Aero-Metric Receives MAPPS 2008 Geospatial Excellence Award for Work on the I-35W Bridge Collapse

August 13, 2008 -- Aero-Metric, Inc. was the recipient of a Geospatial Services Excellence Award at the 2008 MAPPS Summer Conference July 22nd for their work on the I-35W bridge collapse. Twelve projects were judged in four categories with Aero-Metric receiving top honors in the Photogrammetry/Elevation Data Generation category.

Robert Burtch, professor of Surveying and Mapping at Ferris State University Chaired the Panel of distinguished judges for 2008 MAPPS Geospatial Services Excellence Awards. The Panel also included, Dr. Pamela Lawhead, University of Mississippi; Dr. Tom Lillesand, retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dennis Morgan, retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Dr. Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation.

“Aero-Metric’s work on the I-35W response was exemplary,” said John M. Palatiello, Executive Director of MAPPS. “Facing difficult technical and logistical challenges, Aero-Metric provided the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Transportation Safety Board timely, valuable and accurate geospatial data that helped understand the cause of the bridge collapse, assist in the response and recovery, and prevent future tragedies. Their work was deserving of the MAPPS award and is symbolic of the kind of professionalism Aero-Metric and other private sector firms in MAPPS carry out every day.”

This was the second time this year that Aero-Metric has received special recognition for their work on this project. On January 28, 2008, the Minnesota Department of Transportation presented an “Above & Beyond” award for Excellence in Public Service. At the same time, Aero-Metric also received a Certificate of Appreciation and a personal letter from the Minnesota Lt. Governor and then Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Carol Molnau.

At 6:05pm, on August 1st, 2007 the 1,900-foot-long, I-35W bridge crossing the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis collapsed without warning. The tragedy sent a shock wave around the world as it left 13 dead and more than 80 injured as scores of vehicles and their occupants were trapped in bridge debris that had been plunged into the river. In rapid response to this event, Aero-Metric provided aerial photography, LiDAR, and related geospatial data services to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). Aero-Metric began its work within 16 hours of the collapse and continued to provide MnDOT and emergency responders with timely geospatial data for a period of 10 weeks. This data not only served in the rescue and recovery efforts but also in site clearing, replacement bridge design, forensic applications, detour modeling, and to document the collapse site for future reference and laboratory study.

Marvin Miller, Aero-Metric’s Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager said “As we mark the anniversary of this most tragic event, I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Aero-Metric. We were proud to have been able to be of assistance to the teams of first responders, as well as, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the citizens of Minnesota”.

Aero-Metric, Inc. is a full-service geospatial solutions company built on over eight decades of consistent, quality service and enduring client relationships. The firm offers a comprehensive range of aerial mapping and GIS services including the latest in photogrammetric, lidar, satellite and airborne imaging technology and has earned a reputation for technical excellence, superior service, and on-time delivery. For more information please call 763-420-9606 or visit

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