Thursday, April 2, 2015

MD of Pincher Creek approves orthophotography project

Chris Davis

At their March 24 meeting, council for the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 approved the purchase of updated ortho corrected air photos of the municipality, to a maximum overall cost of $60,000. Director of Finance and Administration Mat Bonertz explained that these photos are taken on a three year rotation by a consortium of municipalities located south of Calgary (including the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9) who pool resources for the project, and were last taken in 2012.

"An orthophoto, orthophotograph or orthoimage is an aerial photograph geometrically corrected ("orthorectified") such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map. Unlike an uncorrected aerial photograph, an orthophotograph can be used to measure true distances, because it is an accurate representation of the Earth's surface, having been adjusted for topographic relief,[1] lens distortion, and camera tilt." - Wikipedia

From Bonertz' report to council: "The accuracy they have been flown at in the past is .5 meters. The consortium as a group is considering increasing the accuracy to .25 meters. The cost would increase from $43,000.00 for the .5 meters to $60,000.00 for the .25 meters. Our air photos in conjunction with our GIS are used extensively by public works and planning to accomplish their day to day activities. The increased accuracy is seen as a real benefit to our operation."

Bonertz also explained that the cost of the improved-accuracy photos would be $9,900 more than budgeted. "The last two times the photos were taken the Province partnered with the consortium and picked up half of the cost. This has left funds in the capital reserve (less drawn out than originally expected) that could offset this increased cost. The Province has been inundated with grant applications and it is not certain the consortium will receive grant funding for this project. If the grant funding does become available money would be refunded to the consortium municipalities."

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