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MSDI Best Practices Review

  • 03/28/2012 10:55 AM
    Message # 870747

    Hello all,

    Please review the DRAFT MSDI Best Practices Proposal document available from the MAGIP Best Practices & Standards Page.  Click on the 'DRAFT MSDI Best Practices (Proposal)' link at the bottom of the MAGIP Best Practices and Standards page to access the document.

    This document will be presented at the 2012 Intermountain GIS Conference in Kalispel, MT during the MSDI Tract on Thursday, April 19th from 8:30 to 11:50.

    If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please subscripe to this post and we will discuss them here.  Thanks very much for your time,

    Chris Stump

    Last modified: 12/22/2016 8:38 AM | Meghan Burns (Administrator)
  • 03/29/2012 8:47 AM
    Reply # 871671 on 870747

    While any of these practices should be implemented for any GIS data in MT you are trying to share with others, I also agree that we should hold the MSDI Framework layers to a higher standard. By standardizing the data organization and distribution aspects of MSDI, it gives even more weight to the concept that these MT GIS Framework layers are special and should be treated as such.  If we are to hold a MSDI layer in such high regards, then I believe they should also lead the way in data organization and distribution.  This will, in turn, make them even more accepted as the definitive source for that data and lead to more support in their maintenance as well as financial needs.

    Two (2) of the best practices that stand out to me the most are those that speak to single source data packages and download sources.  With all the current web sites listing the MSDI layers as well as varying download sources, it is hard to understand which one to use and chips away at the concept that the MSDI layers are something to look up to and leading the way for GIS data in MT.  Specifically the practices of #7 “Create ONE download location for all MSDI layers” and tying it to #8 “Each MSDI download package includes ONLY its respective MSDI theme…” make a valid statement that we should have achieved as a  State long before this document was crafted.

    I support the overall concept of this proposed Best Practice and hope that it is seen as a goal for any MT GIS layer to achieve as well.  The document mentions that these standards could be used “as data distribution best practices for all GIS data” and each of the eight (8) practices could and should be implemented by anyone providing or hosting GIS data; in MT or elsewhere.

    Nat Carter

    Past MAGIP Board Member

    MT DEQ GIS Coordinator

  • 03/29/2012 11:49 AM
    Reply # 871764 on 870747
    Jason Danielson (Administrator)
    This document is a great way to begin promoting the importance of our MSDI Framework layers. As stated in the document, data distribution best practices for all GIS data may be the ultimate goal. MAGIP has consistently discussed the importance of promoting our MSDI layers, and to eventually create an easily accessible repository for its data. In support of this effort, MAGIP subsequently created an MSDI page with each Framework and contact information.

    The goals of the MSDI are focused on eliminating the duplication of effort among data producers, improving the quality of spatial data, reducing the costs of using spatial data, and increasing the availability of spatial data for Montana.

    This proposed document provides the information dedicated to achieving these goals. Importantly, it reiterates the concept of a central location for this data. Duplication of data exists (and will continue to exist) without a defined location. With the multitude of resources available (web mapping services, shapefiles, geodatabases, portals, etc.) it is impossible to efficiently confirm which is the definitive source (and the most current).

    One of the goals of the MSDI is to advance the Framework layers so they are "data you can trust" and the best available data for Montana.'

    In 2009, the MAGIP Technical Committee provided a "Technical Review' of the MSDI Framework Themes (page 55). In it, as part of the use and user buy-in, we recommended that ..." it is in the best interest of the GIO, MLIAC, and MAGIP to promote the use and visibility of framework layers across all sectors of the community". Creating MSDI Best Practice's will undoubtedly promote the visibility of MSDI while maintaining consistency of its layers.

    As a community and organization, I believe it is our best interest to create a location that provides the most accurate and most recent MSDI information possible.
    As proposed, this central location would provide the definitive resource for MSDI data. Providing multiple MSDI data formats, web services, and metadata in a central location can only help to make our MAGIP community more effective and efficient in our everyday environments.

    I support this document and its intentions, and I look forward to hearing from others...

    Thanks Chris,

  • 05/07/2012 9:40 AM
    Reply # 913717 on 870747

    I support these Draft Best Practices.  Striving to make GIS more readily accessible and digestible is an important endeavor.  And, I agree that it will result in more widespread use of the data. 

