LOGIS Blog

Happy New Year!

Date Posted:

Happy-New-YearLOGIS GIS has had a very dynamic 4th quarter of 2016 and are expecting an even more exciting 2017.  Below are some the highlights.

As you may know, we are very close to a preliminary release of a new LOGISmap.  This release will be limited to only a few cities and a few staff in order to solicit feedback on the initial functionality and user experience.  We will continue to add features and functionality to the product until each of our member cities is ready to fully replace their current LOGISmap.  This new version of LOGISmap is not constrained by browser or device type.  It will run on your desktop PC or mobile device in IE, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.  And a general access version will not require a log in.

Our ArcGIS Server site is in the process of being upgraded, including new, faster servers and a dedicated subnet.  This upgrade will be complete by March 1.  We are also evaluating ArcGIS 10.5.  An Enterprise software upgrade will be dependent upon compatibility with our member’s asset management products, but Desktop 10.5 presents very little change from any 10.x version.  One of our two license managers already supports ArcGIS Desktop 10.5.

We are working toward scheduling a GIS Technology Review at several of our cities this month.  This presentation and round table discussion is primarily directed toward our smaller member cities and those transitioning through our GIS Specialist staff change.  However, if you’ve not been contacted and would like LOGIS GIS staff to coordinate a GIS technology presentation at your city, please call or e-mail me as soon as possible.

We are also welcoming two more cities to the LOGIS GIS group in 2017; White Bear Lake (Nov 2016) and South St. Paul (Jan 2017).  Our GIS membership now stands at thirteen cities.

As has been typical of the past few years, our member cities determine their unique staff augmentation requirements for the coming year and LOGIS GIS staff coordinate our time to fulfill each city’s needs.  Our 2017 schedule has a few dates that still need to be verified but will be finalized by the end of this week.

Finally, a reminder that Derrick Frese started in mid-September as our new GIS Specialist.  He has been working diligently to take over many of the tasks and staff augmentation responsibilities of our previous GIS Specialist as well as many other things we toss his way.  Derrick is now fully engaged with Edina, Golden Valley, and Richfield.  He will likely take on one more of our member cities early this year.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Robbinsdale and Eden Prairie join LOGIS GIS Services Group

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Earth and MoonBeginning in early March, Robbinsdale and Eden Prairie became the first two LOGIS members to benefit from our new GIS Managed Services offerings.

Robbinsdale, with a very small existing GIS staff and tight budget for GIS technology saw an opportunity to leverage our suite of GIS Managed Services in a way that will introduce GIS technology to virtually all city staff.    By early April they will have access to LOGISmap, our secure, scalable, user managed, on-line mapping tool.  They’ve also elected to have LOGIS GIS staff assist with general spatial data management, a few special projects, and will work with LOGIS to construct and implement two additional, purpose-focused GIS applications in 2014.

Eden Prairie was a LOGIS GIS member city from 2002-2009.  Since 2010 they have experienced some position turnover that has slowed their GIS evolution.  Through LOGIS’ GIS Managed Services options, EP was able to select a very cost effective staff augmentation option for 2014 that will give a boost to their GIS and assist their staff with gaining a stronger understanding of the current state of their GIS technology for a more successful future.

To learn more about LOGIS GIS Managed Services please contact Ben Verbick, GIS Coordinator.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Public Safety Systems, Addresses and the Geofile

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The public safety suite of applications at LOGIS relies on accurate location based information contained in the “Geofile”.  Reliable location data is a must for dispatching police, fire and medical units.  Also, reports and crime analysis need this accuracy.  The Geofile in use with the current system is made up of street names and address ranges.  It facilitates the display of location or spatial data like parks, lakes, hydrants, etc.

The new suite of public safety software from Motorola, known as PremierOne, will have a Geofile that also includes address points.  An address point identifies a specific geographic or spatial entity and can be associated with an individual address.  Physical accuracy will therefore be enhanced, so will dispatching, reporting and mapping.  The expectation is that the maintenance of the address point features of the Geofile will be a collaborative effort across the jurisdictions.  Finally, PremierOne as well as the current public safety system suite at LOGIS utilize GIS software from ESRI, the national leader.

