Lawrence F. London, Jr. - Dragonfly Market Gardens
 mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu - mailto:llondon@bellsouth.net
Title: VSDP

The Vermont Spatial Data Partnership
206 Morrill Hall, UVM
Burlington, VT 05405-0106

The Vermont Spatial Data Partnership (VSDP) is a relatively informal association of spatial data stakeholders, formed in 1997, committed to improving the geographic information system (GIS) in Vermont through networking and information exchange. You can be involved by becoming a member of the Partnership and participating in the Web conferences on a variety of GIS related topics, or by attending any of the periodic informational meetings.

MENU for this page:

1. Origins of the Partnership

2. Recent History

3. Purpose and Objectives

4. Actions

5.Get in the loop! - membership

6. Explanation and list of VSDP Web Conferences

7. Links to other Pages

1. Origins of the Partnership

The Vermont Center for Geographic Information, Inc. (VCGI), with support from VT's Regional Planning Commissions, the VT E-911 Board, the VT Agency of Transportation, and the VT Automated Library System, received a 1996 Framework Demonstration Project grant through the National Digital Geospatial Data Framework Initiative (supporting the creation of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure) of the Federal Geographic Data Committee. The purpose of the Framework Demonstration Project is to show how innovative institutional arrangements can ensure a robust and well-maintained framework of digital geospatial data.

In Vermont, this project is working to create the Vermont Spatial Data Partnership, which is bringing stakeholders together to discuss how issues of data sharing, data development and maintenance, and data access can be addressed in a coordinated and efficient manner.

2. Recent History

The idea of a Partnership was introduced to the Vermont GIS community in February of 1997 during an open meeting at the GIS Expo (organized by VCGI) in Montpelier. Feedback and volunteers for a core group to develop the idea were solicited. The core group met on a monthly basis from March through June working out such issues as purpose and objectives of the partnership, organizational structure (including membership), and actions, and initiated the VSDP Roundtable Meeting at the end of June. This meeting allowed members of the GIS community to see how the Partnership was shaping up, and to discuss issues of common interest. Participants were encouraged to become members of the Partnership.

Current issues the core group (now designated the "Steering Committee") is working on are: a work plan for the coming year, future roundtable meetings, and recruitment (see the VSDP Web Conference for recent meeting notes and reports about the Roundtable Meeting)

3. Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the VT Spatial Data Partnership is to inspire and sustain a culture that values high quality spatial data in Vermont. We feel that the partnership can achieve this purpose by focusing on the following objectives.

a. Improve Data Use -

b. Improve Data Development and Maintenance - encourage the use of standards and documentation and the sharing of costs for maintaining and updating databases.

c. Improve Awareness - foster communication among users and potential users about data needs.

d. Education - develop more knowledgeable creators and interpreters of data (e.g. aware of limits and potential of data so they can use it appropriately).

e. Form Committees - theme expert groups, other technical groups, and discussion groups will be initiated or acknowledged as needed to address technical and other issues.

4. Actions

a. Information dissemination: using paper (newsletters and memos) and electronic (e-mail, WebBoard, computer slide shows) media to distribute information about: GIS functionality in a variety of settings including public and private enterprise and education, data available from VCGI and other sources, technical workshops and users' groups, data needs, and standards.

b. Information collection: using electronic and mail and personal contact to gather the following information: who has what data, what are data needs, how should standards development be prioritized, what media do members of the GIS community use to access information (mail, e-mail, Web, etc.).

c. Facilitation of data sharing and cooperative development and maintenance of data bases through creation of a data sharing document/template, use of VCGI as a gateway for sensitive/proprietary data, active linking of users with complementary needs/resources.

d. Coordination of periodic informational meetings of the membership to discuss issues, identify subcommittees, and identify potential data partnerships.

e. Recommendations to the VCGI Board and the VCGI Technical Advisory Committee.

5. Get in the Loop!- membership

For just $10 per year, you can be a member of the Vermont Spatial Data Partnership, and receive the following benefits:

* Education: Periodic informational meetings will be held to explore issues of interest to GIS stakeholders, and members are eligible for a 10 % discount on registration fees.

* Involvement: You would have the opportunity to participate in VSDP subcommittee/theme expert groups which make recommendations to the VCGI Technical Advisory Committee and the VCGI board of Directors, and which communicate primarily through the Web Conferences.

* Networking: You would receive a periodic list of VSDP members with information about what data they have/need and how to contact them.

* Voting Rights: You would be able to vote on resolutions as well as the election of steering committee members.

VSDP Membership Form

Please see the VSDP Operational Guide for more details about how the Partnership is organized.

VSDP Operational Guide

6. Web Conferences

Web Conferences work like electronic bulletin boards; you can read what others have posted, react to those postings, or add your own. Non-members are encouraged to check out what the Web conferences are like, but please remember that only members can actively participate.

Current conferences are:

*VSDP development





7. Links to other relevant pages at this site
Participate actively or just keep informed - Here are some more sites that can help you:

Upcoming Events!
VSDP Steering Committee Members
VSDP Presentations Slide Shows
VGIS Homepage
VGIS Newsletter
VCGI Homepage
VCGI Publications
Back to top of VSDP page

Send us e-mail if you have questions or comments!