Geospatial Strategic Planning in New Mexico
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Geospatial Strategic Planning in New Mexico

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Industry News
Geospatial Strategic Planning in New Mexico
by Susan Smith

George Clarke, Committee Chair, State Geospatial Strategic Plan, spoke on the topic of “GeoSpatial Strategic Planning: New Mexico Thrills” at the ESRI Southwest User Group meeting in Santa Fe October 29-November 1. Clarke is also State Agency Representative - Governor's Geospatial Data Acquisition Coordination Committee Coordinator, and GIS Coordinator for the Office of the State Engineer (OSE).

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Geospatial strategic planning in New Mexico takes into account the state’s rich data sources, natural resources and the volunteer efforts of the geospatial community over the past 25 years. High on the priority list is the need for a geographic information officer, who would be able to coordinate GIT in the state, i.e. (from the New Mexico Geospatial Strategic Plan):

• Enhance local governance using streamlined business processes among state, federal, local, and tribal agencies.
• Maximize value for committed funding in numerous GIT projects.
• Reduce or eliminate duplication of efforts and resources among existing agencies.
• Provide leadership and instruction regarding the accumulation, dissemination, analysis, and management of geographic information.
• Educate citizens, state agencies, local governments, and policy makers to benefit from GIT.
The GIS Strategic Plan (GSP) meets these needs to achieve both short and long term benefits for the State. The GSP represents the first step toward expanding a statewide enterprise GIT infrastructure into an enterprise decision support technology involving:
• GIS coordination.
• Secured information sharing among government entities.
• Latest data and advanced service delivery by enhancing the existing state clearinghouse.
• Projects built for common application and data requirements.
• Shared GIT goals that satisfy the operational business needs of all users.
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250 people attended a GIS Summit to discuss the need for a GIO. Proponents of the GSP conducted a survey of other states to find out how many of them had a GIO and how many wanted one. The surveys were conducted by New Mexico contractor, Weston Solutions, via phone. The states interviewed represent a cross section from rural, west, east, small, large, with varying levels of geospatial development. Over 30 questions were asked by each of the 18 states’ GIS/GIO lead.

A significant majority (80%) of the interviewed states that do not have a Geographic Information Officer (GIO) office believe a GIO office is needed and are actively pursuing a GIO office. About a quarter of the states interviewed currently have a GIO office.

Questions asked included what state clearinghouses had formal Memorandum Of Understandings (MOU) and/or Service Level Agreements (SLA) to provide data/services on behalf of state/local agencies. Did any States have "alliances", i.e. where sensitive or private companies such as utilities information can be used for public good, yet are protected.

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By acting as an enterprise, New Mexico can achieve GSP goals and objectives, and strive to bring together the various GIS agencies into a single organization with unified vision and purpose.

Contributing to the awareness of a need for a GIO was the state Digital Orthophoto Project which took an enormous amount of collaborative volunteer time and has been a huge success. A full time GIO with funds to support services would alleviate the pressures caused by relying on volunteer hours. “We are now producing terrain data for the State and have run into a funding shortfall for that project,” noted Clarke.

I reported on the New Mexico Digital Orthophoto Project in 2005. This collaborative effort was accomplished separately from the National Digital Orthophoto Program (NDOP) because much of New Mexico’s land is federal and under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Also there is not as much farmland as compared to other states, to merit National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) coverage.

The project is a one meter DOQQ project initiated three years ago, and because of lack of funding, has relied heavily on multi-agency cooperation. Resource Geographic Information System/Earth Data Analysis Center (RGIS/EDAC) with Mike Inglis as chair of the Governor's Committee (GDACC) was the focal point for much of this activity. State agencies working to get this initiative off the ground, included the office of the State Engineer, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Safety, Finance and Administration, Cultural Affairs, Energy Minerals and Natural Resources, Tax and Revenues, State Land Office, Game and Fish and others. Federal contributors included the Farm Service Agency (FSA), NRCS, USGS, Jicarilla Apache Reservation, BLM, FEMA, Kirtland Air Force Base, and Bureau of Reclamation.
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The effort has created a great product that includes Natural Color and Color IR Aerial Imagery, and has been available for free download for some time now. All data were reprocessed to county standards (SPC/mosaic) and delivered to local governments on portable drives.

New Mexico has to its credit a number of firsts in terms of its geospatial progress. It was one of the first states to create a council (NMGIC) 20 years ago, one of the first states to acquire a small line item fund to support a clearinghouse (RGIS), in the early 90s developed a state agency presence with the New Mexico Geospatial Advisory Committee (GAC) that was revived seven years ago, and crafted an Executive Order to create the Governor's Geospatial Data Acquisition Coordination Committee (GDACC) in 2003. This dictum was designed to meet the state's mapping priorities and requirements, assess, prioritize and request aerial and mapping data and coordinate these needs with New Mexico congressional delegation, and identify funding sources.

All in all, the state has experienced huge successes with very limited state funding. Yet the story doesn’t end there. During the last two state legislative sessions, New Mexico has submitted bills that would create a geographic information officer position (GIO) and provide funding The support has been widespread. Yet in each case the legislation went all the way to the Governor’s desk, but was then stripped of funds.

