With this purchase, EarthData and Horizons will enter the digital imaging industry.

EarthData Holdings Inc. and its affiliate, Horizons Inc. each purchased a Leica ADS40 Airborne Digital Sensor from Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping. With the purchase of the Leica ADS40, EarthData and Horizons will be propelled into the digital imaging industry and continue to make names for themselves as leaders in the newest technology fields.

The ADS40 is an all-digital aerial sensor that requires no chemical film processing or scanning. Users can simply collect aerial imagery and return from a flight mission ready to process and archive their digital data. Its innovative three-line scanner principle (capturing imagery looking forwards, backwards and downwards from an aircraft) provides wide area coverage and, aided by four multispectral lines, simultaneously captures multispectral data. The ADS40's advanced features and design deliver superior photogrammetric accuracy and coverage.

"The purchase of these two state-of-the-art digital imaging systems is yet another step toward greater automation in the production of mapping and GIS products. The purchase is consistent with EarthData and Horizons' histories of offering leading edge technologies that save our clients time and reduce costs. The use of the all-digital ADS40 will also move us further away from film processing and its associated negative environmental implications," said Bryan Logan, Chairman and CEO, EarthData.

“The integration of the ADS40 with EarthData's recently acquired ISTAR process of automated production of true orthophotography will allow us to provide our clients the highest quality imagery in a fraction of the time,” said Larry Diebert, President/General Manager, Horizons.

“Leica Geosystems is pleased to continue its long-time relationship with EarthData and Horizons,” said Roger Pacey, Manager, Airborne Sensor Systems, Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping. “The ADS40’s superior photogrammetric results coupled with EarthData and Horizons’ successful track record in airborne mapping, imaging and GIS will ensure that they emerge as leaders in the digital imagery market.”

EarthData has achieved successful results with the ADS40 in its pilot mapping project in White County, Tennessee. The ADS40 was used to obtain aerial photographs to create 1:400 scale maps the state will use for its statewide parcel-mapping program.

Horizons anticipates the installation of the ADS40 in their Conquest aircraft in April and plans to begin acquiring digital imagery during the 2003 spring flying season.