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Common Information Needs

Emergency Preparedness

Overview of MetroGIS's Emergency Preparedness Information Need top of page

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 page.

Related Documents

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.

Dataset(s) that meet the Emergency Preparedness Information Need top of page

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 viewed here.

Background on MetroGIS's "Information Needs" Concept top of page

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:

  1. Refine the desired specifications identified at the Peer Review Forum,
  2. Identify desired data standards and guidelines,
  3. Identify desired roles and responsibilities for the custodian organization(s) - organizations responsible for data creation, maintenance, documentation, and distribution; and,
  4. 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.

Links to Emergency Preparedness Subgroups top of page

   Page last updated on October 16, 2006. Home   |   Search   |   Contact Us