H3: Oral Presentation C Thursday, 2:30 – 3:00 pm C Lake Superior Ballroom L

Delivering Data and Tools Through Cooperative GIS

Jim Ramstrom
Minnesota Planning Land Management Information Center
330 Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN  55117

The culmination of several data development activities and data sharing arrangements among state and local agencies has resulted an integrated GIS package for Minnesota government units. Coordinated through LMIC, the GIS community has free access to 2000 metro photography, county parcel data and upgraded viewing software in a 2-CD package called EPPLviewer 2001. The free viewer is a significant step toward the LMIC's goal of maximizing the use of state investments in GIS data. 

The viewer includes Twin cities metropolitan aerial photography from Spring of 2000. Working with the Metropolitan Council, LMIC obtained permission to resample the data to a one-meter resolution and redistribute it in a compressed format. In addition, the viewer contains a regional parcel data set developed by metro area counties. LMIC worked with MetroGIS, a coalition of seven Twin Cities counties that share GIS data, to obtain approval to distribute a modified version of the parcel database.

This session describes the development of integrated data sets and new navigation features to find study areas. Technical improvements such as the ability to measure distance and direction and to graph elevation will be demonstrated.

Released in July 2001, EPPLviewer 2001 serves Minnesota's growing GIS community, nontraditional GIS users. Beta users included Stillwater Area High School which used the tool in producing their award wining Community Atlas project. The viewer has been described by teachers “as easy enough to be used by sixth-graders, and yet provides powerful data at our finger tips.”

During the next year, LMIC will work cooperatively with data providers to migrate the viewer into a Minnesota Environmental Atlas that will explore hundreds of maps about Minnesota's resources.