Aerial Mapping 2010

Showcasing the latest advancements and innovations in airborne sensing, aerial lidar, and photogrammetry.

Aerial Mapping 2010: Case Studies

Aerial Mapping 2010: Corporate Profiles

Aerial Mapping 2010: Articles

Aerial Mapping 2010: e-Edition



No Confusion Over Data Fusion
By Mary Jo Wagner

Digital airborne sensors. LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors. Hyperspectral sensors. Digital frame cameras. All aerial survey instruments that have their rightful place in the airborne mapping industry, each known for its particular application suitability. That dutiful categorization however can lead companies and clients alike to confine themselves to a separatist approach to collecting aerial surveys—applying a single sensor or flying different sensors with different planes at different times—and make it difficult for them to answer seemingly simple, benign questions such as “What is that feature?”

Read the full case study


WHPacific – William R. Fairchild Airport, Port Angeles, Washington – Obstruction Mapping

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Geodetic Survey (NGS) obstruction mapping requirements and mapping surface definitions evolved with the FAA’s publication of DRAFT Advisory Circular 150/5300-18B. Throughout several iterations of this evolution, Aero-Metric adapted its airport mapping production process to meet the changing specifications. Aero-Metric’s technical expertise and experience with these dynamic requirements allowed our staff to provide detailed feedback to NGS, which ultimately helped define the final mapping standards. Aero-Metric provided WHPacific with complete airport obstruction mapping services including orthophotography, a digital terrain model, and 1:240,000 scale planimetric mapping which were submitted to and accepted by FAA and NGS.

Read the full case study


EFS Geotechnologies, Inc. and the Trimble Digital Sensor System (DSS)

The challenges of operating a successful aerial survey firm are many – inclement weather, scheduling challenges, tight deadlines, and the occasional buzzard.

Buzzards?  Yes, buzzards. As EFS GeoTechnologies’ chief pilot and sensor operator Fred Collier discovered after his Cessna 182 had an encounter with a large turkey vulture, the ensuing aircraft repair costs and resulting downtime highlighted just how important it is to have a polished workflow and highly productive hardware for aerial mapping – uptime is precious.

Read the full case study


ARAUCO Relies on Trimble Harrier Mapping System for the World’s Largest Forestry Inventory Project

PROJECT: Premier aerial mapping service provider Digimapas Chile (DMCL) uses Trimble geospatial technology for massive client forest monitoring project in Latin America

Project highlights:
  • Top foresty company, ARAUCO, selects Digimapas Chile (DMCL) and Trimble to produce high-resolution and high-precision elevation models in combination with digital imagery for forest planning
  • 7.5 million hectares (75,000 sq. km) of forestland was mapped at an accuracy scale of 1:2000 using Trimble Harrier – an airborne imaging and laser scanning system
  • Approximately 10 percent of Chilean territory was successfully mapped in just three years
  • The team delivered high-precision spatial data including digital surface and terrain elevation models, high-resolution imagery, 16 bit laser intensity data, and both RGB (red, green, blue) as well as CIR (colored infrared) orthoimages
  • Access to current terrain topography data improves ARAUCO’s ability to make strategic decisions about property investments
  • Laser scanner elevation models also support smarter infrastructure and road planning, slope analysis, harvesting, environmental impact analysis, fire detection and prevention, and more
Read the full case study


ALTM Orion C200: New Eye-Safe Airborne Corridor Mapper Provides Outstanding Data Quality, Accuracy and Precision

By Valerie Ussyshkin, Livia Theriault, Martin Pokorny, Optech Incorporated

Lidar data has been widely adopted as an efficient and effective tool in the planning and management of power line and utility corridor assets. To better serve this segment of the lidar community, Optech developed a new class of Airborne Laser Terrain Mapper (ALTM™), the Orion C200. Designed specifically for maximum efficiency in corridor mapping applications, the Orion C200 delivers the highest data precision and accuracy possible from an airborne sensor.

