Merrick & Company, a world leader in LIDAR, digital imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping, is mapping all above and below ground utility features on the 10-square mile Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. The $400,000 contract, awarded in June 2002, calls for Merrick & Company to locate all utility features, including water, sewer, storm, electrical, natural gas, communications, fiber optics and navigation aids, within an extensive 1.75 million linear feet utility network. October 2002 is the anticipated completion date. Final map products will be delivered in ArcInfo (ESRI, Redlands, CA) and AutoCAD (Autodesk, San Rafael, CA) formats. The photogrammetric and utility databases will be compliant with the U.S. Air Force GeoBase Standards and conform to the U.S. government’s Spatial Data Standards (SDS).

“Collecting this data is very important for future infrastructure planning,” said Juanito Canon, Engineering Technician at the Civil Engineering Division at Buckley Air Force Base. “We have drawings that are not exact or accurate. Having Merrick capture accurate location and attribute data is important to developing the GIS.”

Merrick’s engineers will use GPS technology, in-field inspection and special equipment for underground metal detection to locate features above and below ground to horizontal and vertical accuracies within plus or minus .5 feet. GPS data, captured moreusing the real time kinematic method for greater accuracy, will be exported in ASCII format to TerraModel software (Spectra Precision Software, Atlanta, GA), which automatically draws the lines within the network. Five to ten attributes for each feature will be collected, reviewed against the as-built drawings and classified.

The utility mapping project is a second phase extension of a previous contract the Civil Engineering Division of Buckley Air Force Base awarded to Merrick & Company. In phase one, Merrick & Company collected primary color aerial photos scaled at 1 inch = 500 feet, used as the base for all photogrammetry tasks. Secondary color aerial photos were captured at 1 inch = 2,500 feet, simultaneously with LIDAR data. Final map products included a high altitude color mosaic of the entire base, digital orthophotos at .5-feet resolution, and a contour database at two-foot intervals.

“Merrick did a good job on the first phase, delivering the project on time, in a professional manner,” said Canon. “We are using their product now.”

All data met the government’s SDS and were provided in ArcInfo and AutoCAD formats. Additionally, Merrick & Company surveyed and set six new permanent monument locations, in preparation for phase two. Phase one was completed in March 2002.