Wisconsin Geospatial News

Retiring professors leave a void at UW-Madison

By mid-summer, three longtime UW-Madison professors involved in photogrammetry, remote sensing, and GIS will retire. Even if you didn’t attend UW-Madison, chances are you’ve run across Tom Lillesand, Frank Scarpace or Al Vonderohe in your work. Tom Lillesand is widely known as the primary author on the popular textbook Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation. Frank has touched the lives and careers of many remote sensing and photogrammetry students in Wisconsin, and elsewhere, for over 30 years. And among his many achievements, Al is known as the go-to guy on the recent Wisconsin county coordinate system redesign project.

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know all three of these gentlemen during the time I’ve been on campus, and wish them all the best as they move on to their next big adventure. In this issue of the Mapping Bulletin, we’re publishing the first of three guest interviews with Tom, Al, and Frank.

On May 15th and 16th I visited five counties as part of my traditional springtime “roadtrip.” I want to publicly thank Joyce Fiacco (Dodge), Terry Dietzel (Fond du Lac), Ken Pabich (Calumet), Cathy DeLain and Preston Jones (Manitowoc), and Damon Anderson (Ozaukee) for taking some time out for me. I learn a lot on these visits, and this time was no exception. I heard a lot about the confusion over the statewide voter registration system, the need for improved wetlands maps, and the need for better communication from the Wisconsin Department of Administration when it comes to the Wisconsin Land Information Program.

Speaking of road trips, as part of the soon-to-be-released 2006-2009 SCO strategic plan, we’ve set the ambitious goal of visiting all 72 county LIOs and all RPCs over the next four years. We also hope to visit with municipalities and private companies along the way as well. That’s a lot of time in the car, but we feel it is important for SCO staff to get out of Madison, and listen to concerns you have about land information in Wisconsin. When can we visit you?!

Finally, I want to give you a heads-up on some format changes we’re considering for the Bulletin. Like you, I get a lot of stuff flowing into my e-mail inbox every day; when I get a lengthy message that requires more than a few minutes of attention, I set it aside until I have time to deal with it later. Well, truth be told, sometimes I lose stuff when this happens—I’m betting the same could be said when I send out a new Bulletin announcement to all of you!

So, in response to this situation, we’re looking at delivering the Bulletin more often, but in smaller chunks. We also want to merge the “news” section of our website into the Bulletin in order to make our reporting more timely. What do you think? If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our format and delivery of the Bulletin, drop me a line at lacy@wisc.edu.