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Major Projects

Regional Address Points Dataset Top of Page

Go to the Address Workgroup page for details.

Exploring a New Street Centerline Collaborative Model Top of Page

September 2011 to January 25, 2012

A detailed work plan was developed by the Applied Geographic consultant team.  The proposed plan was sent to the individuals who participated in the September workshop for comment on January 25, 2012.

June to September 2011

The Applied Geographic consultant team interviewed representatives of six critical stakeholders.  A workshop was then hosted on September 26th to refine a vision for the next-generation street centerline data maintenance model.  The results of the stakeholder interviews were used to facilitate discussion at the workshop.  The results of the pre-workshop interviews and the workshop are presented in a document entitled “Stakeholder Workshop: Next generation Maintenance Model – Street Centerline Data (Minneapolis- St. Paul Metropolitan Area)

April 18, 2011

An Information Sharing meeting was hosted by MetroGIS.  The Applied Geographic team facilitated the meeting via an Internet connection.  The attendees included a wide range public interests and NCompass, the current provided of the regional street centerline dataset.  The group concluded that stakeholder interviews previously anticipated for Fall 2011 should begin immediately.

March 24, 2011

The MetroGIS Coordinating Committee authorized creation of a Project Advisory Team and directed the Staff Coordinator to organize a “clarify expectation” meeting to which representatives of several in-progress related efforts are to be invited. Refer to the Item 5d in the meeting summary and the agenda report for more information.

October 14, 2010

Negotiations are in progress with the selected contractor. 

July 2, 2010

Request for Proposals published.

Next Generation MetroGIS Needs Assessment Top of Page

December 2011 (project completed – define a path forward):

The AppGeo consultant team submitted their final project report and recommendations for several actions designed to enhance currently operational regional data solutions.  The consultant team also submitted a report to document recommendations to assist MetroGIS more fully utilize on-line collaboration tools for future efforts to identify desired enhancements to existing regional solutions.

The following next steps to act on several currently desired enhancements were endorsed by Coordinating Committee on December 15.  

Motion 1:

  1. Direct staff to speak with appropriate officials at MnGeo/other state agencies to determine if MnGeo is willing to explore the above-stated stakeholder needs regarding statewide land cover and municipal boundaries solutions.
  2. Ask MnGeo if a letter of request from the MetroGIS Policy Board would help them secure the permissions/ resources they need to accept responsibility to work on these needs. 

Motion 2: Direct its Chair and Vice Chair to work with support staff to take the following actions and report the results at Committee’s March for Committee action:

  1. Investigate interest among Committee members and survey participants to create or use an existing workgroup(s) to explore options to address the needs relating to above-cited parcel update frequency and municipal boundary accuracy needs.
  2. Contact individuals who requested improvement to the Land Cover Dataset and clarify their concern(s).
September –November 2011

Phase II began.  The initial activity involved an online survey to decide priorities.  The second component, which got underway mid-November seeks to use the Tricider online collaboration tool to generate ideas for how to accomplish priority enhancements.  Funding for this phase expires December 31.  The results are expected to be incorporated into MetroGIS’s 2012 work plan.

July 20, 2011

Phase I of this needs assessment concluded with the Policy Board’s acceptance of next steps to address needs and opportunities identified in the consultant’s report (Applied Geographics) and as explained in the agenda report presented to the Policy Board.

May to Mid-June 2011

Michael Terner, of Applied Geographics, drafted a project summary report to offer recommended next steps that MetroGIS should consider to address several priority needs identified during the Assessment.  The draft document was shared with MetroGIS leadership on June 6 for comment prior to finalizing it for presentation to the Coordinating Committee on June 23, 2011.  

April 20, 2011

Michael Terner, of Applied Geographics, summarized the key results of the MetroGIS Needs Assessment and the six policy questions that the Committee had raised at its March 24, 2011 meeting.  The Policy Board’s responses to these questions are presented in Item 5a of the meeting summary.

March 24, 2011

Michael Terner, of Applied Geographics, shared the results of the December 2010 pre-work workshop survey and January 13, 2011 MetroGIS Needs Assessment Workshop.  See the presentation slides, agenda report for the findings of the needs assessment survey and workshop.  Prior to attempting to offer recommendation on actionable next steps to address needs that had been document, the Committee identified six policy related topics for which it requested direction from the Policy Board. These issues are presented in Item 5b of the meeting summary.

February 28, 2011

A Proceed to Work Notice was issued to Applied Geographics (Boston MA) to serve as lead support for this project.  The project is tentatively anticipated to begin early summer, following completion of the Next-Generation MetroGIS Needs Assessment, also supported by Applied Geographics. 

