Wisconsin Geospatial News

WIGICC working group releases report

A new report from the Wisconsin Geographic Information Coordination Council (WIGICC) Working Group outlines progress to date on the effort to establish a GIS coordination council in Wisconsin.

Started in late 2006 under the guidance of former Geographic Information Officer David Mockert, the Wisconsin Department of Administration received $47,000 through the 2006 Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP). Funds from the grant were used to research, gather feedback, and develop an implementation plan toward a GIS council.

Although the report is labeled “final”, much work remains. According to Ted Koch, the Working Group Chair, “The report was created to fulfill our obligation to the Federal Geographic Data Committee in order to close out the 2006 grant. Our work on this initiative is far from over, and we still need the support and involvement from stakeholders to make the council happen.”

Some of the key accomplishments outlined in the report include:

  • Researched and reported on eight states’ coordination councils
  • Researched and developed set of governance model evaluation criteria
  • Solicited input from stakeholders through five listening sessions, follow-up email and online surveys, focused stakeholder meetings, and Governance Summit
  • Defined scope, function, composition and structure of Council
  • Developed and maintained project website

As a follow-on activity to the 2006 CAP grant, the State Cartographer’s Office in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Administration, the Wisconsin Land Information Association, the State Agency Geographic Information Coordination Team, and the Land Information Officers Network submitted a nearly $50,000 request to the FGDC for the 2008 Cooperative Agreement Program. If successful, the grant will fund a 50% staff person to support council development activities for a period of one year, and pay for additional professional facilitation services. A decision on the funding quest will not be known until early spring.

Continued planning work for the council will continue regardless of whether the pending grant is approved according to Koch, “but continued financial support from the FGDC will ensure things happen at a much quicker pace.”

The establishment of a GIS coordination council was identified as the number one goal of the statewide GIS strategic plan “Wisconsin Location Matters”, developed by the Wisconsin Land Information Association, and published in January 2007.