Sanborn Starts Third Year Of High-Tech Mapping Of Michigan

COLORADO SPRINGS — For the last two years, Sanborn Map Co. has been engaged in a massive mapping initiative for the State of Michigan — and this spring the firm forges ahead into year three of its contract.

The Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery & LiDAR program (MiSAIL) is managed by the state’s Department of Technology, Management & Budget, and chiefly funded by three other state departments — the Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality.

Sanborn is acquiring a variety of imagery across the state, including photography with resolution as small as three inches, as well as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data at the federal standard Quality Level 2, two data points per square meter. Sanborn is hosting the data using its cloud service, Sanborn GeoServe, which lets users review the imagery on a web browser and mark up any areas of concern. Sanborn’s engineers and image processing experts can review their comments, address the issues and quickly respond via the same interface.

“Access to high-quality digital aerial imagery has created a demand for more timely data with better accuracy and resolution,” said MiSAIL project manager Everett Root, an outreach specialist at the DTMB’s Center for Shared Solutions, Office of Technology Partnerships. “One of our acquisition challenges is the short season between snow on the ground and leaf-on conditions. Sanborn’s project managers have dealt successfully with this issue and the next-generation imagery products are enabling the state of Michigan to achieve its goals on schedule.”

As a result of the state’s outreach and partnering initiatives, MiSAIL partner participation has increased each year, growing from two imagery partners and two LiDAR partners in 2013 to 14 imagery partners and five LiDAR partners in 2015.

Altogether, state government and its local, regional, federal, university and utility partners will spend more than $2.7 million on the project this year. Through collaboration, partners realize a cost savings of as much as 30 percent. The SOM’s handling of the request for proposal process, contract management and vendor management results in additional savings.

In 2015, partner stakeholders include the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, whose seven county members comprise half of Michigan’s population, as well as half of its road mileage, and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, which covers the Lansing area. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute more than $1.5 million to the effort for the acquisition of LiDAR data totaling more than 10,500 square miles across 13 Michigan counties.

New in 2015 will be data collection of four major university campuses: Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Beyond 2015, MiSAIL framework allows for the addition of new services and products. Soon to be added are a standard oblique imagery offering, along with oblique imagery optimized for disaster response. The latter will be implemented by the Michigan State Police to enhance efforts surrounding special events, natural disasters and other incidents.

Sanborn Map Co. Inc. has a fleet of 14 mapping aircraft across the country. It offers aerial imagery, aerial and mobile LiDAR mapping, aerial orthophotography, 3-D modeling and visualization software and services, indoor mapping with its proprietary robot, unmanned aircraft system sales, services and image processing, and geospatial software development.

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