Point of Beginning

SPOT to Update Statewide Mapping of Alaska

October 12, 2010
Spot Image Corporation has been chosen to provide satellite imagery for the first Alaska statewide mapping program in more than 25 years.

Spot Image Corporation, part of Astrium Services' GEO-Information division, has been chosen to provide satellite imagery for the first Alaska statewide mapping program in more than 25 years. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded the $3.45 million Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI) contract to Aero-Metric, Inc. of Anchorage, who will use SPOT imagery to complete this project.

"For the first time in Alaska's history, there will be accurate mapping data tools available for use in public safety improvements, environmental analysis and natural resource management on a statewide level. It's an important and exciting challenge for us," said Astrium Services' Antoine de Chassy.

Awarded following a competitive proposal process, the SDMI contract calls for the collection of 2.5-meter resolution, SPOT-5 imagery of the entire 1.7 million-square-kilometer state over the next four years. The SPOT-5 satellite will acquire both panchromatic and multispectral imagery for the project. During processing, the two data sets will be integrated to generate pseudo-natural color, color infrared, and panchromatic ortho-image map products.

The new statewide ortho-images are expected to serve as the basemap layer in projects ranging from transportation corridor selection and coastal zone management to timber harvesting and natural resource lease delineation. The base topographic maps still in common use in Alaska were created more than 50 years ago by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The last statewide imagery collection was performed by NASA using high altitude reconnaissance aircraft from 1978-1986 under a multi-agency program led by the USGS.

Aero-Metric, which will perform all project management functions under the contract, is responsible for obtaining digital elevation models and ground control of sufficient quality to ortho-rectify the satellite imagery to meet 1:24,000-scale National Map Accuracy Standards. Fugro EarthData will process, ortho-rectify, and mosaic the SPOT imagery into final deliverables for the state.

"The SDMI project will deliver statewide maps to all the people in Alaska who need quality geospatial information," said Tony Follett, Senior VP and Alaska Region Manager for Aero-Metric, Inc.

The ortho-rectified imagery products will be distributed at no charge using open data standards via the SDMI's Alaska Mapped website. A cooperative partnership involving the University of Alaska, DNR and four additional state departments, SDMI closely supports federal, state, local and tribal projects requiring map products.