Wisconsin Geospatial News

‘Tis the season for… strategic planning

Come on, admit it, do you groan when you hear the phrase “strategic planning?” Why is that, I wonder? Does it conjure up visions of sitting in a room all day while you fret about all the “real” work sitting back in your office? Unfortunately, stepping back to look at the big picture is an important exercise many of us tend to forget.

I’m aware of at least four strategic planning efforts related to statewide geospatial technology and services in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) is in the midst of a strategic planning process to evaluate where the organization is headed, and how to best serve their membership. This is not to be confused with the $20,000 FGDC Cooperative Agreement Program award WLIA received last fall to develop a statewide strategic plan for GIS in Wisconsin.

Another one to add into the mix: new Geographic Information Officer David Mockert is working with a team of state agency GIS leaders to develop an enterprise GIS strategic plan for state government. And finally, although it’s not statewide in the same sense as the others, the State Cartographer’s Office will soon kick off our own strategic planning process to re-evaluate how we can best serve the Wisconsin geospatial community.

With all this planning, good stuff is bound to happen, right? I’m not being sarcastic. Going through a process where we force ourselves to ask some difficult questions, and make hard decisions about what’s important is a very valuable exercise. I’m also not suggesting we have an overabundance of “strategizing” going on– but I do hope everyone involved in these efforts communicates with each other for the good of the cause.

My point in all this? If through one of these exercises you’re asked your opinion on where we should be headed, speak up! You input not only matters, it’s critical.

There have been a number of important announcements since our last Bulletin, not the least of which is the final wireless 911 grant determinations from the WI Public Service Commission. Check out Ted Koch’s article for more information on how this program will contribute significant dollars to land information activities in Wisconsin.

Another important announcement, at least in my view, is the availability of statewide color orthoimagery from the 2005 National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) project. Working in cooperation with the USDA-Farm Service Agency, WisconsinView (a sub-program of the UW-Madison Environmental Remote Sensing Center) is making the one-meter resolution imagery available for the bargain price of FREE.

Finally, in the “fun stuff from elsewhere on the web” department, I invite you to check out Adena Schutzberg’s Top Ten “Things” Geospatial in 2005. As always, Adena has some interesting observations about the past year in our industry.