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Category: Computer Aided Dispatch,Geographic Information Systems (GIS),Law Records Management

LOGIS GIS is helping our cities standardize mapping for disaster response and damage assessment

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One of the many ways LOGIS GIS assists our public safety group and other emergency responders from our member cities is through the compilation and delivery of paper and digital “cab books”.   These map books are specific to the jurisdictions of the cities and have, in recent iterations, been designed with the U.S. National Grid system as the primary focus of the page layout.

The U.S. National Grid (USNG) is based on a common geographic projection and rectangular grid system (Universal Transverse Mercator).  A practical advantage over using geographic coordinates (latitude, longitude) is that USNG location references correlate directly to field measurements.  In other words, distances can be accurately measured between two locations easily, and the precision of locations and measurements can be maintained consistently across the state and across the nation. This is not true with geographic coordinates.

The compilation of our U.S. National Grid “cab books” has been a collaborative effort.  LOGIS GIS staff solicited assistance in sheet layout, design, and national compliance requirements from the city of Edina’s GIS staff and we acquired USNG data source information from Dakota County’s Office of GIS as well as other sources.  LOGIS GIS then compiled and delivered comb bound paper copies of the books to several of our GIS member cities and has created digital pages of the books for all of our GIS member cities.  Since many of the map layers of these books are updated regularly for a variety of other city GIS needs, the compilation procedure has been embedded in our enterprise GIS.  In this way LOGIS GIS, city, and agency staff can quickly and easily reproduce up-to-date replacement pages for their books whenever necessary.

Please contact the LOGIS GIS staff for more information about USNG “cab books” for your city.

For more information on the implementation of the U.S. National Grid in Minnesota, please see this article.  http://www.mngislis.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=445

Also see the following for information on the USNG as a state standard. http://www.mngeo.state.mn.us/committee/standards/usng/usng_standard.htm

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Category: Disaster Recovery,Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

ArcGIS 10 has arrived!

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The long awaited ArcGIS 10 has arrived.  LOGIS GIS and our member cities received ArcGIS 10 on June 30.  LOGIS staff immediately began a transition to full time use of ArcGIS 10 and expects to complete the transition in our office during the week of July 12.  The upgrade will include ArcGIS Desktop, our concurrent use license manager for ArcInfo and extensions, ArcReader, ArcSDE, and ArcGIS Server.

The GIS Policy Committee has discussed this transition and the roles that LOGIS GIS and our cities will have in this process.  Your city will fit into one of the following scenarios.

  1. Ready for upgrade immediately.  LOGIS GIS staff will assist with installs and licensing.
  2. Ready for upgrade immediately.  City will manage all installation and licensing.
  3. Upgrade schedule is dependent upon certification of other 3rd party software, for example, Cityworks, Cartegraph.  These cities may need to run a mixed version environment of ArcGIS products for 6-12 months.

LOGIS GIS and the GIS Policy Committee strongly recommend that all cities in scenarios 1 and 2 upgrade to ArcGIS 10 at their earliest convenience.

LOGIS GIS staff is now primarily supporting ArcGIS 10.  We will continue to run ArcMap 9.3 in a virtual machine environment until August 31, 2010.  With approval of the GIS User Group we will discontinue support for ArcGIS 9.x products at that time.

Since ArcGIS 10 training was offered in April we do expect that some end-users may need a brief refresher before they become proficient with the new software.  Please let us know if additional training is need for you or a staff member.

Enjoy ArcGIS 10.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Assessing Basemap Application Matures as a Collaborative Effort with LOGIS PDS

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In one of LOGIS GIS Service’s first efforts to directly foster collaboration among LOGIS GIS and all LOGIS business applications, the GIS group released AssessingBasemap in mid 2009. This month AssessingBasemap is moving through its first transition of “Display Year” and “Current Year” data for our Property Data System (PDS) users.  This group of users will be meeting later this month to discuss the successes and possible additional requirements of AssessingBasemap.

