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NYS ITS GIS Program Office

Geographic Information Systems Clearinghouse

Standards and Data Coordination Work Group
Meeting Notes
April 8, 2008

Albany, NY: Cheryl Benjamin (NYS CSCIC), John Borst (NYS CSCIC), Didem Cakmak (NYS PSC), Rodger Coryell (NYS CSCIC), Steve Emerick (NYS CSCIC), Ray Faught (NYS CSCIC), Mark Giddings (NYS DOH), Eric Herman (NYS Thruway), Jeff Herter (NYS DOS), Frank Kenney (USGS), Gwen LaSelva (NYS DOH), Michael Martel (NYS DA&M), Todd Nelson (NYS DCJS), Michael Praeger (NYS CSCIC), John Wingfield (NY Power Authority)
By Teleconference: Ed Freeborn (NLECTC-NE), Dwight Hughes (USGS-GNIS), Cathy Keenan (USDA-NRCS), Linda Watson (University of Alabama)

Upcoming Meetings - July 15, September 30 & January 6.

Review/Approve 03/24/2007 Meeting Minutes - Added more details to the On-going Activities section of the meeting notes.  Revised minutes approved for posting on the Clearinghouse.

News Items
March GIS Coordinating Body Meeting - The following items were noted:

NYSDOP Update - Ray Faught ( provided the following update:

Clearinghouse Update - The Geospatial Summit will be held on May 21, 2008 at the Welych Allyn Lodge in Skaneateles. More information and on-line registration for the event can be found at There are now 760 NYS GIS Data Sharing Cooperative members.

NYS Streets & Address Data Update - Cheryl Benjamin ( provided the following update:

Outreach Activities - John Borst ( announced that the "'Introduction to GIS Web Services"' workshop offered from December 2007 through March 2008 was very successful. A total of 455 people attended and positive feedback was received at all venues regarding workshop content.

USGS-Federal Data/Coordination Activities - Frank Kenney ( distributed a copy of his Federal Activities Report that was presented at the March GIS Coordinating Body meeting.  Of note is that requests for federal funding assistance totaling over $800,000 have been placed for NYS DOP orthoimagery and LiDAR data collection projects. Frank also noted that the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) flew NYS in 2006.  The 1 meter natural color leaf-on orthoimagery is available for viewing at or for purchase from or

SSURGO Soils Mapping Status - Cathy Keenan (, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), announced that outside of New York City, Allegany County and parts of Franklin, Lewis, Herkimer and Onondaga counties, SSURGO Soils digitizing has been completed in New York State (see attached county status map). Completed data for the SSURGO certified counties can be ordered or downloaded on-line at Currently revisions are underway along the state boundary and NRCS is piloting a web feature service.

State Agency Advisory Group - Next meeting will be June 17 at NYS OPRHP's Peebles Island office.

Special Presentation – GNIS Overview, Usage, and Maintenance
Dwight Hughes, USGS, provided a live webex presentation on the USGS’ Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). GNIS ( is an on-line searchable database of physical and cultural geographic features. The database contains the federally recognized name of features as well as alternate names and spellings as determined by the US Board of Geographic Names (BGN). Of note:

Linda Watson, a Place Names Researcher/Project Director at the University of Alabama, Department of Geography, discussed the NYS GNIS Phase II project regarding geographic names data compilation in New York State. This is the University of Alabama's 15th contract with USGS for GNIS updating and they are 2 years into their 4 year contract for NYS names. Updates have been completed for the New York City metropolitan area, extending into Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties and the Buffalo metropolitan area. They use any GIS files, historical maps or other data they can obtain during their research.  Meeting participants recommended other potential data sources for the GNIS research. It was suggested that requests for specific data or regions be posted to the GIS-NY list as a means to tap into the broader NYS GIS community.  Frank Kenney, NYS’ USGS liaison, also offered to coordinate source requests.

On-Going Work Group Activities
Proposed GPS Guidelines Update - Cheryl Benjamin ( reported that the GIS Coordinating Body had approved the GPS Guidelines at their December meeting and the Guidelines were pending final CSCIC executive approval.

New Work Group Activities
Spatial Data Reference Codes - The Work Group will revisit the Spatial Data Reference Codes page ( and verify relevancy of existing codes, verify existing links, add/update data file formats, and identify any additional codes to add to the listing.

Next Meeting:  July 15, 2008
Location:  CSCIC, 30 South Pearl Street, 11th Floor, Albany, NY