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New aerial images on county

USA: After several months of working to get better quality images, new aerial photography of the county is ready to be uploaded to the Whitley County Geographic Information Web site. “The new aerial information should be there within a week,” said Dan Weigold of the Whitley County Engineer’s Office. The most recent round of aerial photos were taken during April of 2008 and once uploaded should offer a much more detailed view of the county than the current site.

“The pictures are clear enough you could see kids at the shotput area,” of Smith-Green Community Schools, but facial features were not visible, Weigold said.

With the most recent round of flights, the county received two types of photos, oblique images and orthophotos. Orthophotos are able to display actual ground features, not just cartographic representations of those features, and oblique images offer a view of the sides of buildings, not just an overhead view.

Weigold said the oblique images would not go on the public Web site because of the extra amount of detail in them, but can be viewed anytime at the engineer’s office once online.“We’ve still got some work to do on them, but hopefully they’ll be on before too long,” he said.

A local utility company has also helped supply some funding so that it may have access to the images. A data sharing agreement states that anyone who purchases the software cannot resell it.

Because of the new features available to county employees as a result of the new photography, the Purdue University extension office hosted a course for about two dozen county employees to become more familiar with the software.

The rural areas of the county won’t see as much of an improvement in quality once the images are online, but the local cities and towns and lake areas were shot in a higher resolution and offer much more detail than the current photos.