The Orion C200 incorporates a 1.5 micron laser, enabling complete eye-safe operation at extremely low altitudes (aided NOHD = 7 m), a critical feature often required for power line surveys and other corridor-type projects. To ensure complete eye-safe operation, the emitted energy of the laser pulse has to be reduced. However, when laser energy is reduced, there is potential to affect overall data accuracy and precision, and specifically, the ability to detect small objects such as power transmission or distribution wires. Considering power transmission lines as one of the most typical examples of the surveyed corridors, the question about the accuracy of the lidar data comprising wires and ground data would be the most important for the further analytical evaluation of the surveyed transmission line. This case study shows that, owing to its uniquely efficient system design, the Orion C200 has overcome the challenge of balancing complete eye-safe operation with exceptional data quality, accuracy and precision.

A new level of lidar data accuracy and precision consistent with outstanding small object detection capability is demonstrated.

Read the full case study

Aerial Mapping 2010: Corporate Profiles

Aerial Data Service
Airborne Scientific Inc.
Applanix, A Trimble Company
Fugro EarthData
Leica Geosystems
Merrick & Company
MJ Harden
Midwest Aerial Photography
Optech Incorporated
Riegl USA
Surdex Corporation
Track'Air B.V.
Trimble Navigation Limited
Valley Air Photos
Wilson & Company
Vexcel Imaging Company

MJ Harden

5700 Broadmoor, Suite 800
Mission, KS 66202-2402
913-981-9600 • Fax 913-981-9602
Contact: Michael L. Hut, Director of Sales

MJ Harden has been in business since 1956 and its main office is located in the Kansas City area. We have decades of experience in providing aerial acquisition, photogrammetric mapping, and GIS data management services. Clients include utilities, government agencies, civil and environmental engineering firms, and pipeline operators. MJ Harden’s mission is to provide innovative geospatial solutions that make our customers more successful.

Aerial Imagery
MJ Harden’s operates two (2) Z/I Digital Mapping Camera (DMC) systems. The DMC simultaneously captures panchromatic, color, and color infrared imagery in a single flight and is suitable for engineering-level planimetric and topographic mapping. The DMC’s leading edge technology also improves clarity over traditional film imaging and other digital systems.

MJ Harden operates the Optech Gemini LiDAR system. The Gemini’s system configuration can be adapted to accommodate varying topography, land cover, and project size and shape.
Acquisition costs are reduced with the Gemini’s multipulse technology which allows for maximum point density while flying at higher altitudes.

Photogrammetric Mapping
MJ Harden’s skilled compilation operators have decades of photo interpretation experience that assures our services for orthophotography, planimetric mapping and topographic mapping meet the highest standards for accuracy and completeness.

GIS Services
As providers of total GIS solutions, MJ Harden supports our consulting services with strong expertise in mapping, data conversion and migration, and end-user application development.

Satellite Imagery
As part of GeoEye, MJ Harden has direct access to quality satellite imagery to meet the needs of our clients. GeoEye is the world’s largest provider of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery. The GeoEye-1 satellite is equipped with the most sophisticated technology ever used in a commercial
satellite system.

Leica Geosystems

5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 250
Norcross, GA 30092
770-326-9500 • Fax 770-447-0710 •

With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 2,400 employees in 21 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Our Americas headquarters is located in Norcross, Georgia, in the southeastern part of the United States.

Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

Aero-Metric, Inc.

With a dedicated staff of 230 in offices across the country, Aero-Metric, Inc. is one of the largest and most experienced full service geospatial solutions companies in the nation. The firm has a long tradition of consistent performance and enduring client relationships built on over eight decades of quality service. Aero-Metric’s client base includes many of the top North American engineering and industrial firms, as well as a host of federal, state and local government agencies. Clients call on Aero-Metric for precise and timely geospatial mapping services in conjunction with feasibility studies, infrastructure mapping, engineering design and construction, temporal change detection and assessment, homeland security, emergency response, and many other applications.

Aero-Metric has the experience, technical expertise, and depth of staff resources to enable excellent performance on challenging geospatial projects from multisensor data fusion for small sites to state-wide mapping programs. Our staff includes surveyors, pilots, engineers, and photogrammetrists, as well as mapping scientists and GIS specialists working from strategically located production offices. A pioneer in the use of color aerial photography, digital photogrammetry, lidar, and airborne digital sensors Aero-Metric remains committed to technical excellence and is continually working with clients to explore emerging sensors and platforms, as well as geospatial Open Source and web 2.0 technologies such as Google Earth®.

Locations in Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Applanix, A Trimble Company

85 Leek Crescent, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, L4B 3B3
905-709-4600 • Fax 905-709-6027 •

The Trimble DSS is built upon Applanix’ innovative GNSS-aided inertial technology and systems integration expertise, and is a key part of Trimble’s aerial mapping product line.

The full range of Trimble’s mobile mapping systems, airborne systems, and photogrammetry & digital surface modeling solutions can be found in our GeoSpatial product line. Our solutions streamline the capture and maintenance of high-accuracy as-built models for aerial and land mobile mapping, transportation, and utilities and energy transmission & distribution industries.

Wilson & Company

4900 Lang Avenue, NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87199
Contact: Vice President Ryan Branfort
Associate Vice Presidents Eric Cenovich, C. Scott Croshaw, Scott R. Perkins

Locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah

Wilson & Company is one of the largest and most comprehensive surveying and mapping firms in the United States. We have recently invested in new equipment to serve the changing needs of our clients. Our services include digital imaging and LiDAR acquisition, traditional surveying as well as hydrographic, engineering, and architecture. We are your full-service consulting firm, providing all services under one roof.

Everyone succeeds when the relationship between a firm and its partners is brought to a higher level, and Building Higher Relationships is what sets Wilson & Company apart. The five core values are shared ownership, collaboration, intensity, discipline, and solutions. Building a strong rapport with our clients, business partners, and employees has produced Wilson & Company’s legacy of more than 75 years.

Our team is strategically located throughout the central, southwest, and western U.S. to efficiently serve a wide geographic area. Each location works together on communication and coordination of projects, schedules, and service delivery. This effort allows us to perform multiple projects simultaneously for a variety of clients; federal, municipal, and public works agencies; public transportation; railroads; school districts; industrial and commercial corporations; and private developers. Wilson & Company has been in practice since 1932, maintains 19 offices in nine states, and employs over 525 staff members.

Vexcel Imaging Company

1690 38th Street
Boulder, CO 80301 USA
303-546-1301 • fax: 425-936-7329
Contact: Jerry Skaw

A wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, Vexcel Imaging GmbH offers state-of-the-art photogrammetric products based on the latest and most-advanced technological developments. Our flagship product—the UltraCam large format digital aerial mapping camera—was first introduced in 2004 to offer customers an alternative to traditional film aerial technology. Since the launch of the first UltraCam model—the UltraCamD—Vexcel Imaging has continued to enhance the product, primarily through improvements to its image footprint and storage subsystem, resulting in the releases of the UltraCamX, UltraCamXp and most recently, the UltraCamXp WA that features a wide angle lens to allow for efficient data collection at lower altitudes. In 2008, we announced our entry into the medium format camera market through the UltraCamL medium format digital photogrammetic system, a more compact and lighter solution than the UltraCam large format systems. In working towards a more complete photogrammetric system, Vexcel Imaging recently announced a new version of the UltraMap workflow software. UltraMap 2.0 provides many new features for managing and distributing data collected with the UltraCam systems, including “Monolithic stitching” that significantly improves geometric image accuracy for unstructured terrain.

Industry Leader
Vexcel Imaging has become a leading provider of large- and medium-format cameras, given our technological innovations and commitment to quality customer support. Our business philosophies are guided by a strong commitment to provide customers with high quality photogrammetric products at competitive price/performance ratios to best position those companies to successfully compete in the geospatial services market.

Vexcel Imaging offers products worldwide through sales teams located in Graz (Austria) and Boulder, Colorado, backed by a support team with calibration labs in both locations. Additionally, we partner with organizations across the globe to provide worldwide sales and support for our products.

In addition to activities in support of the UltraCam line of digital aerial cameras and the UltraMap workflow software for the global market, Vexcel Imaging develops camera systems and software systems specifically for Microsoft’s Bing Maps program. This includes fully automated orthorectification software being used by Microsoft to process many thousands of UltraCam images for the Bing Maps mapping platform and web site.

Unique in the Industry
Our strengths lie in our technical and community know-how combined with our ability to tap into Microsoft innovations, arguably a unique value proposition within the remote sensing industry. It is this technology integration, in part, that enables Vexcel Imaging to consistently offer state-of-the-art products at price points accessible to smaller organizations. As we innovate, we provide newer and better technologies that include an upgrade path to allow customers to migrate to new products without necessarily needing to abandon their existing tools.

