Missouri GIS Advisory Committee Minutes – October 24, 1997

Missouri GIS Advisory Committee Minutes – October 24, 1997

Missouri Department of Transportation – CADD Conference Room
605 W Main Street (across from the State Information Center)
9:30 – 12:00 pm


  1. Introductions
  2. Approval of September meeting minutes
  3. MSDIS web site – substance and style review
  4. Conference Planning status
  5. NSGIC Survey update and briefing – Tim Haithcoat and Darryl Williams
  6. FY98 Work plan tasks – update
  7. Scheduling meetings for intro to MSDIS and GIS in Jefferson City – status
  8. CD-Rom possibilities
  9. MOGIS Conference postcard mailer

Present: Ryan Burson, Lew Davison, Elizabeth Cook, Tony Spicci, Ron Beck, Darryl Williams, Tim Haithcoat
Absent: Mike Benzen, Scott Totten
Visitors: Ann Peton (MDNR), William Chase (MDMH), Gary Beahan (MDED), Greg Breuer (MSDIS)

Ryan Burson called the meeting to order. Introductions were then made. The committee welcomed agency guests William Chase from the Department of Mental Health and Gary Beahan from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Greg Breuer from the Missouri Spatial Data Information Service was on hand for the MSDIS web site review. Ann Peton was present for the Department of Natural Resources.

The minutes of the September 26, 1997 meeting of the Missouri GIS Advisory Committee were read and approved with the correction of the spelling of ‘Lois’.

Lew Davison and Liz Cook provided feedback on the content and style of the MSDIS web site at the October meeting.

Lew provided some new looks and graphics to the web site utilizing the MoDOT web developer staff (Mike Ortega). The organization and placement of links for web flow were examined through three scenarios. Points were discussed with each display and points noted for change. The displays were very eye catching and would change the appearance of MSDIS to a great degree. First pass addressed navigational issues for the most part. Lew has made available to Greg Breuer (MSDIS staff) his web person (Mike Ortega) for consultation and use.

Liz provided a 2 page critique of MSDIS web pages. The comments were formulated from her own review as well as from 3 Lincoln University GIS students and 3 USDA-NRCS employees. Their comments were divided into five categories: 1) General layout and aesthetics, 2) ease of use, 3) data organization, 4) data quality, and 5) MSDIS response to questions.

What follows is a synopsis of these comments:

  1. General Layout and Aesthetics
    a. Hard to read. Change font size.
    b. Hard to learn who, why, services provided. Move descriptive information to front.
    c. Divide first page – move links from bottom of the page.
  2. Ease of Use
    a. “How to” for ftping – add similar to Gzip
    b. Better explanation for the metadata – add text to explain “How to” view metadata
    c. Can FTP occur from data listing – Point to directory
    d. Explanation about data in .e00 format should include that it can be viewed in ArcView – Import protocol
    e. Gzip software available from MSDIS directly? – No
    f. Some of the links from GPS section don’t work – Look into
  3. Data Organization
    a. Difficult to understand – thematic – vs / or – geographic – vs / or – projection
    b. Why some files clipped to county and not others? – Consistency
    c. Table or index of data – particularly for Census data
    d. New data should appear in full listing
  4. Data Quality
    a. Problems with build errors. SLAKES file was mentioned as problem. We downloaded it and checked it. It downloaded OK and we found that there was indeed two polygons with duplicate labels – out of a much larger number. These were corrected and have replaced the coverage on MSDIS. We want each and every user to know that if they find a problem -PLEASE!!! – let use know so that it can be fixed and redistributed.
    b. 50m DEM said NAD83 was WGS84 – Problem on our side. Documentation was supposed to read WGS84 for that line but was not updated to the WEB page.
    c. Don’t post data without Metadata or attributes – Our call but point well taken.
    d. Data file description of potential uses – In metadata but groups want a bio included for these files that address limitations due to scale and resolution.
  5. MSDIS Response to Questions
    a. Time is good – completeness often not as good.
    b. New data posted – Provide a target date not just ‘we will be doing that’.

A conference planning meeting was held October 16th, 1997 in Columbia. Tony Spicci and Tim Haithcoat attended that meeting and developed an initial program draft which was distributed at this meeting. Assignments were made for contacting speakers for various sessions. Tim Haithcoat was put in charge of recruiting the plenary speakers. Tony Spicci will handle the development of the program. Ann Peton will solicit vendor support for the vendor area. Liz Cook is in charge of the poster/project showcase. Other members of the MGISAC signed up for various application sessions. A call for papers and posters will be achieved through a postcard mailing. Liz Cook stressed the importance of having moderators for all sessions to both keep on track and allow for conference participants to attend those sessions and papers that they have outlined from the program.

Tim Haithcoat and Darryl Williams then discussed the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) survey for framework data layers. The MGISAC is participating as the coordinator for Missouri with Tim Haithcoat of MSDIS being the primary contact. Tim stated that he has 400 of these surveys for distribution. It was agreed that the survey should go out prior to the state GIS conference to a select mailing list. The committee also agreed to incorporate the survey component and discussions into the conference as a major theme for the second day.

Lew Davison reported on his success at scheduling a “Thursday @ 10:00” meeting where MSDIS and MGISAC could be presented. This will occur on November 20th, 1997. The talk will address what is held at MSDIS and what the MGISAC is currently doing. It was brought out that it would be very important to show within the demonstration the acquisition of the data from MSDIS, the creation of the data base, and walking through a simple application. We will have 2 hours. Lew Davison, Tony Spicci, Ann Peton, and William Chase all agreed to participate.

Tim Haithcoat is setting up meetings around the state. Tentative site list would be: St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Rolla, St. Joseph, and Poplar Bluff. Each meeting should have a focus user group in mind. For example the following outline could serve as a starting point.

  • Lincoln University – Federal
  • State Library – hold two – one early /one later – State Agencies
  • On-the-road – targeting Regional Planning Councils and Local Governments (4)
  • Municipal League – Missouri Mappers Association – etc. – on conferences
  • Colleges, Universities, and possibly High Schools

Tim Haithcoat agreed to keep the committee posted on these events as they take shape.

Tony Spicci and Ann Peton brought to the committee a series of questions regarding issues of creating, or pressing, CD’s of data held within the MSDIS. It was felt by all that it would significantly increase access to the data. Tony, Ann and Tim Haithcoat have a meeting with ESRI to further define the cost and technical components of this CD’s production.

The next meeting was set to be hosted by the USGS in Rolla. A date will be set and confirmed in the upcoming weeks. (It was set for December 16, 1997 starting at 10:00am and going to 3:00pm at the USGS-Mid Continent Mapping Center in Rolla, MO.)

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