Frederick, MD (9 January 2006) – EarthData International mobilized to Little Rock, Arkansas, last week to kick off its recent $1.3 million contract award with the Arkansas Geographic Information Office (AGIO) for updated orthophoto mapping. Using multiple digital cameras, EarthData will acquire aerial imagery over the entire state – approximately 52,100 square miles – in a single flying season. Governor Mike Huckabee authorized the program funding and is a longtime champion for the development of GIS technology and data in Arkansas.

The project marks the first all-digital statewide orthophoto mapping program in Arkansas history and involves simultaneous collection of natural color and color-infrared imagery for generation of 1-meter pixel resolution orthophotos and a 5-meter grid digital elevation model. All products will be delivered to AGIO within one year, faster than previous programs completed using conventional film photography.

“The imagery from the 2006 update program will become the base layer for numerous applications including natural resource management, economic development, emergency response, and local planning, as well as for subsequent development and maintenance of other geospatial data throughout Arkansas,” said Learon Dalby, the state’s GIS program manager.

Five counties have also exercised an option to upgrade to 1-foot pixel resolution orthophotos over selected areas through the statewide program. Totaling an additional 2,500 square miles, the higher resolution products will serve a variety of end users within these counties and cities, from property appraisers to city engineers to law enforcement personnel.

Once completed, project data will be made available to the general public through GeoStor, the state’s popular online GIS data clearinghouse.

The Arkansas project expands EarthData’s portfolio of all-digital statewide mapping programs and underscores the organization’s strategic goal of expanding its presence in the South.


About EarthData: EarthData is an airborne data collection, mapping, and GIS services organization that provides clients with customized products, services, and GIS applications to support a wide range of land-use, resource management, and engineering activities. With its fleet of aircraft, the organization collects aerial photography, uses an airborne laser system (lidar) and imaging radar (GeoSAR) 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 Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, use this data to create and supply photogrammetric, lidar, radar, and digital orthophoto mapping and GIS applications and services. EarthData also owns the mid-west mapping and GIS company, Horizons, Inc., with offices in South Dakota and Minnesota. (

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