What happened in 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018 at VCGI

John E. Adams
Jan 3, 2018 · 8 min read
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Twenty-five years ago, Vermont’s geospatial data fit on twelve 1.44 MB floppy disks, and a staff technician spent 10 hours a week filling a handful of data requests for VCGI’s one hundred and seven customers. At the time, it was estimated that demand for VCGI’s data over the next couple decades would grow a rate of 2%-10% annually, which (at the high end) would result in just under 1300 users. These forecasts were off. 2017 saw record numbers of users that surpassed all predictions — including our estimate from last year.

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The year in numbers.

Record numbers of Vermonters used Geospatial Data and Technology.

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VCGI Users from 2013–2017 as measured by web analytics.

The successes of 2017 were the result of the dedication of the small, hard-working team at VCGI, as well as many other partners inside and out of state government. I’ve outlined a few highlights from this past year, as well as a few things we are excited about for 2018!

We launched the Open Geodata Portal & we said goodbye to our old friend the Data Warehouse.

The portal more than doubled its initial 5 contributing agencies to 13, and now includes participation from Regional Planning Commissions. Data in the portal meets VCGI’s metadata standards and feeds directly into data.gov, the federal government’s data portal (where Vermont has the 3rd most ESRI REST Services available, behind NOAA and the EPA.)

What to look for in 2018: Even more partners who share data within the portal, and site improvements to help make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Once a dream, now a reality: statewide lidar.

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Lidar gives Vermonters a dramatically higher resolution digital elevation model (DEM).

Our lidar program manager, Mike Brouillette, is working around the clock on processing the data for the Middle CT River basin to make it available in the coming month. By the end of 2018 our collection of lidar data will total approximately 10 TB — and to think, a few years ago you could get our entire 17 MB database by mail order on floppy disks.

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Hear VCGI Director John Adams discuss lidar with Jane Lindholm in this episode of Vermont Edition.

What to look for in 2018: QL2 updates, high-resolution land cover, and building footprints!

New and not-so-new imagery.

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VCGI’s Color-infrared Imagery

What’s old is new again — we are thrilled to have released digital historic imagery from the 1940s and 1960s for the first time through the Geodata Portal! The release generated plenty of buzz and we were delighted to hear about how much joy this old imagery brought to a diverse audience.

What to look for in 2018: more quality imagery from VCGI, and historic imagery from the 1970s and 80s [if any historic imagery enthusiasts out there have the time, resources or ideas for scanning or georeferencing additional records to supplement our holdings, please reach out!]

HackVT & VCGI’s first Data Innovation Fellowship

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Parcel Data Program

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3D rendering of Grand list value per acre

What to look for in 2018: First delivery of standardized parcel data!

We created some new datasets and updated some oldies.

Some other data updates include: Slope, 1 foot contours, aspect, Act 174 energy layers, orthoimagery, and geographic codes.

Browse the geoportal to see what else our partners have added — such as zoning districts added by Regional Planning Commissions for all Vermont municipalities.

What to look for in 2018: Census data going back to 1790, tax data, tree canopy, land cover, education data.

Things didn’t break down very often.

What to look for in 2018: Same reliable service as 2017.

And we…

and last but not least…

We say farewell to Leslie Pelch

“Leslie is the glue that keeps Vermont’s GIS community together.”

“A great loss for GIS outreach and education across VT.”

“So helpful and a great spirit.”

“Damn, Leslie, I finally got over my grudge against you for selling me that VW Rabbit that kept stranding my son all over the NEK in 1992 and now I have to re-kindle it because you’re leaving me stranded in GIS-land. (I can hear you now: “Hey, that was 25 years ago and what do you expect from a $500 car with a gazillion miles on it?”) What can I say? I’m Irish; we’ve elevated grudges to a high art. Seriously, I wish you the best in your new adventure. I just hope you leave a list for your replacement entitled: “VCGI patrons requiring lots of patience with dumb and repetitive questions” and put me at the top. You’ll be tough to replace in my book but that would help. Loved learning from you over the years.”

“I will always remember having a meeting with you out of the back of your car right after the flood in Waterbury!! So dedicated!!!”

Vermont Center for Geographic Information

Welcome to the Vermont Center for Geographic Information on…

John E. Adams

Written by

Vermont Center for Geographic Information

Welcome to the Vermont Center for Geographic Information on Medium - a blog about mapping, data, and all things geospatial in the Green Mountain State.

John E. Adams

Written by

Vermont Center for Geographic Information

Welcome to the Vermont Center for Geographic Information on Medium - a blog about mapping, data, and all things geospatial in the Green Mountain State.

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