A high-level statement of the study’s purpose, extracted from the complete Scope of Work follows:

“…vision for a new collaborative, multi-participant system model for contributing to and maintaining street centerline network for the Twin Cities region on a transactional basis.   A cross-sector solution is the goal, wherein related business drivers and roles and responsibilities are defined for non-government and government interests alike. The purpose of this feasibility study is to explore and test the practicality of such a collaborative model…”

Applied Geographics is also the lead support to develop a strategic plan for the Transportation for the Nation (TFTN) initiative.  The intent is that MetroGIS’s study will be able to leverage, possibly test, ideas developed for the TFTN initiative.  

December 2010 to January 13, 2011

A pre-workshop survey was conducted by the Applied Geographics in December 2010.  An invitation was sent by email to over 600 MetroGIS stakeholders, inviting them to participate in this pre-work shop survey.   Survey Monkey was used to conduct the survey.   A workshop, attended by 50 individuals, was then hosted at St. Kates College in the St. Paul.  Michael Terner of Applied Geographics began with a context setting presentation. The attendees then broke into three small groups for 90 minutes, each with an assigned a facilitator,  The participants then reconvened as a large group for 30-45 minutes.  The facilitator for each small group reported the top three ideas /needs identified by their small groups.  As a large group insight was offered on those needs, ideas and opportunities believed to be of the highest priority to the broad community.  (See the March 24, 2011 entry above for the results.)

October 14, 2010

Applied Geographics (Boston) has been retained to provide lead support to conduct MetroGIS’s Next-Generation Needs Assessment.  This project is expected to begin October 2010.  April 2011 is the target for completion.  See the Scope of Work for more information.  Contact Randall Johnson, MetroGIS Staff Coordinator, for further information. 

August 18, 2010

A Request for Proposals was issued on August 16, 2010 seeking a qualified consultant to assist with the conducting of a Next-Generation Needs Assessment for the MetroGIS community.  The deadline for submission of proposals is September 3, 2010.  Questions are due by Thursday, August 19, 2010. Click here for responses to questions from prospective proposers. They will be posted on or before August 23, 2010.

Measuring Public Value of Geospatial Commons: A MetroGIS Case Study Top of Page

This final report for this federal grant funded study was accepted by the FGDC (federal grant authority) on January 12, 2012, officially completing the study.  The final report and each quarterly report submitted during the duration of the study, beginning with the report for April – June 2010, can be viewed at

Excerpt from the Executive Summary - Final Report
(published January 12, 2012)

A clear understanding of benefit that can be realized through collaborative actions to address shared geospatial needs is critical to realizing the full vision of spatial data infrastructure (SDI) initiatives, such as MetroGIS. One element of this knowledge is to understand how public value is created when public producers of geospatial data openly share their data. Accordingly, the principal reason that the MetroGIS team proposed this “Quantify Public Value (QPV)” study was to prototype a method to quantify public value that can be created when geospatial data are shared. And, to do so in a manner in which local government policy makers can easily compare and contrast the costs of supporting their operations with and without participating in a geospatial commons.1

Although we were not able to quantify public value created (for reasons explained in the final report), we were able to demonstrate:

  • There is real and substantive potential to create public value when organizations collaborate within and across sectors to address shared interests. 
  • There is broad support for the effort needed to realize a geospatial commons in which a wide variety of cross sector interests actively participate.
  • “Accurate data” and “executive leadership” are the starting points for the chain of capabilities the study participants agreed are needed to accomplish shared interests.
  • A variety of stakeholders value or would value access to parcel data produced the seven counties, which comprise the Minneapolis- St. Paul metropolitan area. 
  • A path forward for continued work toward developing the ability to measure public value creation.  The shared values and interests that policy makers identified offer valuable insight and a basis for subsequent research, whether by MetroGIS or others, to develop actual measures to monitor public value creation (whether quantitatively or qualitatively) when organizations actively participate in a geospatial commons.

December 2011 to January 2012

The Study Support Team vetted a draft final report with the MetroGIS QPV Study Advisory Team on January 4.  The report contained detailed accounts of both major components of the broader Quantity Public Value Study (Defining Values and Defining Value of Parcel Data) as Attachments C and D.  The revised final document was accepted by the granting authority representative (Federal Geographic Data Committee) on January 12, 2011 and subsequently posted on their website.

