
National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC)

This guidance document is the product of an expert workgroup on climate-smart conservation convened by the National Wildlife Federation.  Climate change already is having significant impacts on the nation’s species and ecosystems, and these effects are projected to increase considerably over time.  As a result, climate change is now a primary lens through which conservation and natural resource management must be viewed. How should we prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change on wildlife and their habitats? What should we be doing differently in light of these climatic shifts, and what actions continue to make sense?  Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice offers guidance for designing and carrying out conservation in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

A pdf of this full report is available HERE.

climate report


COGO Issues Report Card for the NSDI

NSGIC is a charter member of Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) and, with the twelve other member organizations, we supported the release of the Report Card on the U.S. National Spatial Data Infrastructure. We are hopeful that the Report Card and other impending developments will result in some much needed attention for the issues that have slowed the development of the NSDI. Those issues include the FGDC’s lack of authority over Federal agencies, no clear mandate for building the NSDI, no Congressional oversight, the lack of sufficient stakeholder involvement, and insufficient resourcing to build the NSDI. The report card is one more step toward our nation recognizing the need for a National Spatial Data Infrastructure. You are encouraged to read this document and engage in the dialog that will begin at our Midyear Meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, on February 24th.