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Welcome to the Coordinator's Corner!

Craig A. Neidig
WV GIS Coordinator
1124 Smith St., Rm 201a
PO Box 11928
Charleston, WV 25339
V: 304.558.4218
F: 304.558.4963

Office of State GIS Coordinator
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey

1124 Smith St., Room 201A
Charleston, WV 25301


28 March 2001
Dear West Virginia GIS Colleague:

The year 2000 marked several milestones in the West Virginia GIS program. It was the fifth year of the Mineral Lands Mapping Program, or MLMP, a cooperative program to catalogue, inventory, and reanalyze the remaining coal resources and mineral properties in the state, a program that is still unique in the nation. The State Geological Survey completed the coal geology and mining GIS coverages for the coal bearing counties in northern West Virginia. The coal geology maps and database were recently made accessible via an internet map server, expanding the public information mission of the agency. For the first time, and with great success, GIS-based maps and databases were used in coal property valuation hearings by the Property Tax Division. The GIS Technical Center at WVU, in addition to its crucial role as data provider for the MLMP, has greatly expanded its data acquisitions and service outreach. The center has implemented a clearinghouse website to deliver not only a comprehensive set of data, but news and information to GIS users, not only in West Virginia, but also to the nation and the world. In 2000, a West Virginia county, Hampshire County, became the first to serve its property information via an internet map server. The year saw a marked increase in activity at the county and local level for mapping and GIS services for tax assessment and E-911 purposes. At the State level, an increasing number of agencies expanded mapping and GIS capabilities. We also welcomed several new friends, such as Monongahela National Forest, and our USGS state liaison, Bruce Bauch.

Of course, the major achievement of 2000 was the initiation and near completion of the Digital Ortho Photo Quads, or DOQQs, for the entire state. In an unprecedented cooperative gesture between the GIS Technical Center, the GIS Coordinator office, several state agencies, the US Geological Survey, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the USDA Farm Service Agency, the DOQQ coverage was compiled with almost no duplication and a savings of literally tens of thousands of dollars to the state. To top it off the DOQQs are being served over the internet for free by the GIS Technical Center and the Division of Environmental Protection TAGIS unit. Again it is worth repeating that this is the first time in the State's history that a statewide base-map coverage of such detail has been completed. All the participants in this effort are to be congratulated.

The year's 2001 West Virginia Geographic Information System (GIS) Forum and Exhibition was intended to showcase the ever-increasing diversity and use of geospatial technologies within West Virginia. Workshops at WVU were added to the schedule with overflowing success. The Exhibits and Forum sessions focused on the most current topical interests to the participants. Perhaps more important, the schedule allowed ample time for the conference attendees to meet one-on-one with vendors, for colleagues to catch up, and for everyone to network. As exemplified by the DOQQ effort, we are fortunate in this state to have a great feeling of "community spirit" that we should continue to foster and use to our advantage.

We are all well aware, however, that the State is facing serious fiscal budget pressures. The GIS community has a critical role to serve in establishing a balanced and methodological approach in analyzing issues as diverse as rural economic development, health care delivery, emergency management, smart growth, and environmental stewardship. As we enter the New Millennium, I have no doubt the GIS community will have almost limitless opportunities to demonstrate how GIS technology can benefit the State in the future.

Respectfully yours,

Craig A Neidig
WV GIS Coordinator

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