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            Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today (Friday, July 28, 2006) that the City and County of Honolulu has received its first high-resolution digital aerial photographic images of Oahu and will soon be receiving an updated set through two federal initiatives.

            The new imagery is part of the news U.S. Geological Survey’s “Imagery for the Nation” and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s “Urban Area Imagery” programs. Through the NGA, Honolulu recently received a set of the detailed digital ortho-rectified aerial imagery that provides a bird’s-eye view of Oahu, corrected to eliminate distortion, at a resolution of 1 foot. The City is in line to get another set of images under a project that begins this fall. It will be managed by the USGS and funded by NGA.

            “This imagery provides our police, fire and emergency services providers with vital information,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “Other City services, including transportation, permitting, land-use planning, facility maintenance and tax assessments, will benefit from this, too.”

            The mayor added, “This project puts Honolulu on the leading edge of the geographic information systems management. It’s the result of heads-up work of the Department of Planning and Permitting, under director Henry Eng, and particularly Ken Schmidt, the City’s GIS administrator.”

            Schmidt said, “This is the first time we have ever received islandwide coverage of such imagery. For over 15 years we have been working to obtain high-resolution true color imagery for our mapping programs.”
            The photo maps can be used in many ways, such as plotting deployment of firefighters responding to a brush fire. They were used during the heavy rains of February and March to identify flooded areas and in assessment and recovery operations. City permit reviewers are using the photo maps to see what is actually built, and tax assessors can see structures that might not be visible from the street, Schmidt said.

            The high-resolution images the City received this year were photographed from an airplane between August 2004 and March 2005. They are far more accurate than previous images available to the City. In addition to the City having them, those images are available to the public on the USGS website

            Work on the next sets of images is scheduled to begin this fall, under a $357,000 contract awarded by the U.S. Geological Survey to Aerometric, Inc.

            The City is slated to receive updated images every three years after that.




            Ken Schmidt, GIS administrator, 527-6012

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-6928

Friday, July 28, 2006

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