Riegl USA

7035 Grand National Drive, Suite 100
Orlando, Florida 32819
407-248-9927 •
contact: Jim van Rens, Riegl USA President

Today, Riegl is recognized as the performance leader in the markets they serve. The company’s laser business is based upon a 30 year heritage in research, development and manufacturing of time-of-flight based optical radar systems. Riegl products are used for terrestrial and airborne survey, geo-spatial monitoring, industrial process control, as-built 3D documentation, altimetry and aerospace applications.

In 2010, Riegl continues to demonstrate its dedication to expanding the boundaries of 3D with the new LMS-Q680i. This innovative new scanner combines a powerful laser source with Riegl’s multiple-time-around processing. The scanner achieves higher operating flight altitude at faster speeds while maintaining a high point density. With 266,000 measurements at the ground, this “Innovation in 3D” provides unrivaled point density performance and an unmatched laser pulse repetition rate of 400 KHz. The Q680i is ideal for city modeling, power line monitoring and even large area and flood plain mapping. The scanner is also ideal for forestry, shoreline and DEM model generation applications.

The success of the LMS-Q680i and its predecessor the LMS-Q680 consolidates Riegl’s position as the leading provider of laser scanner systems; true to the slogan “Innovations in 3D,” gives reason to expect future innovations from Riegl.

Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH is headquartered in Horn, Austria, with offices in Orlando, Florida and Tokyo, Japan. The company offers worldwide training and support with a network of representatives in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.

For more information on this or other Riegl products visit or email

Fugro EarthData

7320 Executive Way
Frederick MD 21704
301-948-8550 • Fax 301-963-2064
Contact: Louis Demargne

Fugro EarthData’s global acquisition-to-production resources combine with rigorous quality management procedures for end-to-end solutions that meet customer needs for accurate and efficient geospatial data, anywhere in the world.

Fugro EarthData is on the forefront of geospatial technology, developing and integrating emerging technologies into normal production operations. Centered on customer needs, our technology and development efforts help customers improve their decision-making with the use of higher quality products and services, delivered faster. We now offer customers a revolutionary Panoramic Mapping solution that combines high resolution vertical and oblique imaging with powerful 3D mapping and visualization capabilities, supporting a range of applications including topographic and planimetric mapping, urban and regional planning, property appraisal, asset inventory, critical infrastructure mapping, and emergency response and recovery.

Experience Highlights
  • Successful completion of 13 statewide mapping programs and over 60 local government projects nationwide in the past 6 years alone
  • Completion of 40+ international mapping projects spanning 6 continents
  • A trusted data provider for numerous federal government agencies, including USGS, USDA, NGA, NOAA, and the US Army Corp of Engineers
  • Exceptional breadth of geospatial products including lidar mapping, digital orthoimagery, planimetric data, contours, 3D building models, oblique imagery, satellite image processing, land-use/land-cover mapping, and GIS decision-support tools
  • Reputation for successfully deploying a full range of airborne sensors throughout the US and providing rapid response mapping in anticipation of and in response to natural and manmade events
  • Proven ability to manage complex projects involving multiple assets, project areas, and team members
  • Other geospatial services provided by Fugro include hydrographic surveying and bathymetric mapping, helicopter-based lidar for corridor mapping (FLI-MAP), roadway asset mapping and management, and geotechnical surveying

Trimble Navigation Limited

10355 Westmoor Drive,  Suite 100
Westminster, CO 80021  USA
720-587-4905 • Fax: 720-587-4878 • • Contact: Ron Biso

Integrated solutions for aerial and land mobile mapping, transportation, utilities and energy transmission and distribution industries

Trimble sees a growing convergence over the next 5–10 years among the fields of land survey, mapping and GIS, and aerial mapping as data processing and engineering expertise are moving closer to projects.

Driving this convergence is the ability to obtain accurate geospatial data from a variety of sources, including aerial photography, scanning, inertial systems and others. Capturing, processing, integrating and using this data is key.

To help meet this need, Trimble formed the GeoSpatial Division that provides unique technology, solutions and services for the acquisition and use of geospatial data. Trimble’s solutions streamline the capture and maintenance of high-accuracy as-built models from the planning phase, through design and construction, to the subsequent maintenance phase—delivering significant improvements in productivity.

