Technical Director Basques’ Developmental Work Rates as a 2018 Top Ten Geospatial Story

January 10, 2019 by central No Comments

In its annual review of most read stories during the past year, the Geospatial Information & Technology Association announced on December 28, 2018 that an article featuring efforts of SharedGeo Technical Director Bob Basques at the City of St. Paul, Minnesota was one of its top 10 for the past year. The story entitled Open Source Viewer Sharing All City’s Geospatial Data Can Run on Raspberry Pi was published in the well-known geospatial blog Between the Poles, and sequentially picked up by GITA News Hub on March 22 with the following lead in:  

At GITA 2018 in Phoenix, Bob Basques, GIS Systems Developer at the City of St Paul, described a system called COMPASS he and his team have developed that provides a shared, easy to use tool that allows city employees and the public access to all of the City’s spatial and associated data including, for example, scans of surveyors’ notebooks, 2.2 million street level photos, and permitting and licensing information from 200 different applications.

You can read the full article here.

SharedGeo Completes Six Year GITA Service Contract

September 10, 2018 by central No Comments

On September 1, 2018, SharedGeo completed six years of providing all association services for the Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA), the nation’s largest geospatial association focused on the infrastructure sector. Recruited in late 2012 to provide association support after the extended economic downturn of the Great Recession of 2008 led to layoff of the GITA’s full-time personnel, SharedGeo was faced with the daunting task of transitioning nearly 32 years of hard copy administrative records and established business practices into online solutions. This required the complete rebuild of GITA’s website and association management system, creation of a collaborative online work environment leveraging Google’s Nonprofit Business suite, significantly expanding the social media platforms, and management of the association’s day-to-day business while also developing or supporting 20 some international, national or regional conferences. SharedGeo was able to provide these services for approximately 15% of what the association had previously paid for these same services.

Upon completion of the contract, SharedGeo turned over service responsibility to Civica Associations Conferences & Exhibitions of Aurora, Colorado.

SharedGeo Once Again Leads Development of the Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference

November 17, 2017 by central No Comments

Following up on creation of the highly successful 2016 Upper Midwest Geospatial Conference (UMGEOCON), SharedGeo is once again spearheading efforts to bring together geospatial professionals from across the Upper Midwest for a unique professional development and learning experience.  In addition to SharedGeo, organizations returning from 2016 are the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing – Western Great Lakes RegionGeospatial Information and Technology AssociationIowa Geographic Information Council, Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium and the Wisconsin Land Information Association. The Illinois GIS Association will be joining the conference for the first time.  

Unlike many state specific or product focused events, UMGEOCON is designed to encourage collaboration and collective learning across county and state borders by geospatial professionals from across the Upper Midwest.

The 2018 UMGEOCON will take place at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, May 23-24, 2018.

ERA and SharedGeo Meet to Discuss DragonEye

March 2, 2017 by central No Comments

Recently Executive Director Steve Swazee and Sales Lead Steve Gilkey traveled to the Czech Republic to discuss DragonEye capabilities and potential collaborative business opportunities with executives of Czech aerospace firm ERA. ERA, which specializes in multilateration, multistatic surveillance, and reconnaissance technology, is a subsidiary of Czech defense giant Omnipol.

In addition to Director Swazee and Mr. Gilkey having the opportunity to visit ERA headquarters in Pardubice, the two were able to take in some of the sights of this beautiful country.  Picture to left shows Director Swazee at Prague’s Old Town Bridge Tower which began construction in 1357 AD.

You can view a PowerPoint about DragonEye capabilities at this link. (Can be slow to load)

SharedGeo Celebrates Its 8th Birthday!

October 4, 2016 by central No Comments

In a lighthearted moment after escaping the rigors of the planning whiteboard, founding members of the SharedGeo Board of Directors, Bob Basques, Steve Swazee and Nancy Read, pause to enjoy SharedGeo’s 8th “birthday.” Founded on September 30th, 2008, business has continued to grow for an entity few thought would work – a nonprofit committed to helping “government, nonprofit, education, and corporate entities use mapping technologies and share geographic data for the public good.” Nunc rideam.

DragonEye Software Selected for MN Cup Competition

June 24, 2016 by central No Comments

On June 6th, SharedGeo was informed that its DragonEye location tracking software had been selected as a semifinalist for the 2016 MN Cup Competition.  The contest which is sponsored by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota brings together “entrepreneurs from across the state and connects them with education, mentorship and support to launch and accelerate the development of their new ventures.”  Conducted annually, the top winners of the competition split a purse of more than $450,000.

