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News 2010

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This is where we'll announce what's happening in Belmont County GIS.  The most recent information is listed first.  See news from prior years for a historic review of the status of GIS in Belmont County.

December 2010

The Commissioners approved advertising for a Spring 2011 aerial update mission at their meeting December 1.  Public notice was published December 9 and 16, and the deadline for submission of statements of qualifications was December 23, 2010. Public Notice  Specifications

A Memorandum of Agreement has been received from OGRIP for LBRS.  Signatures for the county side have been obtained,  including E-911, Engineer, Auditor and Commissioners and others.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is interested in standard layers for their jurisdiction.  A meeting was held with several counties in the southern portion of the watershed, and MWCD is asking for letters of support for a FGDC grant.  Input from OGRIP is being obtained.

The regularly scheduled GIS Info Meeting was held Thursday, December 16 at 9:00 am at the GIS Office, 44320 National Road.  Items included the 2011 aerial mission status, LBRS, MWCD, AML and more.

November 2010

GIS Day was celebrated for the tenth consecutive year in Belmont County November 17.  The Commissioners issued a GIS Day Proclamation once again this year.  President Ginny Favede noted that GIS is useful to all county departments and plays a role in economic development.  Becky Horne, Executive Administrative Assistant of the Belmont County EMA, mentioned areas of inundation can be mapped along the Ohio River.  Sue Douglass, Director of the Community Improvement Corporation/Department of Development, offered a letter of support for the program as GIS is used in her work daily.       

Ginny Favede, President of the Belmont County Commission, left, and Commissioner Matt Coffland, right, present a GIS Day Proclamation to GIS Director Don Pickenpaugh at their November 17 meeting.

A review of the county's GIS Day was given to the November 29 meeting of the Ohio Chapter of URISA in Columbus.  The Chapter is looking at presenting a workshop on Building Quality Spatial Data around March, 2011.  The OGRIP Forum featured a presentation on using GIS in predicting retail sales.  An interesting sidenote is that the Queen of England owns census data in Canada.  An RFP is being drafted for a future OSIP project.

October 2010

ODNR held an abandoned mine lands (AML) seminar October 29 at their offices in Columbus.  Methods of reaching the public with mapping of mines were reviewed.  An abandoned underground mine locator map is online at . Improved resolution of scanned mine maps now allows the elevation of the coal to be read.  An ODNR representative is scheduled to speak at the County Engineer's annual township trustee meeting April 14, 2011 on this subject.

The regularly scheduled GIS Information meeting was Thursday, October 21 at 9:00 am at the GIS Office, 44320 National Road, St. Clairsville.  Commitments from various departments and local governments for a possible Spring 2011 aerial mission were reviewed.  Only about 10% is committed so far.  Also, information about Ohio's Location Based Response System (LBRS) was discussed in preparation for a meeting Wednesday, November 3 at 10 am at Belmont County E-911, 68331 Bannock Road, St. Clairsville, where local and state officials will discuss the potential for Belmont County's participation in that program.

The PLSO Fall Seminar was held October 7-9 in Sandusky with about 245 attending.  Sessions covered state plane coordinates, forensic surveying, risk management, State Board of Registration updates, early America statehood and other topics.  A one day seminar in Chillicothe November 5 included a presentation by NGS's Height Modernization Manager on National Height Mod and GRAV-D.

September 2010

Historic tax map scans are now online for Colerain, Pease and Pultney Townships, completing the 1914-60's set.

The annual Ohio GIS Conference was September 15-17.  About 250 attended, and 27 maps were submitted to the Map Gallery.  The exhibit hall was full.  More and more GIS is going to the web, with talk about Flex and Silverlight.  Four workshop tracks were held the first day, with four educational tracks the second day and a general session, lightning round, awards and open mike the last day.

A second letter was sent out to local government entities about helping with a possible Spring flight.  A meeting is set for November 3 at 10 am at E-911 where the topic will be LBRS.  Reps from OGRIP, ODOT and local officials are expected to attend.

August 2010

USGS provided information at the August 30 OGRIP Forum about new topo 7-1/2' quad maps for most of Ohio.  Digital format is free.  See for more info.  OGRIP expressed frustration with funding partners not coming forward for another statewide imagery program.  At least another 6" pixel contract for 2011 is desired, but "looking grim" is not a phrase they want to use.  The City of Hudson demonstrated bringing GIS editing to the web using Silverlight and ArcGIS 10.

