September 24, 2014 – Lisa Miller, Bi-State Data/GIS Director provided an update on the coordination of a flyover of a multi-county area to acquire GIS-quality digital aerial photos and other products this year.  Staff facilitated similar projects in 2005 and 2009 with participants realizing a significant cost savings by coordinating the flight and purchasing aerial products together.  In 2005 Rock Island and Scott Counties; the cities of Bettendorf, Colona, Moline, and Rock Island; and the Muscatine Area Geographic Information Consortium, or MAGIC (Muscatine County, City of Muscatine, and Muscatine Power and Water Co.) spent approximately $465,500 to purchase aerial photo products.  In 2009, Scott County and the municipalities of Carbon Cliff, Coal Valley, Davenport, East Moline, and Silvis purchased products for approximately $260,000.

Staff seeks project participants and gathers product wish lists; procures a consultant for RFP development, vendor selection, and other technical tasks; and coordinates technical and administrative details to ensure project completion.  The cost of the technical consultant is shared among participants.  Project participants for the Spring 2014 flight included:  (IA) Clinton and Scott Counties; MAGIC; and (IL) Henry Co., municipalities of Aledo, Carbon Cliff, Coal Valley, East Moline, Milan, Moline, Rock Island, and Silvis.  Costs for the aerial flight and products are unit cost-based and are determined by the area covered by each jurisdiction and the type of product desired.  The group selected Kucera International out of Willoughby, OH to acquire the imagery and produce aerial products.  Each jurisdiction holds a separate contract with Kucera with the total project cost at $560,039.40.  Products for this year’s project include:  digital color orthophotography (at various resolutions), LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), digital terrain models (DTMs), digital elevation models (DEMs), contours, and planimetric mapping.  The imagery was acquired over 11 days between March 30 and April 25, 2014, after the snow had melted and there was no flooding, no leaf cover, and the skies were clear.  Participants will receive pilot project areas (approximate 3.0 square mile sample sections) for review in late September.  Final delivery of all products is expected by December 31, 2014.

While there’s no set schedule for another regional flight in coming years, the success of the project in this and past years demonstrates successful multi-jurisdictional flyovers occur with a four or five year frequency.  Local governments and agencies are encouraged to participate and plan budgets accordingly.  For more information contact Lisa Miller, Data/GIS Director at 309.793.6302, ext. 133 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..