Trimble’s GeoSpatial Division provides hardware and software for aerial and land mobile mapping, including ruggedized aerial metric cameras and complete turn-key camera/scanner systems for airplanes, helicopters and vans. The GeoSpatial Division now offers customers large-area geospatial data capture and processing solutions for a growing number of applications, including transportation and utilities and energy transmission and distribution industries. 

The GeoSpatial Division includes four previously independent companies that have been acquired by Trimble during the last three years: INPHO, Geo-3D, Rollei Metric and TopoSys. Each has a well-earned reputation for technical excellence and innovation for photogrammetric and terrain modeling solutions.


DiMAC sprl
Charleroi Airport, South Terminal,
Rue des Fusillés, Building S13
6041 Gosselies, BELGIUM
+32 71 57 25 30 • Fax: +32 71 57 25 31

DiMAC is a leading global provider of solutions designed to acquire airborne digital imagery in the field of geographical information systems, and specifically for photogrammetric and orthophotoplan applications. Leveraging 20 years of expertise in aerial cartography, the company develops, manufactures, sells and supports state-of-the art yet affordable digital modular aerial camera systems. Particularly, the DiMAC digital aerial cameras feature TRUE FMC and TRUE COLOR that lead to the sharpest images on the market.

At the moment, DiMAC offers these technologies within three specific products made to answer all the needs of aerial imaging companies: the DiMAC ULTRALIGHT+ and DiMAC LiGHT+, the medium format digital cameras of 8 900 by 6 700 pixels, as well as the distinctive DiMAC WiDE+, the large format digital camera of 13 000 by 8 900 pixels.

The DIMAC ‘+’ series represents the advent of a new level in cost-effective yet cutting-edge aerial digital imaging solutions for mapping and orthophoto applications. Based on the proven modular architecture of the previous generation of DiMAC cameras, the ‘+’ series systems are distinguished by their use of 60 MPix CCD sensors, new high-resolution lenses, all controlled and driven by the most compact IT Rack of any camera system on the market.

Our innovative camera system and straight forward workflow processing are changing the quality of digital imagery, which make the DiMACs truly fulfilling the promise of digital aerial imagery today and will continue to do so tomorrow.

DiMAC operates worldwide and combines innovative product development with strong manufacturing and
support expertise.

Track’air B.V.

Zutphenstraat 55
7575 Ej Oldenzaal
The Netherlands
+31 541 229030 • Fax +31 541 229 033 •
Contact: Rudi Fischer • • +49 177 2969307

Track’air BV was started in the Netherlands in 1995. Over the last 15 years, Track’air has specialized in developing efficiency tools for the aerial survey profession. Track’air is a privately owned independent company which employs a dozen experienced professionals around the world including a pilot, camera operator and software and hardware engineers. A US subsidiary, Lead’Air inc., is operating from Orlando, Florida, to support the sales in North America.

The X-track Flight Management System has been Track’Air’s main product for 10 years. Close to 1000 organizations are operating the X-track which without a doubt has become the most popular FMS in the world. The X-track software is also the core of the IMU/FMS POSTRACK system delivered by Applanix and has also been fully integrated by Intergraph in their DMC and RMK D digital camera systems.

In 2010, X-track will be replaced by the NANOtrack. This uncomplicated USB device transforms any modern tablet/laptop computer into a powerful FMS system capable of controlling any sensor (RC10/20/30, RMK A/TOP, LMK1000/2000, MRB, all Vexcel models, all small format digital cameras, scanners, etc). NANOtrack also interfaces with and controls all existing commercial mounts (TAS, PAV30/80, GSM3000/4000, etc.) Thanks to its innovative technology, NANOtrack packs the most powerful flight management system available today into an affordable system not much bigger than a cell phone!

To replace outdated FMS or extend the life of older cameras, NANOtrack is an inexpensive and uncomplicated solution. Based on the proven Windows based X-track software, it is easy to install and operate. Priced between US$ 7,500 and US$ 17,500, the NANOtrack is even suitable as a temporary solution or on the fly replacement for other equipment. Last but not least, the Nanotrack can be upgraded into the Applanix Postrack system with which it shares the same software.

To learn more about our products and services we invite all aerial survey operators to contact Track’Air in Holland (+31 651363197) or Lead’Air in the USA (+1 407 343 7571).