FEMA demonstrated their Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (MAP) at the Ohio Floodplain Management Conference earlier this month.  Extensive GIS technology is being used to show 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 year flood events and the impact they have on infrastructure.

The GIS Informational Meeting held Thursday, August 19 at 9:00 am at the GIS Office featured an overview of current aerial mapping technology.  Four verbal responses have been received so far as a result of feelers mailed recently to municipalities, townships and various departments to "test the waters" for a Spring 2011 aerial update.

Planning is underway for the annual Ohio GIS Conference September 15-17 in Columbus.

July 2010

The Ohio Chapter of URISA is offering a Cartography Workshop August 10 at ODOT Central Office.  The workshop is free to Ohio URISA Chapter members.  Attendees will receive the book How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier.  See for more info.  ODNR's Annual Floodplain Conference is coming up August 11-12 in Columbus.  Both are good educational opportunities.

June 2010

The Census Bureau has advised us that our role is complete in the 2010 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.  Records of addresses used in the program have been destroyed as required by the Bureau.

May 2010

The Land Records Conference was May 18 and featured historian Jim Williams on Track I and mostly the Franklin County Tax Map Department on Track II.  Franklin County has about 433,000 parcels, and transferred about 31,000 last year with a staff of six fulltime employees.  The need for a PS to oversee the deed transfer process was emphasized.

There has been a lot of activity this month to reach compliance with EPA's stormwater Phase II program.  The county is struggling to get a handle on this mandate and implement the necessary practices and resolutions for erosion and sediment control, illicit discharge and post-construction runoff.  Funding cuts to Soil and Water and lack of GIS staff make the process even more difficult.

April 2010

Census Day was April 1, 2010.  Participation rates as of April 27, 2010 are 74% National, 78% Ohio, and 77% Belmont County.

Need to get rid of old furniture, appliances, car tires or batteries?  Keep Belmont County Beautiful, the Jefferson-Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority and several townships have scheduled spring community clean-up events for March through May.  For a map of event locations and dates, click here.  Hours for each Saturday's collection are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

March 2010

We have received word from the Census Appeals Staff that of 891 appeals, 889 were accepted and only 2 rejected.  The reinstated addresses will be sent to the Census Bureau for inclusion in the 2010 Census.  The participation rate can be viewed at and stands at 53% for Belmont County as of the morning of March 31.

More scanned tax maps are being uploaded for 2010.  Keep checking the tax maps page for updates.

The CEAO Stormwater Conference was March 9-10.  Counties with a good GIS benefit in EPA's storm water management mandate.

February 2010

The GIS Informational Meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 18 at 9:00 am at the GIS Office has been postponed to Thursday, March 18 due to weather.

Updated tax map scans are online for Bellaire, Flushing and other areas.  Keep checking for updates.

Those who attended Jim Williams' session at the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio Annual Conference recently know the name Israel Ludlow, one of the early Ohio surveyors.  Mr. Williams told me he has been asked to speak at the upcoming Land Records Conference in May.  He is writing a book on the early surveys, building on the works of Sherman, with which all Ohio surveyors are familiar.  His passion for knowledge and legend of those times seems unmatched.

The February OMEGA newsletter states that "Census forms will be in mail boxes starting March 15.  It is important for federal programs and legislative representation that every person is counted.  Please promote the Complete Count effort."

National Surveyors Week is coming up March 21-27.  It is promoted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors to protect and advance the surveying profession.  For a very good review of early surveying in Ohio , take a look at The Official Ohio Lands Book on the State Auditor's web site at (file is a 9 MB pdf).

January 2010

More 2009 scanned tax maps have been provided and uploaded to the GIS site for Pease, Pultney, Washington and Wayne Lots and Somerset Sections.  Updates for 2010 scans have begun, with uploads completed for Colerain and Union Sections and Union Lots.

At the OGRIP Forum January 25 we learned that there are no definite plans for a future statewide aerial project. Talks may resume in the Spring of 2011 to plan the next mission.  Previously it was expressed that the lesson learned from the first OSIP project was that half the state is too much to fly at once - quarters may be more manageable.  In the meantime, "OSIP1" pricing holds until the end of this fiscal year.  Belmont County received imagery in September, 2009 from the 2007 aerial mission once funding delays for QA/QC were overcome by the state.

Census forms are to be mailed in February and March.  Here is an interesting list of 50 ways that census data are used.  A recent NACo article mentioned announcements of broadband funding are delayed until late in February.

The Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio Annual Conference is coming up February 11-13 in Cincinnati.


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Last modified: 04/30/17