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State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection One Stop Environment Permitting Spatial Data Requirements Assessment

Client: State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Location: Augusta, Maine USA
Starting Year: 1984

GPC participated as a member of a team that conducted a “business-centric” assessment of environmental permitting across the agency, and the development of a system development strategy to move the agency towards an enterprise approach to their strategic organization information resources.  Beginning in 1984 with the first Maine Oil Spill Information System (MOSIS), the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) has been a leader in developing best of breed Geographic Information Systems to support the ongoing work of the Department.  Over the past five years, MDEP has deployed one of the most advanced distributed GIS systems available at a state agency anywhere in the U.S.  As with most organizations, however, GIS development efforts at MDEP had been developed in largely separate, though parallel efforts among counterparts in the broader Computer Services Unit (CSU).  New technologies and new policy directives have recently encouraged MDEP to pursue a more integrated approach to systems development so that the power of spatial analysis can be more seamlessly integrated into the everyday workflows of MDEP staff.  Specifically, there is a need to build spatial analysis and spatial visualization support into the upcoming Environmental Facility Information system (EFI) development efforts.

To accomplish the above objectives and to make the best use of available resources, the MDEP decided to undertake a consultant-assisted process.  Under this approach, a majority of the work was to be carried out by MDEP staff, with support from specialized consultants at key junctures in the project.  The resulting team arrangement allowed MDEP GIS staff to take maximum responsibility for the project, reinforce relationships with end users in the Department, build internal capacity, and greatly reduce costs for external support.

The consultant team had recommended a business process modeling software, ProVision Workbench, as an environment for effectively gathering and documenting the workflow and data requirements of the end users.  This was seen as an opportunity to engage the end user community directly in building an archive and knowledgebase regarding MDEP business processes that involve spatial data.  This tool and the associated methods allowed the necessary information collection and compilation to be done in a manner that would both support the current project, while providing a framework that could be expanded and refined later to address the larger systems integration and implementation efforts within the Department.  To this end, selected MDEP staff were trained in the use of the software both in the form of instructor led classroom activities, as well as on-the-job experience conducting initial end user interviews with consultant support.  All the pertinent information was collected and documented into the ProVision system, and reviewed and confirmed with the end user community through an iterative, interactive process.  The information now documented in ProVision can be referenced through the software, or can be output to a variety of digital or hardcopy report formats.  The need for any digital or hardcopy reference output from the ProVision system will be discussed by the Project Team while defining requirements for final project documentation.