Lots to Chew On

October 23rd, 2009 by mike.mahaffie
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GIS Professionals at a workshop

A Meeting of the GIS Minds

Delaware’s GIS Community had a busy three days at the start of this week. A series of workshops and small-group meetings were held from October 19 through October 21 to gather input for the planned Delaware GIS Strategic Plan (funded by a grant from the Federal Geographic Data Committee).

Planning consultant Michael Terner, of Applied Geographics, met with a large group of GIS professionals from all sectors of the community on Tuesday at the Kent County Administration Building. On Wednesday, the DGDC Executive Committee held a workshop at the Haslet Armory. Also on Wednesday, there was a meeting with the University of Delaware’s GIS group.

And, while he was here, Mr. Terner met in small-groups with 911/PSAP administrators, county GIS staff, city GIS managers, MPO staff, the Department of Technology and Information, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Governor’s Office, the Office of State Planning Coordination, and DelDOT.

As someone who sat in on almost all of these meetings, I can say that it was a fascinating three days. We heard great ideas, teased-out problems, and had a refreshing, open conversation.

I have transcribed and posted (as PDF files) my personal notes from the DGDC workshop and from the Executive Council workshop. And, as an experiment, I have generated a “word cloud” from my DGDC workshop notes.

DGDC GIS Strategic Planning Workshop Word Cloud

This word cloud was generated using a tool (wordle) that counts the frequency of all of the words in a block of text, and creates a cloud of words in which the more often a word appears, the larger it is drawn. Word clouds can help highlight over-all concepts. and they are fun.

I have also posted Mr. Terner’s workshop presentation from October 20 for your review. This includes an overview of the strategic planning process, and review of where Delaware stands among the states  in GIS coordination, and review of our existing Framework, and some concepts gleaned from a survey tied to the workshop registration.

There will be more meetings and discussions. And perhaps more workshops. I plan to pose some of the questions and ideas that have been generated for further consideration here on the DGDC News blog in the coming weeks. Please add your comments and ideas.

We’re trying to plan for a future Delaware GIS Community that carries forward our tradition of accurate data, open and free data sharing, collegial and constructive partnerships and public service.

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2 Responses to “Lots to Chew On”

  1. Michael Terner says:

    Great summary of what I agree was a fascinating and productive 3 days in Delaware. Now the work of synthesizing the information we gathered into the right plan for DE.

  2. Liam Morris says:

    Data is Great.
    What We as the producers and users of that data do with it produces great results.
    As the word cloud suggests, Public was a major issue. Within our our world, we are quite capable of working our product to suit our, and our respective associative needs with our GIS presentations. Each of us who work in the public data sector must be mindful of how the public will perceive our data. Is it, as my Director likes to say, Clear, Concise, and Compelling.
    Always be prepared to take your story outside of your regular audience.