Thoughts On TUGIS 2015

I spent yesterday at TUGIS, Maryland’s GIS conference. It is an annual, one-day event, held at Towson University. As such, it is a bit of a sprint, especially when bracketed on either end by a double-beltway commute. The day started with the plenary which included a brief talk by Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who reaffirmed the new administration’s commitment to the importance of data and metrics in decision-making. Julia Fischer, the current MSGIC Chair, also gave an update…

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National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Report Card

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is a charter member of Coalition of Geospatial Organizations (COGO) and, with the twelve other member organizations, NSGIC  supported the release of the Report Card on the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. NSGIC is hopeful that the Report Card and other impending developments will result in some much needed attention for the issues that have slowed the development of the NSDI. Those issues include the FGDC’s lack of authority over Federal agencies, no clear mandate for building…

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Updates from Maryland’s Open Data Council

The second meeting of the Maryland Open Data Council was held Friday, October 3rd at the Governor’s Reception Room at Maryland’s State House in Annapolis. Topics ranged from whether it is still acceptable for local governments and municipalities to charge a fee for GIS data, streamlining state Public Information Act requests, to a lengthy discussion on Montgomery County’s Open Data portal. Background “It is the policy of the state that open data be machine readable and released to the public…

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I Applied for My GISP and You Should Too!

There are two types of GIS people in the world, those who have their GISP’s and those who don’t. (Technically a third group exists for those in the process of applying, but let’s include them in the latter.) Gaining your GISP certification is an invaluable way to advertise your talents and can set you ahead in the competitive GIS field . Surveys have shown that those with GISP’s have been able to gain promotions, raises, and better jobs because of this certification. A GISP…

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The BRGISC Regional Centerline and Address Point Project

The Baltimore Region GIS Committee’s Regional Centerline and Address Point Project is one of the first of its kind in the state of Maryland, making authoritative, local, cross-jurisdictional, address and street GIS data available to participating counties and municipalities. While emergency dispatch systems (911) and other public safety applications have the greatest need for accurate and consistent cross-jurisdictional address data, there are many other uses including public works, transportation, planning, and government service information systems (311). The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC)…

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State Planning Department Offers Property Maps through Open Data Initiative

Digital property maps and parcel information now free For the first time since offering digital maps depicting property maps and parcel data 19 years ago, the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) today launched a free set of digital map data for Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City under the state’s open data initiative. People interested in probing the wealth of MDP’s parcel geographic information systems (GIS) data can now download the files at no cost. To make data sought after…

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New Management for Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS)

The Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS) announced it has retained the firm of John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. (JMP&A) to provide association management services. “JMP&A’s significant experience in the association management field and expert knowledge of the surveying profession made them an attractive candidate in our search for a management company,” said Tim Quinn, PLS, (Rodgers Consulting, Inc., Germantown, MD), Chair of the MSS Search Committee. JMP&A President John Palatiello said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to…

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Open Data Panel Discussion – Let’s Keep the Conversation Going!

The MSGIC Quarterly meeting in Prince Frederick, Maryland held a panel discussion this morning related to Open Data in the Geospatial Community.  Use this blog to continue the discussion outside of the meeting by posting your ideas, comments, or anything related to Open Data!   What is Open Data? Open Data is not a new concept in Maryland. Early initiatives applied the concept of data sharing amongst participating organizations and across governmental boundaries. Newer initiatives aimed to centralize and provide ready…

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Some thoughts on Maryland GIS

Stepping Down At the Spring Quarterly Meeting I announced that I was stepping down as Chair of MSGIC. I have accepted an employment offer in Charlotte, NC and started Monday April, 28. While I am excited about the new adventure I also will miss the day-to-day contacts with the GIS professionals in Maryland. It has been my good fortune to meet and work with some very talented, smart and passionate people. MSGIC is fortunate that it has a strong leadership…

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Maryland’s Statewide Orthoimagery Program: An Update, and Efforts to Provide Faster, Better and Less Expensive Data

Maryland’s orthoimagery program recently benefited from two milestones:  the 2013 Eastern Shore imagery project (covering nine counties) was completed, and a multi-year contract was awarded to Axis Geospatial and URS Consultants for future orthoimagery program updates. Under the first phase of the new contract 4-band 6” high resolution orthoimagery will be produced for western shore counties, including the city of Baltimore.  Funded by the Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB), program management is being overseen by the Department of Planning (MDP)…

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