Wisconsin Geospatial News

Statewide geospatial information strategy summit planned for January 14, 2014

A day-long geospatial strategy summit has been planned for January 14, 2014, in Madison. The summit is being organized by the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA), the Wisconsin Geographic Information Coordination Council (WIGICC) and the Land Information Officers Network (LION). The idea for the summit grew out of a WIGICC working group focusing on geospatial information strategy for the state. The purpose of the summit is to reach out to stakeholders in the geospatial community to gather ideas and thoughts on what a geospatial strategy should entail, and then communicate these ideas to state government, especially the Department of Administration responsible for administering the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP).

The summit is modeled after a similar event convened by WLIA in March 2013 to discuss the proposed 2013-2015 state budget. The goal of that event was to develop consensus around a legislative amendment to the budget to better secure the objectives of the WLIP. 

A statewide geospatial information strategy is a roadmap for completing and managing statewide geospatial data and services. The strategy sets in place the vision, guiding principles and priorities for developing these data and services, sharing them effectively, ensuring sustainability, coordinating across the stakeholder community, and promoting increased awareness and expertise throughout the state. Wisconsin’s most current geospatial strategy document, Wisconsin Location Matters, is from 2007 and needs to be updated to reflect the current technological, economic and political climate in the state.

Why Now?

There are several reasons why the time is right for the geospatial community to act. First, Act 20 (the state’s 2013-15 budget) has significant implications for geospatial information capability in the state. Act 20 calls for the creation of a digital statewide parcel map. However, there are other geospatial layers that deserve attention as well, including aerial photography, street centerlines, elevation data, geodetic control, address points, hydrography, land cover, soils, and so on. The digital parcel map initiative represents only one of several critical geospatial data layers needed in Wisconsin. A comprehensive strategy is needed to define priorities for the development, access and sustainability of all of these layers. Act 20 opens the doorway to this dialog by providing a first concrete business case (parcels) but it would be unfortunate if the effects of Act 20 ended there.

Act 20 also significantly increases the funding available for geospatial activities in the state through the WLIP. The Act created a segregated appropriation with anticipated revenue expected to rise from an annual average of $2.4 million in 2013 to approximately $8.4 million by 2015. (More details are provided in the 2013 WLIP Report.) By developing a strategic plan through an engaged community-based process, Wisconsin can move forward in geospatial data creation that benefits the community as a whole.

More of the background and rationale for the Summit is provided here

Intended Results

The goal of the Summit is to arrive at a consensus course of action for a strategic plan and share these results with WLIP administration at DOA. The result of the Summit will not be a strategic plan itself, but rather a plan for this plan. The objective is to assist the DOA in developing a strategic planning process that is mutually beneficial, aligned to stakeholder needs, and tied to the parcel map implementation plan as required by Act 20.

Details on the Summit

The Summit is planned for 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. It will be held at the Lyman F. Anderson Agricultural and Conservation Center at 5201 Fen Oak Drive in Madison. The Summit will be facilitated by Learon Dalby, Senior VP at Sanborn. Learon also facilitated the March, 2013 event.

Summit organizers have sent invitations to a host of Wisconsin organizations, including the following: WI Association of Assessing Officers, WI Counties Association, WI County Code Administrators, WI County Surveyors’ Association, WI County Treasurers Association, WI Department of Administration (DOA), WI DOA Chief Information Officer, WI DOA Geographic Information Officer, WI Department of Revenue, WI Economic Development Corporation, WI Geographic Information Coordination Council, WI Land Information Association, WI Land Information Officers Network, WI Land Title Association, WI League of Municipalities, WI Real Property Listers Association, WI Realtors Association, WI Regional Planning Commissions, WI Register of Deeds Association, WI Public Service Commission, WI Society of Land Surveyors, WI State Agency Geographic Information Coordination Team, WI State Cartographer, WI Towns Association, WI Chapter of the American Planning Association, WI Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ayres Associates, and Esri.

If you have ideas or thoughts, please talk to your respective organization or association. If you know of other groups that should be invited, please contact Justin Conner or Jon Schwichtenberg.