Region 5 GIS Coordination Team Meeting Minutes

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office - Hadley, MA

The eighth and highly productive meeting of the Region 5 GIS Coordination Team was held on June 29 at the Regional Office. Linda Shaffer organized and chaired the meeting, which was attended by the following members:

Realty/Cartography and Spatial Data Services Linda Shaffer
Ecological Services Field Offices Kimber Sprankle
Coastal Ecosystems Programs Andrew MacLachlan

Representatives from the National Wetlands Inventory, the Refuge Planning/CCP Group, Refuge Field Offices, Realty/Acquisition Planning, Fisheries, and Atlantic Coast Joint Venture were unable to attend.

Kick Start GIS, (read on for explanation of name change from Jump Start GIS)

Attendees reviewed the User Interface and datasets using a handout provided by Andrew. We cross-checked Andrew's list of datasets vs. Linda's list to ensure that all are accounted for. No discrepancies were found.

We discussed providing metadata for the datasets at several points during the meeting. The decision was to include metadata for all datasets on the two CD's using the template in the "Data Descriptions" section of the User's Manual. We will complete and review all descriptive fields listed in the draft and expand the template to include a website address to browse for further information about the dataset and provide information on the attribute coding.

Specific action items are:

Linda: determine original source of Hamburg land use data digitized by NWI.
Andrew: create ArcView legend file (.avl) for EPA's MRLC data to explain how the data are coded.
Kimber: determine if .avl will work with ArcExplorer; research alternate method of providing MRLC legend in ArcExplorer if .avl doesn't pan out.
Andrew: create 3 separate ArcExplorer projects for Reg. 5 data, Hamburg data, mid-scale data.
Andrew: create 1 ArcView project using version 3.0(a or b) consisting of separate views that correspond to the 3 ArcExplorer projects.
Chris: provide coding metadata to Linda for the fish barriers dataset. Linda: review all metadata to ensure complete records in the Data Descriptions section of the User's Manual; create text file of this section to include on the CD's.

We then reviewed the User's Manual draft provided by Michelle Babione. Attendees will provide specific changes in writing to Michelle for inclusion in the Manual. Highlights of the discussion were:

Cover -

Welcome Page -

Getting Started section -

We discussed the instructions for how and where users should load the software and data off the CD's. The aeclient.exe file will be provided on both CD's. We will recommend that users load the data to the hard drive (provided they have sufficient space), but will include instructions on how to run the projects while reading data from the CD. Andrew will build the ArcExplorer and ArcView project files with relative rather than absolute paths. The CD's will not have an autorun feature.

How to Get Help section -

Region 5 Spatial Data Library section -

On-Line Sources of Free Data section -

National Wetlands Inventory Digital Dataset appendix -

Projections, Datums, and Documentation appendix -

What It Takes to Have a GIS appendix -

Region 5 GIS Coordination Team (last page) -

We then discussed a schedule for finishing the draft, testing the CD's and reviewing the User's Manual. We will plan on finishing the draft materials the week of July 17-22. Linda will arrange for the copying of 35 CD sets and User's Manuals (hardcopy) for the test. Each Team member will receive 3 packages to review and to pass out to whomsoever they feel is willing and able to provide a review. Marci Caplis of the Coastal Ecosystem Program joined the meeting at this point and offered to proofread the User's Manual prior to it's release. We will accomplish the draft review the week of July 25-30.

We will then review and incorporate comments and changes in early August and shoot for a release of the beta version in mid to late August. Kick Start GIS packages will be mailed to all field stations. Linda will check the RO for a mailing list of all Region 5 field stations from which to generate mailing labels. Linda will check on packaging materials (cardboard jewel case protectors, padded envelopes) and identify those who can assist in assembling the beta release packages. Linda will investigate the capabilities of the RO CD Publisher to determine how to create and import graphics for making CD labels and whether or not we can use the current supply of blank CD's for this project.

For outreach and marketing of the Kick Start GIS, Andrew and Marci volunteered to set up a brief session with the RDT in August. They subsequently scheduled an August 18 (9:30 am) briefing with the intent of informing the RDT that the project is nearing release and that it will be an excellent tool for field operations. Linda subsequently scheduled a July 18 (2:00 - 2:30 pm) briefing of the Program Supervisors to inform them of the features of the Kick Start GIS. This session will be a repeat of the RDT demo that Kris LaMontagne and Linda Shaffer conducted in May. Kimber will ask Marcia McNiff, GIS Course Leader at NCTC, if she is willing to brief the Region 5 Project Leaders at their conference August 14-17 at NCTCon the imminent release of the Kick Start GIS.

Final release will be made at the Region 5 GIS Workshop, tentatively scheduled for January 2001 after having the autumn to elicit any needed changes from the field users.

Attendees discussed the issue of a name conflict between the Jump Start GIS, the name we have been using for this project in its development phase, and the copyrighted Jump Start educational materials. We agreed to change the name from Jump Start GIS to Kick Start GIS to avoid any conflict.

Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for July 18 in the Regional Office. Linda Shaffer will reserve a room. At that meeting, we will: