EarthData Begins Next Phase of Landmark Tennessee Base Mapping Program

Frederick, MD (March 28, 2007) – As a member of the Tennessee Geographic Information (TGI) joint venture, EarthData International is working with the State of Tennessee on a nine-county pilot program that will initiate a transition from conventional film-based photography to digital imaging for orthophoto updates. Awarded through the state’s Office for Information Resources (OIR) – GIS Services Division, the pilot is an extension of the Tennessee Base Mapping Program, a landmark 7-year effort scheduled for completion this summer that combines black-and-white digital orthophotography from film cameras with a digital parcel database and other planimetric layers.

“TGI, and its prime subcontractors EarthData and Smart Data Strategies have done an amazing job with the initial statewide base map production,” said Dennis Pedersen, OIR-GIS Services director. “Now that this work is nearing completion, the challenge is to leverage new technology and find the most cost-effective approach so that we can maintain the base map and meet the needs of state and local users.” The effort includes evaluating potential involvement with the state’s Department of Transportation and participating in the “Imagery for the Nation” initiative led by the National States Geographic Information Council.

Aerial data acquisition is now underway for the pilot counties of Anderson, Blount, Hamblen, Hawkins, Loudon, Putnam, Roane, Sumner, and Washington. From the Leica ADS40 imagery, EarthData will use its ISTAR processing software to produce countywide 1”=200’ natural color orthophotos with a 1’-pixel resolution. “It is an honor to continue our work with the state of Tennessee,” said Sam Moffat, regional business manager for EarthData. “Having mapped all 95 counties under the original program, we are eager to help the state further improve what already is considered one of the nation’s most comprehensive datasets.”

With plans underway to provide broader access to the statewide base map data, the “Tennessee Map” (TNMap) will serve as the state’s enterprise GIS portal and will provide federal, state, and local government users with the ability to locate GIS data through a metadata search engine, as well as view and query the base map data via a web browser. EarthData’s work on the original and pilot programs exemplifies the organization’s philosophy of partnering with customers for the long-term to offer the most advanced mapping technologies and products that best serve customer needs.

About EarthData International
EarthData provides a full range of mapping and GIS services to support customers’ needs in a wide variety of natural resource management, urban planning, economic development, national defense, and engineering activities. With its fleet of aircraft, the organization collects aerial photography, uses airborne laser (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) systems 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 the United States and China use this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services, world-wide. (