Wisconsin Geospatial News

Project to develop Wisconsin orthophotography business plan moving forward

How can you help?

You can help by filling out our online participation form

We are using this form to gather up a list of people interested in helping with the project in a variety of ways. 

While we will use many other mechanisms to get the word out, sign up now if you want to be first on the list to find out what’s happening with the project!

Contact Jim Lacy at (608) 262-6850 with questions or for more details.

We announced back in early 2011 that the State Cartographer’s Office received Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) funding to research and develop a statewide Wisconsin orthoimagery business plan.  I’m happy to report work on the project is now “officially” underway.

The concept behind the project is straightforward.  Local, state, and federal government organizations in Wisconsin have been collecting imagery for many years.  More recently, coordination efforts such as the Wisconsin Regional Orthophotography Consortium (WROC) have resulted in cost savings and reduced effort for all involved.

However, as with any major project or initiative, it is reasonable (and prudent) to look back at past efforts and assess what works well, and what can be improved in the future.

To this end, we sought out the FGDC funding, and were fortunate enough to receive a grant that will allow us to gather extensive feedback from the community, and then based on that feedback, develop a formal business plan which outlines incremental improvements that can be made to the current status quo.

For more detailed background information on the project, please check out our brief pdfStatewide Orthophotography Planning infosheet, or view the slides from a presentation I delivered at the 2012 WLIA Annual Conference (see below). Note: Since my presentation in February, we requested and received an extension from FGDC that gives us more time to complete the project.  The time lines described in the presentation have since been modified.

Why an ortho business plan?

  1. Leaders expect to see a solid and defensible plan when you ask for resources.
  2. Resources are scarce, so having a good plan that outlines how we can cooperate is critical.
  3. Many local governments will acquire imagery in 2015. Now is the time shape future plans based on an objective analysis of past lessons learned.
  4. How can you develop future budgets if you don’t have a plan?
  5. A plan gives our community something to rally around, and aim for in the future.

Next Steps

To assist with the project design and implementation, we recently hired GeoPlanning Services of Orlando, Florida to help with the effort.  GeoPlanning Services has extensive experience developing statewide business and strategic plans, and will be helping us gather feedback from the Wisconsin geospatial community, interpret forthcoming survey results, conduct meetings around the state, and assist with the writing of the formal business plan.

I’m currently in the process of recruiting around a dozen individuals with a wide range of backgrounds to serve on a project steering committee.  The steering committee will provide feedback on our project design, help review documents, suggest ways for gathering input from the community, and more.

In addition, I will be spending a good chunk of my summer conducting interviews with anyone willing to talk about their past orthophotography acquisition experiences, and working with GeoPlanning to develop an online survey.  (yes, another survey!)  See the sidebar above to learn how you can help.

As the project manger, I’m always happy to discuss the effort with anyone interested.  Drop me a note anytime, or give me a call at (608) 262-6850. I look forward to your help and participation!