March 11Transportation for the NationCase Study – Michigan:Michigan’s GIS Office Assists the State DOTTFTN Strategic Plan Case Study
Overview:The Michigan State GIS office is currently undergoing an effort called theTransportation Data Stewardship Enhancement Plan. This initiative hasbeen accomplished under a project funded as part of the NationalSpatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP)Category 5—a grant program administered by the U.S. Geological Survey.It defines a framework and specific initiatives to enhance and expand theMichigan Geographic Framework transportation data themes throughbuilding an environment that encourages broad participation throughshared responsibility, shared costs, shared benefits, and shared control.Project Background:Work on plan preparation began in March of 2010 and after a rigorousreview and comment process, it was completed in September of 2010.The project was administered by the Center for Shared Solutions andTechnology Partnerships (CSSTP) of the Michigan Department ofTechnology, Management, and Budget (MDTMB). The CSSTP assembled aproject Steering Committee to oversee plan preparation and haveengaged a consultant team from the firm GeoPlanning Services, LLC togather information and prepare the plan. Input was gathered from theproject Steering Committee, and project participants from the statewideGIS community.This initiative is intended to establish a foundation and work program for along-range sustainable stewardship program for the MichiganGeographic Framework (MGF). Transportation data, particularly roadcenterline and address ranges, are used by nearly all of the GIS users inMichigan. Nearly half of all GIS users reported that they either producetheir own road centerline data or receive it from an outside source andedit it prior to use. The duplication of effort on these elements combinedwith the vital utility of these data to support nearly all GIS applicationsmake it clear that building a core stewardship program for these datashould be a priority for the State of Michigan.Stewardship is a sustained program with clear roles and responsibilities fororganizations or individuals supporting regular update of and access tospatial data. It is a concept rooted in the belief that data should be builtonce, incrementally improved in quality where possible, and used manytimes to maximize the return on investment in data creation andmaintenance. To achieve an acceptable end result for this project, aculture of “shared responsibility, shared costs, shared benefits, and sharedcontrol” has to be embraced by the GIS community in Michigan.
This broad perspective includes not only the data and programs currentlyin place at the Department of Technology, Management and Budgets’(MDTMB) Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships but alsoinclude those statewide data themes which have been identified by theGIS user community as being needed statewide. These data themesconstitute the traditional framework spatial data as identified by theFederal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC): geodetic control, ortho-imagery, elevation, transportation, hydrography, governmental units, andcadastral information.These data are to provide a basic data set that can be used inapplications, a base to which users can add or attach geographic detailsand attributes, a reference source for accurately registering andcompiling participants’ own data sets, and a reference map fordisplaying the locations and the results of an analysis of other data.Lessons Learned and Challenges:Keeping the network up to date is a huge challenge for the team. Thereare five full time staff members who work constantly to maintain the datathrough the use of standardized models and systematic workflows fromthe county level up to the State. These workflows help to identify changein the system and reduce the amount of error in the final data set.Because of the strict nature and use of the State data model, it has beenreported that the State’s submission to HPMS has had no errors over thepast several years.Another challenge within the State is identifying how the centerline dataproperly models reality. Again, the use of a standardized model and strictworkflow for incorporating the data in to the working data set allowsindividual road segments to be identified and categorized. An example ofthis would be properly identifying a rotary vs. an intersection. If any errorsshould arise throughout the entire process, a logging system has beenimplemented and the problem is corrected as soon as possible.Areas for improvement include the improvement of the countyparticipation workflow to allow a more seamless update in to the workingdata set and the creation of a single statewide file. Additionally, allcounties must participate in the program without State involvement butthe business process for this is already under way. Funding is also an issuein that it cannot be linked to a single project and must be a long terminvestment. This is ultimately the most important factor related to thefuture of the project.
Conclusions:The Michigan State GIS office has assembled a robust and accurate roadcenterline that covers a majority of the State. These data meet thebusiness requirements and accuracy standards that are essentiallyunmatched among other states. The data are also wholly owned by theState and freely disseminated without any vendor licensing restrictions orreliance on external partnerships.Sources: Laura Blastic (Geo-Framework Services Manager, Center forShared Solutions and Technology Partnerships (CSSTP), MichiganDepartment of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB)), Rob Surber(Director, Office of Shared Solutions / DTMB), Stephen Aichele(Geographer, USGS Geospatial Liaison), Charles Hickman (Geographer,USGS National Map Liaison to Ohio)