Data sharing tradition continues in Lake County, Illinois.

Merrick & Company is providing a full range of GIS mapping services to Lake County, a rapidly growing region in northeastern Illinois.

This project began in March 2002 and is currently planned for completion in March 2004. Phase One, a $490,000 contract, includes: countywide 1”=660’ black and white aerial photography with airborne GPS; LIDAR data acquisition; GPS surveying of photo control and paneling; photogrammetric breakline collection; 1”=100’ half foot (.5’) pixel resolution black and white digital orthophotography; ASCII DTM (digital terrain model) creation; and interpolation and delivery of 2’ contours covering approximately 36.5 square miles of forest preserve sites. Phase Two will include: countywide interpolation and delivery of 2' contours; compilation and ArcInfo database development of hydrology, building outlines, roads, and other impervious surfaces; acquisition of color infrared (IR) aerial photography that meets U.S.G.S. National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) specifications; and the development of 1"=400' scale color IR digital orthophotography with a pixel resolution of 2'. These project deliverables will be provided on CD-ROM.

Merrick was selected through a competitive Request For Proposal process, according to Richard Hilton, Lake County GIS Manager. Selection criteria included demonstrated success in completing projects of this type and scope in a timely manner; clarity and completeness of the technical proposal; project management approach and cost. “We are very confident in Merrick’s management team, technical approach, and ability to complete the project on time,” states Hilton. Doug Jacoby, Merrick Project Manager for this effort states, “We were very pleased to be selected by the GIS and Mapping Division of the Lake County, Illinois Information and Technology Department. We look forward to supporting them on this important project.”

Lake County is located between Chicago and Milwaukee, along the shores of Lake Michigan. The 470.5 square mile County experienced a 25 percent population increase between 1990 and 2000. Rapid development in the County and surrounding areas has resulted in concerns about traffic congestion, preservation of natural resources, public open space, affordable housing, flood control and prevention, future land use, and many other related issues. The aerial photography and derived GIS data will be used by most County departments and other cooperating government agencies in daily operations. There is a robust data sharing environment between the County’s GIS and Mapping Division and over 100 federal, state and local government, and non-profit agencies. Engineers, planners, health department staff, elected officials, the public, and others will have access to accurate up-to-date basemap, landuse, hydrology, and natural resource data.

The GIS products will be available to the public at only the cost of reproduction, following a more than sixty year tradition of sharing maps and related information.