ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — Aero-Metric Inc. has been selected by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide current and accurate 2.5 meter resolution orthoimage coverage of the entire state. The new imagery will be acquired and processed within the next four years, and will allow Alaska agencies and private organizations to better utilize geographic information system (GIS) and mapping technology to aid in responsible decision making.

Alaska’s last statewide imagery collection, the Alaska High Altitude Photography (AHAP) program was acquired 30 years ago and did not provide complete coverage of the state. In addition, the AHAP imagery does not reflect the current Alaska landscape both man-made development and natural changes such as coastal shoreline erosion, melting permafrost, or shrub-line migration, and needs to be refreshed. Technical limitations of that imagery also prevent it from being used in a GIS. The new 2.5 meter resolution statewide orthoimage will provide current data and will be processed such that it will be immediately usable in GIS mapping systems.

The Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI) is a state initiative that aims at providing up-to-date and complete coverage and to strengthen the alignment between state and federal mapping interests. The new imagery will show current conditions and trends over the Alaska landscape, and will become an essential tool for Alaska’s economic development, livability, and public safety.

Aero-Metric drew on its 50 years of local experience in Alaska and successful track record managing large mapping programs to design a solution that leverages an aggressive satellite image acquisition schedule, existing elevation data, Aero-Metric’s extensive ground control archive, and state-of-the-art image processing capabilities. To provide the best solution to SDMI, Aero-Metric brought to bear the combined resources of SPOT Image Corp. and Fugro Earthdata as subcontractors.

“This statewide imagery acquisition project is uniquely challenging because of its large geographic size and the extreme variability of Alaska’s terrain and climate. Aero-Metric’s knowledge of the weather, logistics, costs, and risks associated with working in Alaska will minimize challenges and streamline production,” said Tony Follett, senior vice president and Alaska region manager for Aero-Metric Inc.

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