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Massachgusetts, USGS, and Fugro/Earthdata


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Public-Private Partnerships: The Key to a Successful Statewide Mapping Program in Massachusetts

Public-Private Partnerships: The Key to a Successful Statewide Mapping Program in Massachusetts

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  • Take home message – coop advantages especially usgs economies of scale, contracting and qa/qc expertise derivative projects for digital imagery – impervious, dtm, fourth band applications – raising awareness amongst senior management of importance of product to their key initiatives
  • We’ve had orthos since before 1994 actually the first ortho I ever saw was mechanically produced I can only imagine how infernally complex a machine that was and how expensive the full size film sheets were. We quickly moved into scanned film, black and white and then color. 2005 was our first all-digital effort and there’s no turning back on the advantages o digital imagery for lack of noise, spectral range and information content. The extra band of information has been huge for us, which I’ll try to illustrate, in supporting more effective image classification.
  • The recent history of our ortho project has been like going to the eye doctor – things just keep getting sharper. This was our standard for over a decade, and we thought it was pretty good.
  • Then we tasted 30 cm last year, and we really liked it.
  • Finally, this is the municipal buy-up option, approximately 6 inch imagery, and this is just a whole lot more useful for local govts, tax assessors and site planners and people like that .
  • Here’s the project that I think illustrates pretty well the benefits of cooperation We learned about the 2008 Urban Areas flight through NSGIC and it dovetailed nicely with our desire to offer localities better resolution imagery. the USGS was planning to fly the area in pink at 30 cm color but was willing to entertain the concept of a “buy-up” to higher resolution, 15 cm. we went out and sold the concept as a way for communities to save money through economies of scale while getting someone else to manage the project. We had very little time to work on this – basically just a couple of months – but we managed to sign up 30 communities, obviously we were trying to put together contiguous communities but there were some hold-outs. Then in 2009 the USGS and the NGA had a much smaller project in mind -- I’ll just mention that about 65 communities have gone out on their own for ortho at this kind of resolution typically 6 inch, that represents about 20% of the state, and their aggregate expenditure would have paid for the entire state… so you can see what I mean by economies of scale – I’ll get to the exact numbers in a second.
  • We’d never done this kind of deal and let me tell you, both we and the GS never want to do it again. Since we had no mechanism to pass the money through the state, the GS had to sign 30, count them, 30 JFAs. We used a mail-merge template, and did all the outreach and everything else we could to try to facilitate this, but it was still a lot of work. And of course, some communities were late paying the bill. The biggest issue of all, and I think an important lesson for iFTN and similar efforts, was the different procurement styles and requirements between state and federal. We can’t print money the way the feds can, and in fact the world ends at the end of the fiscal year June 30, or sometimes as we say, June 32 or 33 rd if things come in late – money not spent just vaporizes. Which means that you have to receive product by then, because you can’t pay for anything up front. Cross fiscal year projects are inherently more difficult, but of course ortho projects are by their nature cross fiscal year when you’re talking a July 1 fiscal year. We also were very aware that beggars can’t be choosers – the USGS spec didn’t include that fourth band and we couldn’t afford that upgrade.
  • However, despite the bureaucratic headaches, the 2008 project was a huge success even though we had no state dollars, we contributed significant sweat equity, with survey control and especially with coordination of the municipal buy-up the project went smoothly, the product was superb and the usgs staff were very cooperative.
  • In 2009 we did a lot of things differently and it was much less painful. we dealt with the procurement issues much more effectively by setting up one mechanism for channeling payments to usgs. we also dealt with state and local fiscal year constraints by carefully planning the timing of payments we got commitments in writing so that we weren’t impacted by the state and local budget chaos we off-loaded a lot of the tedious work of reprojecting data Also, and this was huge, we dealt with the lack of the fourth band from 2008 by getting it retrofitted – the vendor still had it on file.
  • Here’s the budget breakdown
  • This makes for a very nice press release – look at these savings we carefully documented the savings because we are really trying to make the case for IFTN and similar approaches to this kind of project.
  • Work together like you’re all on the same league-leading ball team Keep practicing, figure out ways to get it done instead of finding reasons why it can’t Don’t assume that anyone along the way isn’t willing to do things differently
  • There were a few other nit-picky kinds of lessons learned.
  • Beyond the classic uses of orthoimagery, these are specific initiatives that the Governor and his cabinet are very aware of that involve that kind of application, in a way that we think should translate into support for this kind of initiative.
  • Impervious derived from 4-band imagery has had a host of applications in watershed modeling, non-point source regulation, landscape ecology and other areas – I’m just illustrating one kind of impact here (talk about what’s on this slide – comparison of planimetrics with ortho-derived impervious) we have this for the entire state – that's what amazing about it
  • talk about site screening for wind
  • example of using the impervious and generating building points
  • Accurate population counts – land use change through automated change detection to revise population counts before and in conjunction with decennial census – make sure everyone is counted.
  • another example – there were some really egregious violations of our wetlands protection regs that were found this way. In fact over $500k of enforcement actions were filed on the basis of this analysis. All those folks who figured if you can’t see it from the road, they’re safe I actually got called out as “big brother” at a cranberry growers meeting- but in fact the ones who are obeying the law are actually kind of glad when the ones who aren’t get caught….
  • Transcript