Out of approximately 1500 submissions, DragonEye was picked as a top 10 entry in the High Tech division.  Although DragonEye is a product which was initially developed to only support tracking of utility vehicles, over nearly 4 years of follow-on development it has evolved into a highly versatile platform primarily focused in the aviation sector where display accuracy and high data throughput rates are critical to safe operations.  Furthermore, across the several years of development, DragonEye has also gained the absolutely unique ability to receive and track every type of GPS enabled device.  You can play the promotional video for DragonEye by clicking this link

SharedGeo Sponsors United Nations SPIDER Training Event Hosted by Delta State University

November 14, 2015 by central No Comments


A 3-day training event for select Asia rim, Africa and South America emergency managers was recently hosted by Delta State University at Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spaces in Jackson, Mississippi.  Created in partnership with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (SPIDER), the 20 attendees participated in training events which focused on how geospatial technology could be leveraged during disaster response operations.  SharedGeo was honored to be able to provide financial and administrative support to make the event a success. Through its support agreement with the Geospatial Information & Technology Association, it previously provided similar support to a United Nations event which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam during November 2014.

Notable attendees included SPIDER Far East Director Dr. Shirish Ravan, who SharedGeo hosted during his visit to the Twin Cities in July 2014.

You can read more about the Jackson, MS event at this link.

USNG in Action: Lake County, Minnesota

October 29, 2014 by central No Comments

As USNG Emergency Location Markers (ELMs) become increasingly prevalent on northern Minnesota trails, there has been an outpouring of support from the snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor recreational communities along with emergency responders.  But no one is as fervent of a supporter of the USNG ELMs as Lake County Emergency Manager, BJ Kohlstedt.

Ms. Kohlstedt was first introduced to the USNG ELMs when she was approached by SharedGeo Executive Director Steve Swazee and Technical Director Bob Basques in 2010 to partner in their OPERA grant-funded pilot program for the ELMs.  Having been asked by the local snowmobile club to install location markers along trails in the area, Ms. Kohlstedt and Lake County accepted the offer to partner with SharedGeo.

In October 2010, representatives from Lake, Cook, and St. Louis counties, the Department of Natural Resources, and the US Forest Service—among others—met with SharedGeo to design  a recreational sign that could be both universal and consistent with state and federal signage regulations.

According to Kohlstedt, the first USNG signs were installed in Lake County in Fall 2012, with the first emergency response using the ELMs in January 2013:  “There was a lost skier out alone at night. She wasn’t from the area. She called nine-one-one and read the sign on the snowmobile trail, and the rescue guy knew exactly where she was.  She was only a two-minute walk from the road.”

Since then, the ELMs have been “spreading like mad to other counties and other states,” said Kohlstedt, and she has been working tirelessly to promote public awareness of the signs throughout her area.  Kohlstedt, along with other Lake County emergency workers, has spearheaded the creation of free USNG guides and brochures showing the locations of the signs on the trails,  and made them available at bars and restaurants along the trails.  Local bars also ask for their own USNG signs with their coordinates to be made, to display for their patrons.

Kohlstedt also gives informational presentations about the USNG ELMs, where she often references SharedGeo’s USNG Information Center website as a resource for the public to go to download USNG apps, print their own ELMs, and get more detailed information. According to Kohlstedt, “the mobile USNG app is a crowd favorite.”

SharedGeo Goes to 2014 MN Interoperability Conference

June 8, 2014 by central No Comments


Executive Director Steve Swazee mans the SharedGeo booth.

SharedGeo Executive Director, Steve Swazee, and Techincal Director, Bob Basques, were invited to attend the 2014 Minnesota Public Safety Interoperability Conference, which took place April 14-16 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. With technology’s role in public safety as the driving force behind the conference, SharedGeo fit right in, and Mr. Swazee and Mr. Basques were able to effectively showcase a variety of current projects.

SharedGeo’s big draws were Mr. Basques’s Automatic Vehicle Locating system (AVL) and the US National Grid (USNG) Minnesota Marker Project.  The SharedGeo booth, which experienced good traffic in the exhibitor hall, provided conference-goers with the opportunity to speak in-depth about the AVL and USNG projects with Mr. Swazee and Mr. Basques, as well as access to demonstrations and a wide selection of informational documents about SharedGeo projects.

The conference itself, which boasted around 250 tech savvy attendees with mainly radio and communications backgrounds, focused primarily on First Net, the public safety broadband network developed under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

To learn more about the Minnesota Interoperability Conference, First Net, or SharedGeo’s AVL and USNG projects, please visit their websites.  And don’t forget to check out the new USNG Information Center for the more USNG news, tutorials, and technology.

GeoMOOSE Recognized by Governor Dayton

April 22, 2014 by central No Comments

geomooseMinnesota governor Mark Dayton formally recognized the GeoMOOSE team for their outstanding work on St. Paul’s GeoMoose-based mapping service and data management system, GISmo.  Read Governor Dayton Recognizes City GIS Team on the Spotlight on Saint Paul website for more on this story.