Wednesday, May 02, 2007

GIS Conference Report

Report from the Indiana GIS Conference in Indianapolis

Angela Gibson, GIS Specialist, recently attended the Annual Indiana GIS Conference in Indianapolis, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center on March 6-7, 2007. She presented this article for the University Libraries’ newsletter:

The Indiana GIS Conference included workshops centered on changes in the 2010 U.S. Census, the updated National Hydrology dataset, digital elevation and digital surface models, and the Public Land Survey System tie-card project. Shorter sessions were offered for a variety of subjects, such as the new oblique aerial photography, library-based interdisciplinary GIS, development of the GIS Atlas for Indiana, flood map modernization, and an assortment of other trends and projects occurring in Indiana. Particularly important sessions that correspond to services offered in the University Libraries’ Geospatial Center & Map Collection discussed oblique aerial photography.

So exactly what is oblique photography? Oblique is the technical term used to describe an aerial photograph that is taken at an angle. This means that a feature such as a house, a building or an overpass can be viewed in its entirety. This does not just mean the user can see one side of the building; rather, the image can be rotated to view the front door, back door, and both sides as well. This view is familiar to most users and provides for almost instant 3-D modeling. An oblique image can also be geo-referenced, so that GIS data such as streets, hydrology, and parcels can by layered over it.

Delaware County is in the process of obtaining a grant that will fund the purchase of new oblique aerial photography of the entire county. The Geospatial Center & Map Collection will obtain a copy of these aerials when they are available from Delaware County for use by the BSU and local community. Delaware County orthophotography is already the most requested dataset in the Center, and the new oblique photography holds the promise of being a valuable addition to the growing in-house GIS data. The Urban Planning, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture students and staff are likely to be the most interested in using the oblique imagery for site-plans, building designs, and urban planning projects.

As always, the Annual Indiana GIS Conference was a hotbed of new ideas with conversations about trends that are occurring in the GIS world. There was also exciting news about powerful new resources for GIS professionals and persons who use GIS media tools. This exciting new information about available GIS datasets and their applications will prove to be very useful for the students and faculty who use the Geospatial Center & Map Collection, located in Bracken Library on the second floor.

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