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Aerial photos to help US city planning

New aerial photos of Spearfish city, South Dakota, will help city planners illustrate future developments, as well as help orient members of the public to various locations that are referenced by the city, said city planner Jayna Shewak.

Recently, city council members approved a $47,200 proposal from Horizon Inc. to do aerial photo mapping of Spearfish city. The mapping would include high- resolution digital pictures of city parts from Eagle Ridge Subdivision to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and from Highway 14 to Interstate 90, Exit 17. The high- resolution pictures would allow city officials to digitally zoom in on specific areas of town to determine development characteristics, and to identify city infrastructure that needs to be maintained.

In addition to the planning benefits, Shewak told council members that the pictures could form the basis of a completely automated GIS system. She later explained that ultimately city officials would like to have all data regarding city infrastructure available in a GIS format. The system, she said, would allow city planners to enter any parcel of land into the computer and examine the existing conditions of that land for annexation requests, building permits, or other issues which arise.