California client received 35,000 square miles of imagery three months early.

EMERGE, Andover, Mass., completed delivery of more than 35,000 square miles of imagery for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) several months early. The contract, signed in December 2000, called for data collection, processing and delivery by April 2002, but EMERGE completed delivery in late January.

EMERGE attributes the faster-than-expected turn around to several improvements in the company’s workflow. Over years of use the EMERGE sensor gained enhanced reliability, resulting in fewer incidents of data loss, and fewer re-flies. Data processing speed on the ground has been increased with an additional terabyte of server storage space, quicker network connections and top of the line dual processor analytical computers running at 1 GHz or better. The company has also made some process improvements resulting in a more efficient end-to-end workflow.

SCAG is the largest council of governments in the United States and is responsible for federal and state planning requirements including research and planning for transportation, growth management, hazardous waste management and air quality. SCAG contracted with Emerge to collect and process 1- and 2-meter GSD (ground sampling distance) natural color orthorectified imagery covering 38,619 square miles. SCAG will use the imagery to update its land use maps and to provide a consistent data source to members for a variety of uses. Five SCAG partners contributed funds to the project including US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Regional Sanitation District, National Park Service, Southern California Edison, and South Coast Air Quality Management District. Southern California Edison will use the imagery to locate and map its power lines. SCAG offered its members the opportunity to “piggy back” additional imagery tasks on top of its contract. Los Angeles County took advantage of EMERGE’s presence to purchase 0.3 meter orthorectified imagery over the majority of the county for detailed work. The contract, valued at $1.4 million is part of roughly 25% of EMERGE business devoted to local and state government projects.

EMERGE provides high quality digital orthorectified mosaic imagery products for a variety of land use applications serving state, county, municipal and federal governmental agencies, forestry, agriculture, transportation, energy providers and public utilities. Using a patented collection process integrating GPS and IMU technology, the imagery is geometrically and radiometrically corrected for use in land management, mapping and GIS applications. The high-resolution aerial imagery is collected with typical resolutions of 0.3, 0.6 and 1 meter in natural color or color infrared. EMERGE operates the largest nationwide fleet of aircraft equipped with the digital sensor system to meet the small and large scale project needs of its customers.

Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has evolved as the largest of nearly 700 councils of government in the United States, functioning as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for six counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial. The region encompasses 187 cities, a population exceeding 16 million people in an area of more than 38,000 square miles. Further details on SCAG can be found at the SCAG website,