Optech Incorporated

300 Interchange Way
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada L4K 5Z8
905-660-0808 • Fax: 905-660-0829 •

Many Products - One Family

Optech is the world leader in the development and manufacture of advanced laser-based survey and imaging instruments. For over 35 years, Optech has refined lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to empower survey customers with fast, accurate and cost-effective solutions.

Airborne Survey
Optech’s Airborne Survey products excel in the efficient acquisition of high-accuracy spatial data over land and water. Whether it is a high-altitude wide-area mapping project, a low-altitude power line survey, or a small payload, low-power platform requirement, Optech delivers complete data collection solutions for a full range of application and installation scenarios.

The new ALTM Orion is the world’s smallest airborne lidar mapping solution. With all the performance and features you have come to expect from much larger systems, Orion offers flexibility in installation and application not offered anywhere else.

Mobile Survey
Optech’s Lynx Mobile Mapper™ represents the next generation in the rapid collection of survey-grade 3D data. This revolutionary mobile mapping system integrates the newest innovation in lidar sensors with the best-of-class imaging, navigation and product warranty and support.

Terrestrial Survey
Optech’s ILRIS (Intelligent Laser Ranging and Imaging System) is a complete, fully portable, laser-based 3D imaging and digitizing system for the commercial survey, engineering, mining and industrial markets.

Merrick & Company

2450 S. Peoria Street
Aurora, CO 80014

Since its founding in 1955, Merrick has provided advanced mapping technologies and services for its clients. The firm maintains a leading edge in this technology and is continually recognized for outstanding client service, product quality, and innovation in the profession.

Merrick owns fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter platforms for data collection. Multiple sensors can be loaded onto one platform allowing for ease and speed of data acquisition for both broad geographic areas and tight topography. The collected data can then be fused, processed, and applied to the project, providing more complete data and greater accuracy for project decision making.

The firm’s technologies and services include:
  • Light detection and ranging (LiDAR)
  • Hyperspectral imagery
  • Photogrammetry
  • Surveying
  • GIS professional services
  • LiDAR data processing & analysis software (MARS®)
Merrick has provided geospatial mapping, data collection, land surveying, and/or engineering services throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. The firm easily serves clients’ needs regardless of location. Offices are located in Aurora, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Atlanta, GA, Duluth, GA, Albuquerque, NM, Los Alamos, NM, Oak Ridge, TN, San Antonio, TX, Kanata, Ontario, Canada, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Mexico City, Mexico. More information about the firm is located at

Surdex Corporation

520 Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard
Chesterfield, MO 63005
636-368-4400 • Fax 636-368-4401
Contact: Ed Turner

25622 Creston Meadow Dr.
Houston, TX 77406
281-232-4749 • Fax 281-232-4329
Contact: Randy Burkham

For more than half a century, Surdex’s talented staff of industry professionals has provided the experience and knowledge to serve a client base of federal, state and local governments, as well as private companies in the engineering, surveying, forestry, and oil and gas exploration and transmission industries.

Our full service photogrammetric production facility allows us to control every phase of the project, from acquisition with our fleet of six company-owned aircraft fitted with the latest in aerial photographic technology, including three Digital Mapping Cameras, five aerial film cameras, and a LiDAR sensor, through final product generation and delivery. Our end-to-end capabilities ensure product quality and performance. Our highly experienced in-house crew of FAA-certified aircraft mechanics allows us to meet our schedules by increasing aircraft flight time and productivity.

We utilize the science and art of photogrammetry to provide the fastest, most accurate mapping data for our clients. We have the resources to provide clients with high quality images for their mapping needs. Give us the opportunity to produce your next project.

Midwest Aerial Photography

7535 West Broad Street
Galloway, Ohio 43119
614-853-2902 • fax: 614-853-3710
contact: Ken Scruggs

Midwest Aerial Photography has provided airborne data acquisition services nationwide since 1989. We have a reputation among both our public and private sector clients for our high standards and a strong commitment to customer service. Whether we’re producing small or large-scale images, they are all acquired in high-quality resolution at engineering scale accuracy.

Our airborne data acquisition and aviation infrastructure includes five survey aircraft; four Zeiss RMK Top 15 film cameras; and our recent purchase of the next generation of direct digital image capture technology with the new Zeiss RMK D/DX sensor. Our dedicated staff has worked hard to incorporate new technologies with the latest production processes in an effort to meet the increasing demand for the highest quality aerial geospatial information possible.

