MAPPS kicked off the year in January by hosting its annual winter meeting, during which the winners of the Geospatial Excellence Awards were announced.  Aerial Services, Inc. won the MAPPS Geospatial Excellence Award for the fourth time.  The submission, “Bending Space and Time,” won the excellence award for the GIS/IT/Remote Sensing category.

ASI was tasked with georeferencing historical imagery for 59 counties in South Dakota with the goal to produce 59 countywide mosaics.  The intended use of the DOQQs and county-wide mosaics was to provide the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with rich geospatial information for planning and compliance activities, which support provisions of the Food Security Act.  This information would be made available to the public and enable many other diverse uses.

There were a number of difficulties aligning 50- to 60-year-old aerial photography with current aerial imagery and elevation models.  The age of the film, inaccuracy of older camera systems, and changes to natural and man-made landscapes all contribute to make accurately georeferencing this historical imagery problematic.  ASI designed a workflow to manage these complexities and ensure the delivery of a product that exceeded the positional accuracy requirements within a fixed budget.  This new process results in a better understanding of land and environmental and economic impacts for a diverse range of applications.