In 2006, the State of Minnesota was a successful recipient of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) CAP grant under the Fifty States initiative. The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) will extend the State of Minnesota GIS strategic framework to encompass the counties and communities of the seven-county Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.
The challenge of GIS consistency and parity exists throughout the political hierarchy of the United States, but nowhere is it more challenging than within rural communities. While state, federal, county, academic, and business entities continue to build GIS systems and data sets, local communities without affordable GIS capabilities or technical support are left behind. We strongly believe that through the collaborative incentives provided by a regional consortium housed at ARDC, four main goals of the NSDI can be achieved:
- Metadata consistency with NSDI standards.
- Regional GIS architecture consistent with State of Minnesota strategic direction.
- Effective utilization of GIS technologies at the municipal and township level throughout the Arrowhead Region.
- Longer-term capacity building to support GIS at the local level through regional collaboration.
As highlighted in the State of Minnesota Fifty States Initiative: "Building on decades of informal collaboration, Minnesota’s GIS community now needs to collaborate on a strategy that will bring the benefits of GIS to the entire state." The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission proposes to bring the power of GIS in a collaborative environment to the communities of Northeastern Minnesota.
Note: The original title for the project was "Iron Range GIS Collaborative ".