The Sidwell Company, a St. Charles, Illinois-based provider of geographic information systems, aerial photography and related services, has been awarded a contract by Nicollet County, Minnesota for development of a comprehensive countywide GIS. The contract includes the creation of countywide digital orthophotography and conversion of the county's existing mapping system, which was originally created by Sidwell. Also included in the contract are full GIS implementation, Sidwell's Parcel Builder software and software training, and plotting services.

Additionally, the contract also calls for Sidwell to perform acreage computations for all agricultural parcels within the county. The computations will be compared to soil productivity indexes to determine valuations for tax assessment. In connection with these services, Sidwell will implement a Sidwell-developed GIS application to support conversion and maintenance of digital map layers for use in assessing the agricultural parcels. This application, called FARMS (Farmland Assessment and Report Management System) can be used to generate reports detailing computed valuations based on soil types and acreage, as well as to create thematic maps portraying soil types, land use, productivity indexes, or valuation.

Source: Sidwell, Dec. 16, 2004