    Thanks for all of your hard work.


    GIS Specialist

    DEQ Coal Program

  • 05/08/2012 8:24 AM
    Reply # 914729 on 870747

    I couldn't agree more with the comments that have already been posted on this topic.  Having been involved with framework development in Montana since about 1994, this is long overdue.  As "technicians" we often assess our efforts by input from the current user community and not the community that is NOT easily finding our utilizing what the GIS community in Montana considers to be "data you can trust".   There should be a higher standard for MSDI and that effort should raise the bar for others who also distribute data.  Lead, don't follow.

    I'd also like to offer my kudos to Chris for stepping out and putting a draft document forward for consideration by the MAGIP community and to the MAGIP Technical Committee for supporting that effort.   MAGIP could use more folks jumping into the dialog to better the GIS landscape in Montana.

  • 05/14/2012 10:51 AM
    Reply # 919847 on 870747
    Meghan Burns (Administrator)

    From Chris: "I’d like to propose to the board we meet on June 15th starting at 9am. I’m hoping we can hold the MAGIP Board meeting for the first few hours, then have a moderated discussion with the theme stewards who have been testing and in some cases implementing the best practices to refine the best practices, and promote the refined best practices to the rest of the MAGIP membership for further revision and possible testing. I envision that forum discussion lasting most of the day. I currently have reserved DEQ Metcalf Room 111 all day for June 15th. Lee would you be interested/comfortable with moderating the proposed Data Distribution Best Practices?"

    Thanks Chris!

    I wanted to move this to the forum so that we could capture the discussion.

    June 15th (or around there) sounds great to me.

    I do have a couple of suggestions..

    1) What does everyone think of having it on neutral territory - say the new FWP Discovery Center?

    2) What about having a paid facilitator?

    John Mundinger, Creative Solutions

    1414 Hauser Blvd, Helena MT 59601


    Marc Scow



    2) What do people think about broadening this best practice to include ALL GIS data?

    This could be a great opportunity to make this a document that everyone is proud of and endorses. I think the more people that have input the better it will be. We might end up with a very similar document in the end or it may be completely different - either way it will be something that everyone will feel that they had a part in creating ...

    That's my 2 cents :) Thanks again for getting the ball rolling on this Chris!

    In further discussion with Chris I have volunteered to take over the responsibility of setting things up for this meeting..  Let me know if there are any objections! 



  • 05/23/2012 2:26 PM
    Reply # 928748 on 870747
    Meghan Burns (Administrator)

    Hello all,

    After further discussion with Stu Kirkpatrick and Evan Hammer we (the technical committee) has decided to take the MSDI best practices back to the Tech Committee to revamp them as general data best practices.

    The next tech committee meeting on June 15 will be the first of several opportunities to work on revamping these best practices.

    I will be synthesizing all comments the tech committee has received regarding the initial draft MSDI best practices and getting those out before the upcoming meeting.  Additionally, I will put forth recommendations made by Evan and Stu regarding the new direction of these general best practices.

    Please participate if you can.  And please send me (meghan.burns@gmail.com) and comments/suggestions you may have if you cannot make the meeting…

    Thank you all!  Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions thus far… as these best practices will only be as good as the GIS community that builds them!



    The MAGIP Tech Committee is holding a committee meeting:

    Friday, June 15th

    Lee Metcalf Building, Room 111

    1520 East 6th Avenue (DEQ), Helena

    Preliminary Agenda:

    • 9 – 9:30: Introductions and Sign In
    • 9:30 – 10:30/11:00: 2012 Fall Tech Session Planning – Combining Fall Tech Session with MT IT Conference
    • 11:00-Noon: MAGIP Data Distribution Best Practices Discussion/Revision
    • Noon-1:00: Lunch
    • 1:00-???: MAGIP Data Distribution Best Practices Discussion/Revision cont’d.

    For those who are interested in attending but can’t in person, a GoToMeeting has been created for those attending remotely:

    1. Please join my meeting.


    2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

    Dial +1 (215) 383-1013

    Access Code: 721-412-386

    Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

    Meeting ID: 721-412-386

    Last modified: 05/23/2012 2:27 PM | Meghan Burns (Administrator)

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