Wisconsin Geospatial News

WLIA weathers the storm

With weather forecasts predicting the worst late spring storm across the state in two decades, the WI Land Information Association held its spring regional meeting June 7-8 in Stevens Point. Although the storms ultimately did not take direct aim at the River City, they did cause significant damage in forested lands and elsewhere some 50 miles to the northeast.

The meeting, which attracted over 100 attendees, was titled “Addressing Addresses.” The nearly two day event featured presentations from city, county, federal, academic, and private-sector representatives.

Topics covered on the first day included address geocoding, addressing standards, integrating addresses into 9-1-1 emergency dispatch systems, and maintaining addresses in system workflows. The second day featured an outline of the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program.  LUCA is a federal initiative that gives local governments the opportunity to review and correct the master address files to be used by the Census Bureau for the 2010 national headcount.

The second day also included an update on the issue of eliminating or extending the existing wireless 9-1-1 surcharge. The surcharge is a small amount (about 80-cents monthly) assessed to every wireless phone bill in the state to cover the costs of the technology that allows emergency response centers across the state to geographically locate incoming calls quickly and accurately. This capacity relies significantly on the response centers having current addresses, street patterns, and maps or photographic images of natural and man-made features that show detail sufficient to aid emergency response in a timely and accurate manner.

The surcharge that supports improved wireless emergency 9-1-1 response is due to expire at the end of 2008. Supporters of the surcharge hope to craft new legislation that better supports new technologies, data needs, and provides better service quality.

And finally, the June gathering also featured the kick-off meetings for two new WLIA task forces – parcel data modeling and orthoimagery. The parcel-modeling group will analyze and make recommendations regarding best practices for the use of well-defined parcel data models by local governments. The orthoimagery task force will develop strategies and recommendations for the acquisition of imagery statewide by 2010.

For more information on these two new task forces see the WLIA Web site.