Minnesota Administration Commissioner Sheila Reger today appointed David Arbeit (pictured) as Minnesota's first Chief Geospatial Information Officer (CGIO). Arbeit, according to a release, will oversee the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office, created by the 2009 Legislature to coordinate geospatial information technology and its use across state government.

Modeled after a chief information officer (CIO), the GIO position -- instituted in some federal agencies and this March in California -- has served to acknowledge the importance of geospatial data and its coordination.

Arbeit joined state government in 1994 as director of the Land Management Information Center (LMIC), the predecessor of the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office. He has served as director of the Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis, a division of the Department of Administration, since 2005, overseeing the programs of LMIC, the State Demographer, the State Archaeologist and the Environmental Quality Board. He holds an undergraduate degree in engineering and master's and doctoral degrees in regional planning from Cornell University.