In January 2003, in response to the significant amount of national
activity in this area that was in progress to address concerns raised in the
wake of the September 11, 2001 national tragedy, the MetroGIS Policy Board
added Emergency Preparedness as a priority information need for the MetroGIS
community. In 1996, the original thirteen
priority information needs of the MetroGIS community were identified.
Unlike the other thirteen priority information needs identified in 1996, the
Emergency Preparedness need is not documented in the MetroGIS Business
Objective Framing Model and, thus, there is no model fragment for it.
Click here for further information about MetroGIS's
Business Information Needs initiative.
The Emergency Preparedness Workgroup began meeting in early 2003. The
initial focus was on outreach activities designed to develop a rapport between
the Emergency Management and GIS communities. Subsequently, the
Governor's Council on
Geographic Information (GCGI) created a similar
committee in Spring 2003. The two groups met as a single
body to ensure close communication as their respective objectives materialized.
By Fall 2003, the two groups had separated but remain in close communication.
The chairpersons continue to be active in both groups to ensure they do not
duplicate efforts and that they move forward in a coordinated fashion.
As of November 2003, the MetroGIS workgroup had implemented an
organizational structure comprised of topical subgroups and a steering
committee. Each of the subgroups met separately to address specific topics
necessary to achieve high level
objectives (p. 2, item 5a) established by the MetroGIS Coordinating
Committee. On October 19, 2005, the MetroGIS Policy Board accepted a vision
proposed by the Workgroup. It outlined a partially tested vision that
identified targeted data themes and custodial roles and responsibilities to
collaboratively address common priority Emergency Preparedness Information
Needs. Click here to review the document that
explains this vision in detail. Testing, in a full production environment, was
proposed prior to seeking Policy Board endorsement as a best practice for the
region and acknowledged as an appropriate next step, with the understanding
that regular status updates would be provided to the Coordinating Committee, as
well as the Policy Board, when appropriate.
Information about the Workgroup's activities, members, subgroups,
meeting summaries, etc. can be accessed from the
Special Purpose Workgroups
Click here to view a
poster that the Workgroup created to explain its objectives at the 2003
Minnesota GIS/LIS Conference held in October of that year. Please note that it
is formatted to print 24"x24".
A brochure promoting the use of
GIS for emergency management was developed for the Governor's Homeland Security
and Emergency Management Conference, held March 9 and 10, 2005 in St Paul. The
brochure can be downloaded and printed
(double-side, then tri-fold.) Click here to view photos
from the conference.
The collaborative vision that has been
endorsed for testing and refinement identifies priority data themes, along with
organizational roles and responsibilities associated with the production,
maintenance, documentation, and distribution of the identified data priorities.
The data themes targeted for regional solutions, as of September 2005, can be
A central part of MetroGIS's work is to identify common information needs of GIS users in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Area and facilitate the policy and data specifications needed to address each of these common information needs.
An investigation to understand these common needs was conducted by MetroGIS from September 1996 to March 1997. The result of this study was the identification of thirteen priority common information needs of the MetroGIS community. Since that time, a priority function of MetroGIS has been to facilitate the development and/or assembly of regional datasets needed to address each of these common information needs.
Each information need is addressed through a replicable process. In general, the process begins by assembling a team of content experts and through a facilitated group process (Peer Review Forum), the team begins with the business object framing model fragment to identify dataset(s) required to meet the information need. In some cases, this process takes place in a forum of content experts and in other cases it is not such a formalized process because the dataset(s) that meet the information need are intuitively recognized.
Once the dataset(s) required to meet an information need is identified, a working group of content experts is created to:
- Refine the desired specifications identified at the Peer Review Forum,
- Identify desired data standards and guidelines,
- Identify desired roles and responsibilities for the custodian organization(s) - organizations responsible for data creation, maintenance, documentation, and distribution; and,
- Identify candidate custodial organizations that have a business need and appropriate expertise to carry out the desired roles and responsibilities.
The process is complete when the Policy Board has adopted, as policy for the MetroGIS community, parameters defined through the stated tasks. The parameters are posted on a Web page for each “MetroGIS endorsed regional dataset”. Once an endorsed dataset is operational, MetroGIS monitors user satisfaction to continually enhance it.
To learn more, please see the About Information Needs page and the pages for each endorsed regional dataset.