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MN GIS/LIS Consortium
From the Chair
ArcGIS 9 Workshop
2007 Conference in Rochester
Call for Polaris/Lifetime Nominations
Local Users Benefit from Orthophotos in
Compiled by Will Craig, University of Minnesota
Congressman Gil Gutknecht is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, the federal department that helped provide Minnesota with its 2003-04 NAIP aerial photographs. His committee staff wondered what value this effort has for southern Minnesota, Congressional District 1. To answer this question I contacted colleagues at the Southeastern Minnesota Counties GIS Users Group, the Southwest Minnesota GIS User Group and Minnesota State University, Mankato. I quickly received the following, very rich responses.
Editor's Note: For an extensive
list of how aerial photos are used across Minnesota, see www.lmic.state.mn.us/chouse/airphoto_applications.html
County Appraiser (Lavon Augustine)
In addition the citizens and taxpayers use the aerial photos for personal research dealing with issues such as land use, recreational use, and potential and resolving neighborhood boundary disputes.
We are also finding the growing library of aerial photos dating back to 1938 to be very useful historical documents in determining the changes to the natural and manmade environment over the years.
County Planning (Lonnie Meinke)
There are many more but these are a few. Hope this is helpful.
County Soil and Water Conservation District (Jim Hruska)
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) uses photos to measure fields for their programs. Updated photos help in determining if field boundaries have changed.
I'm also the county ditch inspector and I use the photos to update the county drainage systems we have in Dodge County. Mark repairs on photos to send to contractors for making those repairs. I keep track of all repairs so I can make presentations to the County Commissioners on the status of the county drainage systems.
The County Zoning and Planning Department uses photos for a lot of their planning needs. Checking distances from building sites, feedlots, wells, etc. for their county ordinances. Updated photos really help in this department.
We all use the photos while holding public meetings or presentations to local officials. There are a lot of uses for aerial photos, and updated photos help a lot. Even looking back at old photos helps. They also help in wetland determinations.
I've probably missed some reasons but if you can keep aerial photos coming the better.
County Environmental Services (Jean Christoffels)
Having yearly aerial orthos would be beneficial to our entire County. However, being a rural Minnesota County, the cost of the yearly orthos is out of our reach.
DNR Wildlife Research (Kurt Haroldson)
We learned that pheasant abundance is directly proportional to the amount of CRP and other undisturbed grasslands in farm landscapes. The best way to increase pheasant populations is to add CRP (and other undisturbed grasslands). Conversely, pheasant populations are proportionately smaller where there is less CRP. We are very concerned that 2/3 of current CRP enrollments are set to expire during 2007-09.
FSA imagery is used extensively within DNR. It is used to support research (e.g., my pheasant studies) as well as land management. DNR partnered with FSA a few years ago in acquiring the imagery. I would estimate that FSA imagery is used in virtually every DNR office in MN. Tim Loesch (651-259-5475, firstname.lastname@example.org) could provide better information on how extensively the FSA imagery is used within DNR.
Hope this helps. It's hard to overestimate how important FSA imagery is to natural resources management.
State University, Mankato (Fei Yuan)
The change project is funded by the MSU research grant. The major problem we are worried about is the environmental and economical impacts from urban forest and impervious surface area change. We hope to use this as a pilot study to get the attention of local agencies. The Mankato city council has expressed strong interest in our forthcoming results.
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