Three regional planning commissions, 35 Wisconsin counties, and 150 additional partners within those counties have contracted with Ayres Associates to provide detailed aerial photography and related services in the largest mapping initiative in the state's history. The mapping will serve as the basis for geographic information systems that combine detailed maps with numerous types of information, including land parcels, zoning, and tax data.

Beyond planning commissions, counties, municipalities, and townships, participants in this digital orthoimagery project include tribal governments, state and federal agencies, private entities, and utilities. These project partners are benefiting from the sharing of costs and data through a consortium approach. Many have requested a variety of other products and services, including topographic mapping using traditional photogrammetric and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) methods.

The project area stretches roughly from the southwest corner of the state to the northeast corner and from the shores of Lake Michigan in the east to the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers in the west.

Ayres Associates is an architectural/engineering consulting firm whose services include geographic information systems, photogrammetry, remote sensing, environmental science, and surveying. The firm, which has assisted public and private clients since 1959, has offices in Eau Claire, Madison, Waukesha, and Green Bay. It also has offices in Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, and California. It has more than 400 employees.

Source: Ayres, May 23, 2005