    • 1. Public-Private Partnerships: The Key to a Successful Statewide Mapping Program in Massachusetts Lynn Bjorklund, USGS Brian Wegner, Fugro EarthData CLC Session II - October 7, 2009 2009 Annual Conference, Cleveland OH
    • 2. Topics History Current cooperative projects Ortho applications Take-home messages: Very successful public-private partnership: MassGIS - USGS - Dewberry - Fugro EarthData Derivative products are huge Applications should drive specs
    • 3. MA Orthophoto Program
      • pre-1994: mechanical orthos!
      • 4 sets of statewide imagery
        • 1994 - 1999: Black & white film
        • 2001: Color film
        • 2005: Digital camera 4 bands
        • 2008: Digital 3 bands with IR retrofit
        • 2009: Digital 4 bands
      • related products
        • DTM
        • image classification (LULC, impervious)
    • 4. 50 cm imagery - 2005
    • 5. 30 cm imagery - 2008
    • 6. 15 cm imagery - 2008
    • 7. Zoomed in – 15 cm
    • 8. Orthoimagery Projects with USGS 2008/9 Worcester/Springfield Urban Areas Spring 2009 5700 square miles Total project cost $940,000 Spring 2008 Boston Urban Area Total cost $583,000
    • 9. 2008 – Painful lessons learned
      • 30 Joint funding agreements
      • chasing contributors
      • fiscal year constraints
      • timing payments to match deliverables
      • specs were not what we wanted
      • projection
      • distribution
      • sensitive areas
    • 10. 2008 – Some bright spots
      • imagery was superb
      • customers were happy
      • state contributed survey control for 50 pts
      • saved municipalities on buy-ups
      • state got a great product for nothing!
      • estimates were right on
      • USGS staff were incredibly flexible, helpful and patient
    • 11. 2009 – Much less painful !
      • set up trust account for payments
      • anticipated timing issues and matched payments to deliverables
      • got commitments in writing early
      • vendor did projection
      • sensitive areas
      • got IR plus retro-fitted for 2008
      • USGS role saved our agency 30% charge from State Comptroller
      • estimates were right on
    • 12. Funding Breakdown
      • 2008
        • 30 municipalities $208,000
        • USGS/NGA $375,000
        • state (sanity)
      • 2009
        • 13 municipalities $132,000
        • Westover Air Reserve Base $ 8,000
        • 4 state agencies $630,000
        • USGS/NGA $170,000
    • 13. Savings 2008
      • All municipalities except Boston:
      • Buy-up Area 351 sq. miles
      • Est. on-their-own cost per sq mi (based on survey) $1,500
      • Cost per sq mi through USGS w/out Boston $ 483
      • Estimated on-their-own costs $526,500
      • Cost via USGS project $169,533
      • Municipal Partner Savings $356,967
      • Boston “True Ortho” Area:
      • Cost (44 sq. miles, some at 80% lap) $39,000
      • Savings based on bid for “True Ortho” $100,000
      • Total estimated savings $456,967
    • 14. Overall Lessons learned
      • Perseverance furthers! …communication is good
      • Collaborate!
      • Trust, respect and leverage each partner’s roles & expertise
      • At many points the deal could have fallen through
    • 15. [ a few other nit-picky kinds of ] Lessons Learned
      • Interested municipal partners need cost estimates up front
      • Keep unit costs and area units straight, translatable & adjustible:
        • MassGIS built handy spreadsheet
        • Communicate costs in terms each player understands or needs
        • Fair share estimates
        • municipal area and tile areas
      • Let the vendor do the burdensome stuff, like re-projection and distribution
      • Allow lead time for paperwork such as trust account or other mechanisms requiring multi-agency approvals.
    • 16. Why the Governor needs orthos
      • Current applications that are high priorities for Patrick administration
        • wind turbine siting
        • compiling cable maps
        • adjusting population numbers
        • one-stop/on-line permitting
        • environmental regulation enforcement
    • 17. Wind energy site screening
    • 18. Image-derived impervious areas provide input for…
    • 19. Buffer residential structures Impervious surface, with roads erased, overlaid with parcels, provides a quick and effective residential setback for site screening
    • 20. Broadband availability - building points Broadband initiative aims to analyze service levels down to the individual household. Impervious surface “blobs” shrunk to points provide quick point feature class
    • 21. Land use change – population update 10 years is a long time – ortho supports updates of land use as basis for revised population estimates – important for formula-based funding
    • 22. Wetlands regulation enforcement April 2001 Automated change detection identified dozens of violations and led to enforcement actions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars Earlier photo- interpretation of wetland boundary simplifies change detection
    • 23. Ortho – ePermitting DEP Site Locator Self-reporting of regulated object locations supports better resource management, such as water budgets, discharge monitoring, evaluation of hazardous material releases etc..
    • 24.
      • Very successful public n -private partnership
        • Collaboration trusting each partner’s roles & expertise
      • Derivative products are huge
      • Applications should drive specs & deliverables
    • 25. Questions?