According to Clarke, there is no lack of qualified people who could be the GIO. “The difficulty for the GIS professional is how to market the idea to state legislature. We know it’s of great value to have a coordinator and fund services to support a coordinator. The legislature says it’s a good idea but there isn’t any funding.”

New Mexico GIS Advisory Committee (NMGAC)
Resource Geospatial Information System (RGIS) -State Geospatial Clearinghouse
New Mexico Geographic Information Council (NMGIC)
Earth Data Analysis Center (EDAC)

If you have had experiences with geospatial strategic planning or acquiring a state geographic information officer that you would like to share, please write to the editor.

Top News of the Week

Google announced the release of a new iPhone application that integrates its multiple services into a single interface, making it easy for iPhone users to find, use and switch between Google search, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and more. To use the application, iPhone users simply point their web browser to  
IntelliOne, the premier traffic information company that measures speed instantly on virtually all roadways, announced an industry and market first: mashup of the Company’s Live!Traffic information for the greater Tampa, Florida area with Google maps. Unique to IntelliOne, coverage for the traffic congestion information includes freeways, highways and major city streets throughout Tampa-St. Petersburg. A link to the site may be found at  


Geospatial Mapping Systems, Inc. a privately-held infrastructure technology company specializing in the mapping and management of underground pipeline systems has entered into a Letter of Intent to be acquired by Kayenta Kreations, Inc.

The proposed transaction is subject to certain conditions and will involve a change in stockholder control of the Company, change of management, change of corporate name, change of corporate headquarters and other significant matters. The proposed acquisition is expected to involve a 2.8 to 1 forward stock split of the currently outstanding shares of common stock of Kayenta. Subject to the conditions precedent the transaction is proposed to be completed on or about January 14th, 2008.


Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging announces its participation in the Middle East Spatial Technology (MEST) Conference & Exhibition, December 10–12, 2007, at the Bahrain Conference Center, Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Bahrain.

Liam McGeown, Director of Business Development, and Christian Lempereur, Manager of Business Development at Leica Geosystems are keynote speakers at the conference, presenting the latest spatial technology and enterprise solution information in stands 16, 17 and 18. For more information about MEST 2007, please visit the website.

Leica Geosystems also announces the opening of Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging India Private Limited, with its headquarters in Gurgaon (New Delhi), India.

ESRI will host an online seminar this month that will help Java developers learn about how to build custom GIS Web applications using ArcGIS Server.

Building Applications with ArcGIS Server Using the Java Platform will air on ESRI’s Training and Education Web site  on December 13, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Pacific standard time).

This seminar is designed for experienced Java developers. People unfamiliar with ArcGIS Server will benefit from watching the free training seminar, What’s New in ArcGIS Server at 9.2.

GeoSpatial Training Services, LLC, a provider of e-learning and instructor led GIS training courses, is pleased to announce the release of its latest e-learning course entitled "Mastering KML in Google Earth".

KML is an XML based file format used to display geographic data in Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for Mobile. Data displayed in Google Earth is contained in KML files, and in our new e-learning course you will master the use of KML for creating advanced applications.

The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) and Intergraph Corp. have extended their long-standing relationship through a new executive appointment to the association's board of directors. Volker H. Elste, business development executive in Intergraph's utilities and communications unit, has been appointed to GITA's board.

Sessions on technical trends in GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry, LIDAR, and new and potentially disruptive technologies will be among agenda topics at the MAPPS annual winter conference, to be held January 31-February 4, 2008 at the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California.

Early registration and the preliminary conference schedule can be found by visiting the MAPPS website.

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC(R)) seeks public comment on a draft OpenGIS(R) Encoding Standard (OGC KML) for KML 2.2, a XML-based encoding schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization on existing or future web-based online maps (2d) and Earth browsers (3d).

The draft OGC KML 2.2 standard formalizes the KML 2.2 model and language while remaining backwards compatible with existing KML 2.2 files. In comparison with the Google KML 2.2 Reference, the draft standard defines:

- the KML 2.2 geometry encoding and interpolation model;

- an extension model in support of application profiles;

- conformance requirements and test cases.

The draft OpenGIS KML v2.2 Encoding Standard is available here .


Adapx announced it has received $10 million in Series A funding from OVP Venture Partners and the Paladin Capital Group. The company also announced that it has appointed technology veteran, Ken Schneider, as Chief Executive Officer and President. Adapx will use the additional capital to further enhance and market its Capturx product suite, to meet the growing need for a better field data management solution in the GIS, Geospatial, CAD, and Forms markets.


Geospatial data collection and highway survey specialist Yotta DCL has appointed Sarah Germaney as Northern UK Account Manager. Sarah joins Yotta DCL from English County Council West Sussex to support customers and promote the company's innovative surveying services throughout northern England.

Aerial mapping specialist BlueSky has made two new appointments to its existing Commercial Sales Team. Adam Foyston and Hassan Salleh have been appointed as sales executives with responsibility for managing existing accounts and developing new opportunities and sales within specific vertical markets. Foyston and Salleh will both be based at the company’s Leicestershire headquarters.

