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Mosaic mapping heads to Afghanistan

Ottawa-based digital mapping firm Mosaic Mapping Corp. announced a contract to assist in the reconstruction of war torn Afghanistan. Mosaic will use its LiDAR technology to map Highway 1, the primary Afghan road that runs for 1062 kilometres from the capital of Kabul to Herat. Large of areas of the highway have been destroyed by years of warfare and two decades of neglect.

The contract was awarded by global engineering firm Louis Berger Group Inc. of New Jersey as part USAID’s efforts to rebuild the country. The reconstruction of Highway 1 began a year ago and is expected to take another two years to complete. Mosaic’s mapping technology will be used to survey damaged areas of the highway for engineers to plan the reconstruction. Financial terms of the deal were not released. A unique aspect of the project was that Mosaic decided it would be too risky to map the highway from the air. Instead, a vehicle-mounted system called SLiDAR was developed to map the highway from the side.

“The contract to survey the road from Kandahar to Herat presented Mosaic’s team with some interesting technical challenges,” James Ferguson, VP of operations at Mosaic, said in a statement. “We have always known that our proprietary technologies coupled to our in-house research and development team gave us the tools to respond quickly, and this latest contract certainly lends weight to that argument.”

LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a mapping technology that uses laser beams to read the surface of the earth. It can read surface topography, as well as measure speed, distance and chemical composition. Mosaic trades on the TSX Venture Exchange. In the first half of the current fiscal year it achieved revenues of $1.68 million, compared to $622,812 the previous year.