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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Statewide Tour of Florida GIS Coordination Continues at SFGIS Expo and Your Input is Needed

The statewide tour of Florida's "Strategic Planning for Statewide GIS Coordination" presentation continued this morning at the 14th Annual South Florida GIS Expo "Mission Possible" in West Palm Beach, FL. I had last mentioned the presentation in a post back on September 23rd as it was given at the previous week's Central Florida GIS (CFGIS) Workshop "Breaking the Boundaries" held in Orlando, FL.

For those living in the northern portion of Florida, the next stop for the presentation will be held at the 6th Annual SHRUG GIS Workshop "Spatial Perspectives" to be held November 13th - 14th, 2007 in Tallahassee, FL.

I must admit, after seeing the presentation in person, it looks like the Steering Committee members have the right combination of knowledge and motivation to finally get Florida on track with a true statewide GIS coordination plan. Even though Florida is one of the leading "GIS states" in the country, efforts for coordination have fallen by the wayside in the past. I highly doubt that will be the case this time around.

Richard Butgereit (GIS Administrator, FDEM), Louis Driber (Florida Geospatial Liaison, USGS), Ric Dugger (FSU's Florida Institute of Government), Al Hill (Volusia County GIS Manager / President CFGIS), and Diana Umpierre (GIS Analyst for the City of Miami) were a few of the Steering Committee members present, along with Martin Roche of EarthData, the company that won the RFP bid to assist with the plan.

The Steering Committee is looking for input from both public agency and private entity GIS users within Florida to get some feedback on their planning process and coordination ideas.

The committee will be holding future regional meetings and on-line surveys, both of which GIS users throughout the state can participate in. To get on the Steering Committee's contact list please send your name, company/agency, and full contact information to Ric Dugger of the Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University at rdugger@iog.fsu.edu

Another interesting topic brought up during the Expo presentation was the intent of the Florida Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to examine whether there is duplication and overlap in agency efforts to develop geographic information systems. The examination project will include state universities and state and regional entities involved in growth management and water management activities.

Representative Trudi K. Williams was mentioned as the member of the Florida House of Representatives whom pursued the request for the GIS examination. For your reference purposes, the workload allocation for the examination project falls under the Economic Development, Environment and Transportation policy area and it can be viewed on Page 5 of the "OPPAGA Business Plan for 2007-2008".

Hopefully the examination does not hinder the Steering Committee's efforts and maybe the committee can possibly get Representative Williams on-board with their efforts for statewide coordination.

Some of the goals listed within Florida's "Strategic Plan for Statewide GIS Coordination" include:

- "Providing state agencies, regional and local governments, universities, and private sector businesses a means through which they can plan geospatial data development."

- "Identifying partners for joint development projects, and seek support for funding."

- "Identifying cost-effective and efficient means to develop geospatial data layers and transferable methodologies for sharing across boundaries."

- "Integrating geospatial data into business plans and decision making at all levels of government and community planning."

- "Moving towards more accurate and better organized information infrastructures."

- "Creating educational environments that improve opportunities, knowledge, and access to progressive geospatial technologies and applications."

The schedule to implement the plan is as follows:

Project Kick Off: October 11th, 2007
Outreach Program (ongoing): March 20th, 2008
Data Collection: October 4th, 2007 - December 3rd, 2007
Data Summary Document: December 14th, 2007
First Plan Draft: January 31st, 2008
Second Plan Draft: February 15th, 2008
Final Draft: March 7th, 2008

The project is scheduled for completion in March of 2008.