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Officials OK funds for aerial photographs

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(Photo)
A check for $5,500 from Monsanto was presented to the Scott County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday. The money will be used to purchase an in-car camera for a patrol car. Pictured from left are: Sheriff Rick Walter, Lt. Jerry Bledsoe, Capt. Greg Ourth, Chad Zimmerman from Monsanto and Robert Cook from Monsanto. Submitted photo
BENTON -- Low-flying planes and high resolution cameras will provide an even better map for Scott County's geographic information system.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, county commissioners approved spending $63,760.50 on Pictometry, an advanced form of aerial photography that provides images that include oblique views of buildings in addition to the usual view from directly above.

"Pictometry offers a closer view of the home and gets all four sides," according to Teresa Houchin, county assessor. "It's a more distinctive image of the property."

Houchin said Pictometry images are so accurate, her staff will be able to use them to determine a structure's dimensions. "There are some people who won't let us on their property," she said.

A GIS enables data, such as road centerlines, addresses and ambulance or fire districts and many other types, to be viewed and manipulated in a graphic format on computers. For many applications, the data is displayed over the top of aerial photographs.

It has been several years since the county was last able to get updated aerial photography, according to Houchin.

"It's been three years -- four in the spring," she said. "There have been just so many changes since then. I want to try to keep it updated every three or four years because of all the changes."

The photography is scheduled to take place in the spring before trees get all their leaves back, according to Houchin, so structures surrounded by trees are clearly visible.

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