UK GIS supplier GGP Systems has appointed Dr. Frank Rhodes to the position of business development manager. Previously business development manager for the leading international defence and security company, QinetiQ, Rhodes has more than 25 years experience of delivering business, ICT consultancy and project management solutions to government clients.

New Products

ESRI’s ArcGIS 9.3 software, the next scheduled release of ESRI’s ArcGIS suite, will take full advantage of the new spatial technology in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2008. With the November SQL Server 2008 community technology preview (CTP), Microsoft Corporation is extending the use and value of spatial technology by integrating it directly within SQL Server at no additional cost.

Blue Marble Geographics announces the release of Geographic Calculator 7.0, a major version upgrade of the Geographic Calculator that features many new enterprise-wide collaboration tools and core library enhancements. These tools extend the power of the Calculator to enable geospatial data definition, manipulation and management across the user’s organization. This is the most comprehensive upgrade to the Geographic Calculator since it’s inception. Blue Marble’s coordinate conversion technology is used worldwide by thousands of GIS analysts at software companies, universities, oil and gas companies, civil engineering, surveying, technology, enterprise GIS groups, government and military organizations.

Encom announced the release of its professional geophysical interpretation package Encom PA 7.0, along with a change in name, feature packaging and a free viewer. Encom PA was previously named Profile Analyst, but the product has matured well beyond its sophisticated airborne EM profiling origins. Managing Director, David Pratt says that “the old name failed to express the product’s rich integrated, interactive environment that includes sophisticated image analysis and 3D object creation, editing and visualization capabilities”.

MicroImages has released extensive, integrated support for the creation, storage, and management of geotagged photos in its TNT product line. Geotags collected by the camera for locations can be imported and stored with the photos. If the photos are not taken with geotags, their locations can be interpolated from the separate, concurrent GPS logs. If no GPS logs are available, the locations can be added by plotting the photos on available orthophotos or using Google Earth and importing the KML file.

The Carbon Project announced the release of a new version of its free Gaia software, Gaia 3.1 Beta 2, as part of the 2007 National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP). Gaia 3.1 is a free Windows application for accessing, visualizing and sharing location content, including the latest NSDI Framework Data services.

Gaia 3.1 Beta 2 may be downloaded at no cost here.

3D Laser Mapping, the UK based laser-scanning specialist, has developed a mining industry version of its world renowned StreetMapper system. MineMapper uses the latest mobile laser scanning technology combined with high precision positioning systems to capture highly accurate and detailed measurements on the move.

MineMapper is ideally suited for the mining environment as the system can be deployed on a range of vehicles to suit all terrains. When combined with 3D Laser Mapping’s SiteMonitor software it can automatically create detailed 3D models of the mining operation including highly accurate depletion surveys, slope stability models, stockpile measurements and mine wide terrain map updates.

QCoherent Software, provider of Limitless LIDAR™ software tools, announces the release of LP360 v1.5.1 and LP360 Classify v1.5.1. With an advanced architecture for accessing and processing LIDAR points, LP360 is the LIDAR tool of choice for integrating and processing LIDAR point clouds in ArcGIS. LP360 v1.5.1 provides ESRI users with an uncompromised ability to leverage enormous LIDAR point cloud datasets.

Around the Web

Turn Back. Exit Village. Truck Shortcut Hitting Barrier, by Sarah Lyall, December 4, 2007, The New York Times (registration required) - In Great Britain, G.P.S. navigation devices often fail to appreciate that the shortest route is not always the best route.

GPS Shortcuts Steer Trucks to English Towns NPR, All Things Considered- December 5, 2007

Upcoming Events
3D GeoInfo'07
Date: December 12 - 14, 2007
Place: Aula Conference Centre of Delft University of Technology
Delft, Netherlands
The Workshop is intended as an interactive platform for both presentations on state-of-the-art research and discussions on open problems. The workshop will consist of a mixture of single-track presentations and discussion (PD) sessions and parallel working group (WG) sessions on specific themes (Requirements, Acquisition, Modelling, Analysis, Visualisation), according to the following format: current problems to be solved, potential solutions, and recommendations by WG (discussion under coordination of a chair and final presentation of the results at the closing plenary session). The presentations will be selected based on their quality by the scientific program committee (peer review of full papers). The setting of this innovative event will be the ancient city of Delft.
b-GIS@Asia 2007
Date: December 17 - 19, 2007
Place: Technopark
Trivandrum, India
Trans Asiatic GIS Society is pleased to announce its conference on GIS titled “b-GIS@Asia” from 17th to 19th of December 2007 at Technopark, Trivandrum, India. b-GIS@Asia is about discovering how GIS empowers organizations and demonstrating the role of GIS in organizational business with the intention of urging entrepreneurs, and/or organizations, to invest in GIS for profit or operational performance.
Mapping California Communities Workshop: An Introduction to GIS and Community Analysis
Date: January 4, 2008
Place: San Diego Training Ctr. 350
10th Ave. Ste 950 , San Diego, USA
Participants will learn how to easily create thematic maps of their own data and display spatial trends in information.