We offer digital laboratory services that include film scanning with a Zeiss PhotoScan photogrammetric scanner. All custom digital products can be printed on our large format photo printer, written to all digital media formats, or FTP delivery from our website.

Our real competitive edge lies in associates who share a passion for the science of aerial imaging in an ever-changing technological environment. Our mission is high quality aerial photogrammetric images supporting photo interpretation, remote sensing, orthophotography, plannimetric mapping and topographic mapping.

From our company base near Columbus, Ohio and our branch flight operation in Nashville, Tennessee, we service the continental United States. We hope to have the opportunity to acquire the precision aerial data needed for your next project.

Valley Air Photos

5001 Aviation Way, Caldwell, Idaho 83605
208-454-1344 • Fax: 208-454-1345
Cathy Graville, Owner

Valley Air Photos is a 100% woman-owned small business specializing in high accuracy, vertical aerial photography acquisition. Our full service photo lab and hangar are located on the Caldwell Industrial Airport approximately 30 miles west of Boise, Idaho. Established in 1985 by Richard Graville, Valley Air Photos has become highly regarded by our colleagues and clients. Our mission is to incorporate technology and expertise to provide the highest quality imagery at the quickest possible turn around. The VAP team serves both the public and private sectors throughout the Western United States. Our staff has experience with both film based and direct digital acquisition.

Our in-house full service photo lab allows efficiency of image production with on-site film processing, scanning, printing, and image manipulation through orthorectification and mosaicking. In addition, an extensive library of historical coverage of Idaho and surrounding states serves a vast array of research objectives. From aerial image capture to all aspects of image production, VAP is prepared to meet the highest industry standards for any size project.

Airborne Scientific Inc.

5000 W 120th Place
Overland Park, KS 66209
Contact: Cliff Gill

Airborne Scientific started as a flight services company in 1994. Over the past decade we developed the CessnaCam in order to extend our airborne data collection capabilities without having to purchase and cut expensive holes in perfectly good airplanes. We flew the CessnaCam for hundreds of hours as both a permanently installed product on our own aircraft, as well as installing and removing the CessnaCam for short term projects on local rental aircraft. The CessnaCam has proven itself to be very reliable and cost effective replacement for expensive modified aircraft to host newer generation compact digital sensors.

The CessnaCam sensor pod is one of the world’s only portable FAA Supplemental Type Certified aerial sensor enclosures, turning a standard Cessna airplane into a vertical mapping aircraft quickly without any modification. If you don’t own a Cessna 4 seater, we have a large network of pilots and aircraft operators capable of quality and economical data collection using the CessnaCam.

Surveyors, GIS Specialists, Government Entities: Collect your own aerial imagery or lidar without requiring a service provider. Use an aircraft available for rent at the local airport or an inexpensive owned aircraft, and buy or rent a CessnaCam equipped with a turnkey sensor appropriate for the project
at hand.

Applications include: Photogrammetry, GIS mapping, environmental monitoring, powerline and pipeline patrol, videography, law enforcement, and emergency response.

Aerial Data Service

8301 E. 51st Street, Ste. 100, Tulsa, OK 74145-9046
918-622-4144 • 800-888-9163 • Fax: 918-622-4119

Aerial Data Service, Inc. is one of the largest full service photogrammetric firms in the State of Oklahoma.  With our offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Austin, Texas, ADS provides aerial photography and photogrammetric mapping services to hundreds of engineering firms and governmental agencies across the country.

Established in 1964, ADS became incorporated in 1973 and a 100-percents woman-owned firm in 1984.  ADS currently employs a staff of 33, including four American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Certified Photogrammetrists, three Geographic Information Systems Professionals (GISP), two Registered Land Surveyors, and two ATP Rated Professional Pilots, who together comprise over 100 years of cumulative experience.

ADS provides mobile LiDAR scanning and ground based laser scanning for 3-D modeling and as-built mapping.  The laser system virtually covers the subject area with laser pulses, producing a point cloud of data.  Our Lynx Mobile Mapper survey system collects engineering/survey grade LiDAR data over large areas at highway speed and with accuracy that exceeds airborne technologies.