AssessingBasemap is a web mapping application that offers common map and query functionality to assessors and appraisers to evaluate property information from the LOGIS Property Data System.  It is secured to each individual city’s assessing staff.   The interface is enabled to display a configurable list of attributes for both “display year” data and “current year” valuation data.   The application’s data is unique by city but the interface and functionality is similar across all six PDS cities.

AssessingBasemap is a standard “out-of-the-box” web application using ESRI’s ArcGISServer template.  This template provides standard mapping capabilities such as map navigation, printing, searching, and feature attribute display.  This common functionality is provided to the end-user without having to write source code.  The application is intended to be simple in both form and function without incurring significant development expense and the user can navigate and consume the basics of the application through a common “hands-on” experience without the need for training.  And, since AssessingBasemap is a web application, no need for installation, update down-time, or OS compatibility concerns.

AssessingBasemap is supported by the LOGIS GIS team with additional database assistance from the PDS support group and is available to any LOGIS Property Data System city.  Please contact the LOGIS GIS team for additional information on AssessingBasemap and other GIS solutions.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS),Property Data

gGov Provides Easy Access to Map Data

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In mid-April LOGIS GIS began replacing our older versions of ParkFinder with the capabilities of gGov.

ParkFinder was an interactive map and query tool designed for our cities to offer the public a geographic way to search for parks and park facilities in their city.  Although ParkFinder was a very functional product, it’s time had passed in favor of technology improvements and its capabilities had become an inherent part of the design and function of gGov.

gGov is a web-based, interactive map tool that cities can use to geographically expose municipal map layers, places of interest, public amenities, documents, photos and other images.  Similar to MapQuest, Google Maps, etc., its interface is very simple and intuitive.  However, it offers the distinct ability for the city to directly use its own existing enterprise GIS data sets to easily and quickly modify, add, or remove map features and attributes to meet the current information demands of the public.  It can also leverage existing map services and information links offered by other organizations.  gGov replaces our older generation internet mapping applications like ParkFinder, putting nearly all of a city’s public facing interactive mapping needs in one application.  With gGov cities can present park and recreation facilities and amenities, street and utility information, property data, places of interest, polling locations, school districts, busing zones and routes, land use, zoning, construction sites and information, event routes…  virtually any geographic information the city uses or produces.

See the gGov ParkFinder links on city park and rec web sites for Eagan, Edina, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Hutchinson.  At these sites citizens can search for parks geographically by exploring the map, toggling aerial photos on/off, measuring distances for running/walking routes, and hovering over park sites to acquire additional information.  They can also filter their view of available parks by amenity.  For example, “show me only the parks that have picnic shelters”.  Some cities implementations of gGov ParkFinder include links to detailed park and trail maps, contact information, links to seasonal photos, and other helpful additions.  All of these features simply leverage existing web site links and the cities’ existing GIS map layers.

The LOGIS GIS staff continues to assist our GIS cities with the implementation and roll-out of gGov for ParkFinder and other public facing mapping needs.  Please contact LOGIS GIS for more information on gGov and its value to your web site.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

New Version of Geographic Information Software to be Deployed

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The LOGIS GIS staff has been busy preparing for the transition from ArcGIS v9.x to ArcGIS 10.  We became a beta test site for v10 in 2009 in preparation for this major release and are currently testing the ArcGIS 10 pre-release.

ArcGIS 10 is ESRI’s first offering of its complete software suite that is fully Windows 7 certified.  From a user perspective there are some major changes to the interface of ArcGIS desktop (ArcView and ArcInfo) and features that will make using ArcView easier and more efficient.  Overall performance is improved; editing is more streamlined; search functions eliminate much of the hunt/peck of previous versions.

Derek Lorbiecki, our GIS Specialist, offered “What’s New” training sessions for ArcGIS 10 during April, instructing a total of 75 ArcGIS end-users from our cities.  This is the highest attendance we’ve ever had for GIS training sessions at LOGIS.  We now wait anxiously for the full release from ESRI!

ArcGIS 10 is expected to ship in June.  When we get closer to the release date we will begin to schedule software upgrade assistance with those cities wishing to have LOGIS GIS staff assist with the upgrade, license distribution, and additional on-site instruction.

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Category: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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