Counties council invests in new aerial imagery project

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - A new collection of
high resolution aerial photos of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry (SDG) will save local taxpayers thousands of dollars, according to county planner Michael Otis.

DRAPE orthophoto takes flight over SDG.

Counties council together with the six local municipalities and both area conservation authorities have partnered with Land Information Ontario (LIO/OMNR) and numerous other public and private partners in eastern Ontario to participate in the Digital Raster Acquisition Project for the East (DRAPE) 2014.

In 2008, the United Counties of SDG received their first set of so-called orthophotos (aerial photos) with a price tag of $15,000. A costly photo album compared to the average, but Otis says without the partnership a project of this magnitude would be in the $125,000 range. He expects this year's set of pictures will cost nearly the same as the first batch.

The aerial photos, which have a 50 cm accuracy, will help municipal staff in their daily workflow and public data requests. They are scheduled to arrive in November 2014 and March 2015.

Otis noted that prior to the collaboration, counties council tried satellite imagery, which didn't work out too well.

"It's been a very successful program. The 2008 DRAPE photos have been used extensively by both the county and the local municipalities," said Otis. "We are very excited by the continuation of this project in 2014 both in terms of a high quality product and reasonable costs for the counties."

The aerial photos provided by Fugro Inc. will benefit numerous planning applications and help staff research a specific site in the area without having to travel several hours, saving taxpayers money in the process.

Fugro Inc. recently hosted a meet and greet with local partners at the Ottawa airport. This opportunity allowed DRAPE participants to meet one of the pilots and camera operators, to see one of the planes used on the project, and ask any questions they had about the acquisition and processing of the orthophotos.

A map of the project area can be found on the LIO website under: www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/LIO/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_108758.html

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