October 14 to December 1, 2011

a) Five community of practice focus groups were facilitated by Professor Bryson from October 14 to November 30. The groups were comprised of policy makers and senior executives representing the following communities: 1st Responder, Business, Government, Non-Profit, and Utility. Each session lasted approximately 3-½ hours during which participant responses to several facilitation questions were arranged on large sheets of paper at the front of the room. Similar responses were grouped and placed in relative order of cause and effect. The results of each focus group were captured for the final “Defining Values” component study report.

b) The “word maps” created by each community of practice, described above, served as the foundation for the final event of the “Defining Values” component of the QPV Study – a workshop held on December 1.  Participants of the five focus groups were asked a series of questions to both discover commonalities among he interests, goals and capabilities of five cities communities of practice.

August 31, 2011

The MetroGIS QPV Study has entered a new phase. Professor John Bryson, University of Minnesota, agreed to lead a series of focus groups for MetroGIS.  The purpose of this research is to better understand values that policy makers, serving a variety of organizational types, use to decide on investments.  The study is entitled “Defining Values”.  This new phase is the result of the study team’s discovery1 last fall that the originally required GITA-ROI methodology is not appropriate for MetroGIS’s objectives.

To complement Prof. Bryson’s research and to gain more insight into actual uses and values attributed to use of parcel data, Francis Harvey is conducting an online survey entitled “Defining Parcel Data Value". The online survey targets MetroGIS stakeholders who use the MetroGIS Regional Parcel Dataset. The aim of the survey is to improve understanding of the business needs that drive stakeholder use of this dataset and the value/benefit they attribute to using it. 

The idea for this supplemental survey arose during discussions with advisors to the QPV Study about problems encountered by the study team while administering the GITA-ROI methodology, in particular, the realization that existing government accounting and documentation systems fail to capture information needed to offer insights into value accrued from use of geographically-referenced parcel data.  For more information click here.

These two research activities are distinct and participation in one does not preclude taking part in the other.

1 The basis for this finding is provided in the 3rd and 4th quarter 2010 project status reports submitted to the FGDC. 

June 3, 2011

A Request for Proposals was published to secure a consultant to assist with the next phase of the study – “Defining Values”.  If a qualified proposal is received, the study is expected to resume in August 2011.

April 29, 2011

The Federal grant administrators granted a one-year time extension from April 29, 2011 to April 2012. See the 1st Quarter 2011 Project Report for the accomplishments made January 1 to March 31, 2011 toward developing a methodology to measure public value creation potential if the current parcel data were to be placed into the public domain.

March 24, 2011

The Federal grant administrators granted a one-year time extension from April 29, 2011 to April 2011. See the 1st Quarter 2011 Project Report for a general description of the revised work plan, which proposes to move forward with a methodology developed by the local project team.  

December 8, 2010

The Federal grant administrator acknowledged the finding that the GITA-ROI methodology was not appropriate for the MetroGIS study objectives and encouraged the MetroGIS team to submit a proposed revised work plan hat involved development of a “Quantify Public Value” methodology that we deemed appropriate for our needs.  The administrator stated that a no-cost time extension would be granted if requested.

October 14, 2010

Task 1 was completed to the extent possible; in short, the results were not what we expected.  The purpose of Task 1 was to assess the value (cost versus benefits) of Hennepin geo-enabling the parcel data it produces to support of the County’s business functions. Unfortunately – the GITA ROI methodology required to be used as a condition of grant funding was found to not be appropriate for our study objectives.  The Task 1 Report  explains in detail the issues encountered. 

April to August 2010

By mid August 2010 Task 1 of 4 was nearing completion.  It focused on cost and benefits internal to Hennepin County for utilizing geospatial technical to create, management, use parcel data in support of the County’s business functions.  Task 2 is anticipated to begin in early September. The  fact sheet V2 provides an overview of the study objectives, milestones, and progress update.

In April 2010, $50,000 NSDI Category 5 CAP Grant was awarded to the MetroGIS Quantify Public Value Study.  See the awarded proposal for the study objectives and general methodology.  The Study Support Team (Francis Harvey, Randall Johnson and Danielle Scarfe and Molly Managan with W4Sight, LLC - Chicago) attended training in Raleigh North Carolina on GITA’s Return on Investment methodology in May.  The study officially started in June 2010.  A project fact sheet V1 was developed to explain the project to prospective interviewees among Hennepin County staff.  The final project report is expected to be submitted to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) in June 2011.  For more information go to the project website.

March 29, 2010

Request for Proposals - Measuring Public Value of Geospatial Commons: A MetroGIS Case Study (includes Questions/Answers)
(4/7/2010) Note: the RFP and subsequent Questions/Answers are provided in the same document.

  • Summary of topics covered by the GITA ROI methodology that is the foundation of this proposed MetroGIS Quantify Public Value (QPV) study
Standard for Digital Stormwater System Data Exchange Pilot Project Top of Page

December 2010

Go to the Standard for Digital Stormwater System Data Exchange Pilot Project document for details.

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