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February 2017

Table of Contents:

  1. MassGIS Staff Assisting with Planning of FOSS4G
  2. MassGIS Assists MEMA with Boston Marathon Planning
  3. Enhancements to the Level 3 Assessor Parcels
  4. Impervious Surface Mapping
  5. Database Updates
  6. Announcements
MassGIS Staff Assisting with Planning of FOSS4G

FOSS4G 2017 (the International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial) will be held August 14-19, 2017 at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston. The conference will consist of 2 days of hands-on workshops, 3 days of presentations, and a code sprint. MassGIS is pleased to announce our colleague, Holly St. Clair, Chief Digital Officer for the Commonwealth, will be a keynote speaker.
Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) will be hosting the workshops, and providing hands-on sessions for both new and experienced users. Topics to be covered include QGIS, GeoServer, PostGIS and R. For a small additional fee, you can attend the co-located JS.Geo (JavaScript and mapping) conference on August 15 at District Hall. Social events are also being planned, including a Welcoming Party at the Harpoon Brewery, an Ice Breaker at the Seaport Hotel, and a gala at the New England Aquarium.
Interested in participating? Follow these links to submit a proposal for a presentation or workshop or register for the conference.

MassGIS Assists MEMA with Boston Marathon Planning
MassGIS has been partnering with the Boston Athletic Association since 2014 to assist with race planning—and we are excited to continue our partnership to help plan for the 2017 race.
The Boston Athletic Association has contracted with Mika Timing to provide timing tags for each runner to wear on their bibs. The data generated by the movement of the runners is delivered as a web service. Our work involves consuming the data from that web service and displaying the aggregated locations of the runners along with base maps in a dashboard. This situational awareness enables MEMA to continuously adjust the deployment of emergency support services as runners advance along the marathon route.
map showing massachusetts in the noaa data download
Enhancements to the Level 3 Assessor Parcels

The state requires municipal assessors to maintain a parcel map. MassGIS has been working with communities to shift them towards maintaining a parcel map that complies with Level 3 of the MassGIS Assessor Parcel Standard.
To contribute to this initiative, MassGIS created the parcel enhancements program. The objective of this program is to empower communities to maintain standardized assessor parcel mapping. Through the program, communities may request that their standardized mapping be enhanced so that it provides the content and capabilities they currently have with their existing tax maps. Enhancement examples include adding dimensional annotation or replacing a GIS or CAD-based automated map production tool.
MassGIS is pleased to announce that it has funded enhancement requests in 30 additional communities and has contracted with GIS service providers to complete these enhancements.  To date, 225 municipalities have had their requests funded by MassGIS!

Impervious Surface Mapping

We’ve had a spate of requests from engineering firms and municipalities for recent imagery. The imagery is needed for mapping impervious surface data to develop storm water management plans.
Using the 2013/2014 USGS Orthoimagery, MassGIS created a preliminary statewide impervious surface layer. Although we are in the process of editing the data, some towns have been provided the unedited dataset to use. While the data need editing, we’ve been told that this is preferable to creating the data from scratch. We’re happy to provide communities who need impervious surface mapping with the preliminary data. Please contact Paul Nutting.

Database Updates
  • The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has mapped Inland Water Bathymetry (measures of water depth) at a scale of 1:10,000 for some lakes and ponds in Massachusetts. The data were gathered on boats using a GPS/depth sounder. The data samples were then extrapolated to form contour lines with depth measured in feet. MADFW plans to map an additional 200 or so inland water bodies in an ongoing effort to revise its old paper bathymetry maps.
Several datalayers maintained by MassGIS have been updated.

The Community Boundaries (Towns) from Survey Points 
Boundaries were updated between:
  • Barnstable-Mashpee
  • Canton-Sharon-Norwood
  • Holland-Wales
  • Sharon-Walpole
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) Towns
Updates based on November 2016 election results. 

The Building Structures (2-D, from Ortho Imagery)
32 communities updated based on 2013-2015 imagery.
We hope to have funding to support at least one intern this summer to help with updating some of our basic layers. If you or anyone you know may be interested, please have them forward a resume.


Massachusetts Geographic Information System | MassIT Division – MassGIS
One Ashburton Place – Floor 8 
Boston, MA 02108

Phone: (617) 619-5611
Fax: (617) 889-7833

Share your exciting project with the GIS community
MassGIS – The Commonwealth’s Office of Geographic Information is located within the Massachusetts Office of Information Technology and is charged with the collection, enhancement, storage, and dissemination of the Commonwealth’s geographic data and information.
Neil MacGaffey, Director
Mark Nunnelly, Executive Director, MassIT
Karyn Polito, Lt. Governor
Charlie Baker, Governor

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