Washington, DC (February 21, 2004) – EarthData has signed a contract with the Counter Terrorism and Security Council (CTASC) in the state of Indiana to complete a first-of-its-kind statewide geographic information systems (GIS) base map for the state. “The program is the result of 18 months of hard work and collaboration between the CTASC, the Geographic Information Council, and Indiana’s ninety-two counties,” explains Jill Saligoe-Simmel, the executive director of Indiana’s Geographic Information Council.
The partnership among the state and county agencies is the first of several unique features in the initiative. The choices for using all-digital technologies to map this large (approximately 36,600 square miles) project area, the high 1’- and 6”-pixel resolutions, and the 12-month delivery schedule combine to make this a landmark program for the mapping and GIS industry. “As we compared state and local needs in areas such as homeland security, natural-resource management, emergency preparedness, and economic development with our GIS options,” says Dr. Saligoe-Simmel, “the high-resolution base map offers more information and provides the greatest return on our investment.”
A GIS based on a uniform, current high-resolution image foundation, or base map, can be a boon to users who face a wide range of challenges from multiple state and local agencies. Kent Park, Indiana resident and EarthData’s client liaison to the CTASC, has seen the benefits of a high-resolution GIS base map in other states, “Decisions that affect public services are numerous and interdependent. Basing those many decisions on an identical set of data, rather on sources likely to provide inconsistent levels of accuracy and detail, promotes coordination of efforts, speeds responses, improves situation awareness, and increases government operational efficiency.”
Aerial data acquisition begins in late February 2005; program completion occurs when all geospatial products are delivered by March 2006. In addition to 1’- and 6”-pixel-resolution natural-color digital orthophotography, products will include “true” orthophotography (without distortion caused by feature displacement, such as building lean) over the downtown sections of major metropolitan areas, color-infrared orthophotography, a digital surface model, and a digital elevation model. “Whether the issues facing Indiana’s state and county agencies involve emergency response, urban planning, natural resource management, public works, or other concerns, the choices made for this image base support GIS applications that provide answers,” states Anne Hale-Miglarese, EarthData CEO, “EarthData is pleased to have the opportunity to work with CTASC to complete this first-of-its-kind program.”
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 organization 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. EarthData also owns a Midwest mapping and GIS company, Horizons, Inc., with offices in South Dakota and Minnesota. (www.earthdata.com)