Forest Information

Introduction

The Interagency Information Cooperative (IIC) works in conjunction with the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.  As part of its mission, the IIC will provide access to data and information about Minnesota's forests in multiple formats for varying interests and needs.  The first step towards providing this level of information was the development of an IIC Internet homepage.  The next step was to identify key forest resources databases, develop descriptive information (Metadata) for each of those databases, and then providing access to this information through an online Forest Information catalog. 

Beginning in March 1997, the IIC began the process of identifying and documenting key forest resources databases to be added to the IIC Forest Information catalog.  This process took into account the results of three IIC Needs Assessment Workshops (see Forest Information Needs Assessment) and interviews of key individuals with public agencies and private organizations.  Using the Forest Information Needs Assessment report as a guide, multiple projects were undertaken to document forest resources databases and other sources of forest information determined by the Workshop participants to be most important to the IIC mission.  Metadata records were developed using the Minnesota Geographic Metadata Guidelines (MGMG), developed by the GIS Standards Committee of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information

It should be mentioned that various federal, state, county and local government agencies, and private data providers have also been busy developing metadata records for their GIS databases.  This combined work has resulted in a large inventory (LMIC - Minnesota Geographic Data Clearinghouse; MetroGIS - Data FinderNSDI Clearinghouse) of descriptive metadata records.  As an added bonus, many of these metadata records have an online linkage to the database, allowing the data user to automatically retrieve the data free of charge.

The IIC Forest Information catalog is the result of a continuing effort to document forest information databases throughout the State of Minnesota. The IIC will continue to focus on making these databases available free of charge to the general public via online linkages within the metadata records.  Although this online catalog of forest information is quite comprehensive, it is by no means exhaustive.  For example, metadata records have not yet been created for those public agencies and private organizations that were in the early stages of their GIS development activities.  As time and funding permits, these agencies and organizations will be contacted to discuss the metadata development for their databases.

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 The IIC Forest Information catalog consists of the following sections:

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