The NSGIC Midyear Meeting Starts Sunday

March 5th, 2010 by mike.mahaffie

The midyear meeting of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) starts on Sunday morning, March 7, in Annapolis.  Delaware’s delegation will be Sandy Schenck, from DGS, and me (Mike Mahaffie). We’ll try to post updates and send along information that we gather. We’d also love to hear what you’d like us to try to learn on your behalf.

Sunday: Strategic Planning and State Issues

Photo of NSGIC Conference in 2005First-thing Sunday morning, there will be a 50 States Initiative workshop at which states that are now completing GIS strategic plans (including us here in the First State) will talk over what we have learned with those states who are just about to start the process. The GIS strategic planning projects are all funded by grants from the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).

Sunday afternoon there will be a states-only caucus meeting to talk about issues of importance to state GIS coordinators and prepare for joint meetings with federal and private-sector partners. On Sunday evening, there will be meetings of several committees and working groups, including the group now focused on stimulus-funded broadband mapping projects.

Monday: State and Federal Cooperation

On Monday morning, the main speaker for the opening session will be the head of the State of Maryland’s StateStat office. Maryland has pioneered the use of  GIS tools and spatial data as a performance-measurement and management tool. They call it StateStat. We’ll also hear updates on several NSGIC-inspired “For the Nation” data projects, an overview of the Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual USA information-sharing initiative, and a discussion of how we can use social media tools to improve coordination and communication.

At Lunchtime on Monday, there will be an informal gathering of the coastal states that make up the NSGIC Coastal Caucus to talk about the NOAA Digital Coast project (You’ll hear more about that at the 2010 Delaware GIS Conference).

In the afternoon, we plan to hear updates from the Federal Communications Commission’s new GIO, from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (on broadband mapping), from the Congressional Research Service, and from leaders of the National Geospatial Advisory Council (including Anne Hale Miglarese, another planned Delaware GIS Conference speaker).

We’ll also hear from a number of leaders in the geospatial industry on new technologies and offerings from the private sector.

Tuesday: Joint Meeting with MAPPS

All of Tuesday will be dedicated to a joint meeting with the members of the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) who include many important partners of the state GIS coordinators. The joint session will focus on updates from a number of federal agencies, including the US Census Bureau, Homeland security, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, FEMA, USDA, USGS, EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Transportation, and NOAA.

In the late afternoon, we plan to try a new thing: an Ignite session. Ignite is a style of short, sharp, quick presentations designed to get to the point and cut out extraneous power-point bloat. Those who were lucky enough to attend the University of Delaware’s Geospatial Research Day, back in November, got a taste of this approach. Several NSGIC folks have been eager to try an Ignite-style session for some time. So we’re pretty excited about this.

Closing out the afternoon will be a roll-call of federal agency representatives and a closing state caucus session. In the evening, along with several committee meetings, will be a NSGIC Board meeting.

Wednesday: On Capitol Hill

For those state GIS Coordinators who can do so, Wednesday is set aside for visiting with their state’s congressional delegations or staff on Capitol Hill. Others will attend a briefing on the Homeland Security Information Program (HSIP).

NSGIC President Will Craig (of Minnesota) has been asked to testify on Wednesday morning before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry. He’ll be speaking about the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP).

Taken as a whole, it will be a busy few days. I plan to return to Delaware on Tuesday evening; I’m getting too old for the 14-hour conference days that NSGIC likes to pack in. But I’ll gather as much information as I can and will post what I learn here and on the NSGIC News blog.

I’ll also be tweeting from the conference, generally from the @NSGIC twitter account, though occasionally as  @mmahaffie. You may want to monitor the #nsgicmidyear hashtag as well; there are a number of active tweeters among the NSGIC crowd and the #nsgicmidyear back-channel discussion can be fairly interesting.

And, of course, if there are questions you’d like Sandy and I to pursue, vendors we should gather information from, or ideas you’d like reactions to, please feel free to let us know. We’ll both be checking our e-mail throughout.

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