Using some of the most sophisticated technology and exceptional aerial imagery, we can provide digital 3D mapping services to be used alone or with GIS modeling software.  See the world the way it truly is, with unmatched clarity and accuracy.  Call or visit our website

No matter what that photogrammetric requirement, you can count on ADS to meet it. 

Aerial Mapping 2010: Feature Articles

Even in a Recession, Aerial Mapping Continues to Grow in Many Ways 

by Tina Cary, PhD

A number of interesting developments come to my mind when I think about the state of the aerial mapping industry as we transition from the first decade of the third millennium to the second.

The cell phones now carried by 87 percent of Americans are GPS-enabled, driven by a government requirement that carriers be able to report the locations associated with emergency calls. The Public Safety Answering Points that receive those calls use some combination of topographic, planimetric, and image data; the life-or-death accuracy requirements make map updating an ongoing demand.

Read the full article

2010: Graduating from the School of Hard Knocks

by Jim Crabtree, CP, PLS

When I wrote a short article similar to this one in early 2009, I was optimistic that we could power our way through a garden-variety recession solely with innovation and hard work. As the year unfolded, of course it was not that simple. While we did redouble our business development efforts to good effect, the recession has proven tougher and longer than we had hoped.

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More Than a Trend: With lidar progressing quickly into the mapping mainstream, it pays to understand its background and latest advancements.

by Bill Emison

Anyone can see that light detection and ranging (lidar) has quickly evolved since its development in the 1960s. And as with all technologies today, it continues to advance in effectiveness, accuracy, and applications, enhancing the new world it provides the user. In recent years, lidar has come to have a huge impact in the surveying and mapping world, from both aerial and terrestrial platforms.

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MAPPS: 2010 Outlook Is Up

by John M. Palatiello

2010 will not be as bad as 2009. That’s the consensus opinion of the principals of the nation’s leading geospatial firms, according to an economic survey conducted by MAPPS, the association of private geospatial companies.

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Delta Lidar: In a fertile delta in northern California, water resource officials used aerial lidar to map levees, creating a host of usable data in many forms.

by Joel Dudas, P.E.

The levees of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta protect farming communities and critical infrastructure against ever-present flood threats. Like levees everywhere, these must hold back runoff floodwaters produced by large rainfall events. However, the delta is a tidal estuary, and much of the land behind delta levees lies below sea level due to more than a century of subsidence of drained organic soils. Consequently, the delta levees hold back water all the time, not just during major storms. With the hydrodynamics involved, whether individual levees fail often becomes a matter of inches. Since reclamation began in the late 19th century, levee breaches have occurred more than 150 times, with ever-growing consequences as more is invested in and dependent on the delta.

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Safer from Above

by Dr. Chris Lavers

The world faces an unparalleled number of natural and, sadly, man-made humanitarian disasters. In 2004, for example, these disasters claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide, the majority in the developing world. Over a quarter of a million people were estimated to have perished in the Boxing Day Tsunami with its epicenter off the Indonesian coast. However, the developed world is not immune to disaster; in 2005, Hurricane Katrina displaced 770,000 people, destroyed 300,000 homes, and required a massive aid effort by the international community.

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By Air and Ground: In the rugged mountains of Maine, aerial mapping supplements ground surveying to maximize profits on wind farm projects.

by Patrick Graham

As the demand for renewable energy increases worldwide, wind energy companies are challenged to develop clean, reliable sources of wind power with maximum profitability. Developers recognize the enormous opportunity that exists in the northeastern United States, particularly in the state of Maine, which leads New England in new wind farm construction. Maine’s mountains offer abundant wind resources, proximity to transmission lines, and low population density.

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High Volumes No Problem:  Processing the increasing volumes of imaging data resulting from today’s aerial mapping technology can prove daunting, but object-based image analysis software can make it manageable.

by Michael Pregesbauer, Christian Weise, and Gregor Wilhauck

Since the introduction of photogrammetrical methods in the 20th century for mapping terrain and coastlines, imaging data acquisition for surveying has evolved into more complex and highly precise techniques. As sensor technologies have increased in accuracy, higher resolutions have made aerial imaging technologies applicable to a wider range of surveying and land use analysis. And the development of stereophotogrammetry, orthography, and lidar has made it possible to gather precise estimations of an object’s three-dimensional coordinates over varying scales.

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