The following GIS Projects are currently underway in Genesee County..
In 2005, Genesee County built a partnership and coordinated a project with its local units of government to advance GIS throughout the County, minimize the duplication of efforts, and bring significant benefit through increased cooperation and information sharing. More than 30 government agencies including Genesee County, the State of Michigan, and the USGS came together to fund a county-wide aerial photography and mapping software project that will put vital information in the hands of emergency workers, public service providers, and policy makers throughout the County. A project that could have cost Genesee County over $275,000 is now being done for less than $23,000. This joint effort will not only save Genesee County a lot of money, but will make GIS technology and information available to many local units of government that otherwise might not be able to afford it.
This initiative, called the Genesee County Pictometry and Orthoimagery Project, combines a number of products and services to support both development and deployment of geographic information across the County. In the spring of 2006, Pictometry International Corporation will capture both oblique (taken from an angle) and orthogonal (straight down view) high-resolution, true-color digital aerial photos for all of Genesee County. Images of every square foot of the County will be taken from multiple directions, providing complete views of every building, structure, road, and natural feature. All of the imagery will be useable through a number of GIS applications, including a lightweight software tool called Electronic Field Study, ArcMap, and ArcIMS. To meet the additional needs of GIS developers and planners, the orthogonal images captured by the vendor will be further processed, orthorectified, and certified by Sanborn Corporation to produce a traditional orthophoto product that meets or exceeds national map accuracy standards at a minimum scale of 1”=200’.
As part of the U.S. Public Land Survey System, section corners are a necessary component for defining boundaries of land ownership in Genesee County. To improve the overall accuracy and usefulness of the Genesee County enterprise GIS, section corners must be incorporated into the system. Among other things, section corners will help with parcel repositioning and can serve as control points on future aerial orthorectification projects.
The Genesee County Road Commission, with help from the GIS Working Group, has initiated a project to capture GPS coordinates on all remonumented section corners in the County. The Road Commission is using survey grade GPS equipment along with the new CORS towers located in the county to acquire sub-centimeter accurate readings.
Over the past forty years, county wide aerial photography has been collected seven times (1966, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2002) with another flight schedule for spring of 2006. Of these historic years, only the 2002 flight produced a digital product. In order to better utilize and preserve the County’s valuable historic imagery, all remaining flight years prior to 2002 will be scanned into a digital format. Automation will enable the County to eventually orthorectify six flight years, which would make them compatible with the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS). Until then, an index file will be created per flight year so that individual images can be identified by location. The digital format will not only allow more users to have access to the historic aerial photos, but will also provide a means by which the images can be preserved and reproduced when necessary.
For years Genesee County sorely needed a road centerline layer. Unfortunately previous cost estimates provided by consultants to develop such a layer were beyond the County’s GIS budget. Without the money to fund such an expensive project or the staff to create a layer in-house, Genesee County opted to use the State of Michigan’s Geographic Framework. Although suitable for official transportation and Act 51 purposes, the Framework needed some improvement before it could meet all of the County’s GIS needs.
To help improve the Framework and increase its overall accuracy, a partnership was established with the State of Michigan’s Center for Geographic Information (MCGI) to produce a better road centerline product. Genesee County provided its high-resolution orthophotos and parcel base map to MCGI to help with missing streets, incorrect address ranges, and features in need of repositioning.
A workflow plan was created to insure that the most recent information about the road network in Genesee County would be available to those editing the Framework. As updates are identified by the County, they are submitted to MCGI and are then incorporated into the Framework before its official release. Currently, arrangements are being made with MCGI to receive regular updates of the Framework between its official releases so that the County can benefit from improvements made along the way.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working on a five year program to update the nation’s floodplain maps, and has selected Genesee County to be one of its study communities. Initial meetings with FEMA, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Genesee County Departments, and local communities took place during the summer of 2005 to develop a scope of work for the study. Genesee County Departments will provide FEMA and participating consultants with local GIS data, such as high-resolution digital orthoimagery and 2 foot contours, to assist with the study and mapping program. Existing 100 and 500 year floodplains are expected to change as a result of the study and its use of the more accurate local data. Once complete, the project will have produced new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMS) that can be incorporated into the County’s GIS.