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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

EarthData Provides All-Digital Technologies for Mississippi's Gulf Region Base Mapping Program

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via PRNewswire

FREDERICK, Md., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Having successfully completed digital aerial data collection over a six-county area in southern Mississippi, EarthData International is now fast-tracking delivery on high-resolution orthoimagery to benefit the state's post-Katrina redevelopment. Known as the Gulf Region Base Mapping Program, the project was authorized by Governor Barbour and is part of a larger infrastructure program being run by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

"The mapping data currently being developed is critically needed for the long-range planning work that is necessary for rebuilding and renewing our Gulf Coast," said Trudy Fisher , executive director of MDEQ. "It will enable the public- and private-sector engineering, construction, and economic development people to make wiser and faster decisions," she added. To that end, EarthData's all-digital mapping approach will enable an accelerated project turnaround with first products delivered to the state this spring and final products slated for the fall.

The mapping program is being funded by the Mississippi Development Authority with a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It includes the coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson , as well as the inland counties of Pearl River , Stone, and George. Color orthoimagery will be developed at 1'-pixel resolution in rural areas and at 6"-pixel resolution in urban areas and the southern half of the coastal counties where damage and change was most extensive. The Mississippi Coordinating Council for Remote Sensing and GIS will make final mapping deliverables available to state and local government agencies and institutes of higher learning for maximum benefit.

EarthData participates on the project as a member of Mississippi Geographic Information (MGI), a joint venture with Waggoner Engineering and Watershed Concepts. MGI previously has completed a number of projects for the state, including lidar data collection and digital elevation model production of coastal and inland areas for digital flood insurance rate mapping, as well as image acquisition and processing for the Mississippi statewide mapping program.

About EarthData International:

EarthData provides a full range of mapping and GIS services to support customers' needs in a wide variety of natural resource management, urban planning, economic development, national defense, and engineering activities. With its fleet of aircraft, the organization collects aerial photography, uses airborne laser (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) systems to produce 3D terrain models, and develops or deploys other remote sensing technologies to detect thermal and multispectral information about the earth's surface. EarthData offices in the United States and China use this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services worldwide (http://www.earthdata.com).

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