IndianaMap Legislation Making Progress

Indiana’s 2007 GIS Bill (SB461) is making progress. Yesterday it passed the senate unanimously and has been sent onto the house. Summary: “One map for Indiana. Provides that the state data center shall develop and maintain the Indiana map, an electronic map of Indiana. Provides that the state data center shall provide public access to Indiana map data, except for data that the governor designates as a security risk. Provides that the state data center shall serve as the state names authority for Indiana under federal law. Establishes the electronic map maintenance fund.”

Indiana GIS Legislation Introduced

There is a GIS Bill in the Indiana Legislature this year – SB461. Yesterday was the first hearing in the Senate Economic Development and Technology Committee. It went well and passed 8-0 with a significant amendment. I’ve attached a link, but here is my own summary: * the focus of the Bill is on maintenance of the statewide base map (e.g. focus on the framework data – IGIC’s main priority) for support of stakeholder applications * removes the creation of a new council, and points to IGIC as an advisory body * removes creation of an office within the State Data Center and simply assigns it to the State Data Center (at the State Library) * assigns responsibility for a Board on Geographic Names * includes that development of the framework data does not apply to electronic map data identified as posing a security risk by the governor Today Senators Kruse and Mrvan were added as coauthors. It sounds like there may be a few amendments that will get recommended – as per comments from Dave Coats, University Consortium (CUSIS), WTH Engineering, and Gerry Weaver (State CIO). I’m not sure the language that will be proposed or when that happens but will try and find out. Feb 28 is the last day for 3rd reading of bills in the Senate.

Successful Response Starts with a Map – New Publication NAP

The Mapping Science Committee of the National Academy has released the following publication. “Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management Committee on Planning for Catastrophe: A Blueprint for Improving Geospatial Data, Tools, and Infrastructure,” National Research Council ISBN: 0-309-10340-1, 198 pages, 6 x 9, paperback (2007) Executive summary online at

State Geographic Information Offices Relationship with State Census Data Centers

There are a number of models across the US of where the state Geographic Information Office is located/affiliated. I was interested in which states have their Geographic Information Office co-located with (or formally part of) their State Census Data Center. I conducted an informal poll of NSGIC State members/representatives.

The following 6 states indicated their Geographic Information/GIS Office is formally affiliated with their State Census Data Center: •    CO (in same department – Co Dept of Local Affairs) •    DE •    HI (in same department – Dept of Planning) •    MN (both in Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis •    MS •    RI (in same department) Among the states that are not formally affiliated, 13 indicated they have close coordination among their offices. A common theme among all states responding was that they now need to coordinate much better than in the past due to the increased emphasis on GIS for the decennial Census, the Local Update Census Address program (LUCA) and TIGER map modernization.

___ Geographic Information Office affiliations range from being located in their state Natural Resources agency, Information Technology, Department of Administration, or as a separate not-for-profit, located at a university, and more (i.e., there is no single model – see chart below). Most offices are formally established through legislation and/or executive order. Note also of 49 states responding about the scope of their Geographic Information coordination, nearly 70% indicated their responsibility was statewide in scope (as opposed to State Agency responsibility only). Source: NSGIC State Summaries, 2006

Recognizing the Value of Geographic Information for Economic Development

Last week I presented at the Indiana Economic Development Association’s Indianapolis Winter Conference. The speaker right after me, Dr. Buzz Canup of AngelouEconomics, presented an enlightened view of how site assessment consultants for Fortune 500 companies do their work. Much of what he talked about was how he and his staff use geographic information systems (GIS) to do nearly 90% of their work for site selection – even before they visit an area or a community’s web site.

Buzz made a powerful case for the role of GIS in the future of economic development. And they are some high-powered data miners! To all you economic development directors out there… the message is get your government GIS data out and shared (GIS web maps and clearinghouses) or consultants like Buzz will not find you. In early 2006 from Mickey Maurer, Indiana Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive, also emphasized the role of geographic information. “Geographic information systems are playing an increasingly integral role in the world of economic development and corporate real estate, and this tool will answer the main questions that businesses have when they are involved in the site selection process.”

Dr. Buzz Canup serves as President of Site Selection Services at AngelouEconomics and brings over 30 years of experience in business and economic development to the firm.

Information for Indiana: GIS Issues Brief

Information for Indiana is a collaborative project launched by Governor Mitch Daniels in July 2005. It brings together government, university, and private resources in an effort to build a solid foundation of data and analysis for improved policy-making and administrative decision-making by public and private leaders statewide. IFI is working with internal and external partners to assess, improve, and coordinate the collection, management, dissemination, and analysis of vital Indiana data.


This publication is one of a series of subject area issue briefs authored by project steering committee members and other contributors who have been engaged to support the IFI project work through activities such as conducting case studies and assisting in pilot project initiation and implementation. Support for these publications is generously provided by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Indiana I-TEAM for Homeland Security

The State of Indiana identified the Indiana I-Team as a strategic priority in support of homeland security in Indiana in a recently issued White House Office of Homeland Security report titled “State and Local Actions for Homeland Security”.  In the report, the organization in each State responsible for coordinating homeland security public-sector response enumerates the State’s major initiatives being taken to provide security, maintain public safety, protect public infrastructure, and respond to disasters.

According to Governor Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Advisor, “A key objective of the National Strategy for Homeland Security is to develop a framework that ensures intergovernmental coordination so that our actions are mutually supportive.”  Many state GIS coordinating councils and I-Teams have approached and are working with their state emergency management and homeland security organizations to help them coordinate state and local efforts through the use of GIS.  Besides Indiana, the White House report mentions GIS in four other States – Idaho, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

The Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council (C-TASC) is the organization responsible for executing Indiana’s homeland security strategy.  Lt. Governor Joe Kernan is the chair.  Its 16 voting members are Commissioners of key state agencies.  Non-voting members are from the Department of Justice, FBI, and the legislative and judicial branches of Indiana government.

Clifford Ong is C-TASC Executive Director.  According to Mr. Ong, “The I-Team is one of Indiana’s top three technology priorities in support of homeland security efforts.  Emergencies are local.  First responders are local. A state-wide interoperable GIS is essential to make sure the best local data is available when needed to respond to and recover from disasters.”

The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) and the Indiana I-Team acted quickly after the formation of C-TASC to demonstrate the support of the Indiana geospatial community and the value of GIS to C-TASC’s work.  Guided by recommendations circulated by the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), the I-Team connected with Lt. Governor Kiernan and briefed Executive Director Ong.  It formed an I-Team Homeland Security Working Group to support C-TASC.  This led to regular contact between the I-Team, Mr. Ong, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

In March, IGIC began a comprehensive survey of local data needs and assets.  The ongoing survey serves dual purposes.  It informs Indiana’s I-Plan.  It also is a resource for C-TASC.

Mr. Ong addressed the I-Team at its May meeting. He welcomed the coordinating potential of the I-Team and invited members to brief the full C-TASC.

GIS dominated the agenda of the August C-TASC meeting.  Fourteen C-TASC members were present.   Lou Nelson, ESRI homeland security manager, acquainted them with the many applications of GIS and chronicled its uses in the days following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.  Jill Saligoe-Simmel, Indiana I-Team Coordinator, described the I-Team process and the ability of the I-Team Homeland Security Working Group to support C-TASC.   Bryan Nicol, Indiana Transportation Commissioner, introduced the recently completed Southwest Indiana GIS project of the Indiana Department of Transportation. It consists of 170 layers of predominantly State and federal data, all with full metadata, posted on the Indiana Geological Survey web site. Commissioner Nicol emphasized the need to integrate larger scale local data required for emergency readiness, response, and recovery.