Earthdata Acquires Majority Share in Horizons, Inc.

Union of Two Geospatial Leaders Creates Powerful Market Force

Washington, DC (8 September 2004) – EarthData Chairman, Bryan J. Logan, announced today the acquisition of majority ownership in Horizons, Inc., an aerial mapping company headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota.  With 246 employees in offices throughout the US, a fleet of twelve aircraft, and over a dozen state-of-the-art airborne sensing systems, the union of these two companies creates one of the largest and most technologically advanced mapping, remote sensing, and GIS organizations in the industry. 

“The joining of EarthData and Horizons enables us to expand our domestic and international reach, offer a wider array of services, and increase production capacity and flexibility,” said Logan, adding that the investment in Horizons, with its Midwest locations, fulfills EarthData’s long-term goal of having a world-class mapping presence in the central US.  Jim Spell, chairman of Horizons for the past 35 years, is equally positive.  “EarthData and Horizons have worked together successfully for the past 16 years,” explained Spell, who retired and sold his majority ownership share to Logan.  “Joining forces permanently is a natural result of this long-term partnership and the synergies that already exist between our staff and production operations.”   

Although EarthData and Horizons will continue to operate as separate entities for the near-term, EarthData CEO, Anne Hale Miglarese, and Horizons President, Larry Deibert, will begin to integrate business development efforts and increase efficiencies through greater collaboration among production operations.  “Both EarthData and Horizons have reputations among their respective clients for first-class service; each has a deeply committed and talented workforce; and, each has a long record of strong financial performance,” said Miglarese, who joined EarthData in April 2004.  “Larry and I, with our respective management teams, look forward to bringing the best of EarthData and Horizons together for the mutual benefit of our clients and our employees.”  The companies’ combined market includes virtually every federal agency and over 65 percent of state governments nationwide.  Deibert pointed out that the technological and financial resources of this union strengthen the organization’s ability to continue investment in advanced technologies and innovations in the core business. 

About EarthData
EarthData is an airborne data collection, mapping, and GIS services organization that provides clients with customized products, services, and GIS applications to support a wide range of land-use, resource management, and engineering activities.  With its fleet of aircraft, the company collects aerial photography, uses an airborne laser system (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) to produce 3D terrain models, and develops or deploys other remote sensing technologies to detect thermal and multispectral information about the earth’s surface.  EarthData offices in Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, DC, use this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services. (

About Horizons
Horizons, Inc., has provided high-quality photogrammetric mapping services since 1968.   Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, with an office in Minnesota, Horizons serves public- and private-sector clients in government, mining, oil and gas, and engineering, among other vertical markets.  Capabilities include a large aircraft fleet configured for aerial acquisition of imagery, lidar, and other sensors; data processing for the creation of orthophoto, topographic/planimetric maps; and GIS services.  A staff of more than eighty professionals includes engineers, ASPRS-certified photogrammetrists, aviation experts, computer programmers, and other technical and administrative staff. (