(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – Governor Matt Mead has announced a partnership with the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) at the University of Wyoming to create new digital maps and a clearinghouse of geographic information system (GIS) data about Wyoming. This project is set up through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) and WyGISC. WyGISC is the primary resource for sharing and distributing publicly available Wyoming-focused geographic data.
The project will include scientific data collected by governmental agencies, as well as geographic data related to topics ranging from vegetation and geology to transportation and demographics, aerial photography, and satellite imagery. The project will also consolidate several existing data service software applications, which are presently in various locations.
“More information about Wyoming’s geology, natural resources, and habitat will benefit all of us. This tool can guide decision making related to energy development and resource management to improve outcomes,” Governor Mead said. “I believe this geographic data clearinghouse will be easily accessible and usable – we will all learn more about Wyoming.”
The impetus for the project came from Governor Mead and the Legislature. The project, as implemented, will collect baseline scientific data, provide a repository for the data, and have a mechanism to make the data accessible to the public. The Governor’s Energy Strategy, “Leading the Charge,” was developed with partners from across the state and includes the initiative of creating an energy atlas. The energy atlas is part of this project.
Potential contributors include state, local and federal agencies, the University of Wyoming, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
Karen Rogers is GIS Enterprise Architect for ETS. She said, “Groups can store or link their data to the site voluntarily and I encourage broad participation to realize the full potential of the resource. It is important to note, that only publicly available data will be accessible for direct sharing on the site.”
Specific content for the clearinghouse site will be developed in consultation with the Wyoming Geographic Information Systems Advisory Council, which includes the GIS Oversight Committee and Technical Advisory Group appointed by the Governor.
“WyGISC looks forward to working with the State in creating a resource that will inform and support science and education, as well as many kinds of place-based decision activities related to resource management, economic development and health and safety concerns,” says Jeff Hamerlinck, WyGISC Director. “We are also excited to take advantage of new information delivery technologies that will make this less of a traditional data ‘warehouse’ and more of a ‘gateway’ for reaching a distributed community of data partners, who remain the stewards of the information they know best.”
WyGISC expects to deploy the new clearinghouse site by the end of Summer 2014. A public workshop about this project is scheduled for December 17, 2013 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Conference Room in Casper.