Michigan Breaks Down Silos Between State and County

Huron County, Mich., Commissioners unanimously voted to sign an agreement with the Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery and LiDAR program for a data exchange with the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget.

by Robert Creenan, The Huron Daily Tribune / November 22, 2019
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(TNS) — The Huron County, Mich., Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to sign an agreement with the Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery and LiDAR program for a data exchange between Huron County and the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget.

The agreement would allow Huron County to acquire aerial photographs taken by the state in 2016 and share data between the two entities.

Both the state and local governments can use the pictures for their daily business.

Everett Root, the MiSAIL program’s director, said the photos and data taken from them are used for a variety of purposes, like road and construction projects, identifying water features, taking an inventory of assets, mapping out forests, enforcing zoning laws, and helping emergency first responders plan.

“That map or aerial photo can be used to overlay anything on top of it, like property boundaries,” Root explained.

Aerial images have been taken over Huron County twice since MiSAIL started in 2010, in 2011 and 2016. Flights over approximately 20% of the state to take aerial pictures take place every year.

LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is an airborne sensor used to pick up accurate data of the earth’s surface with a laser. It is primarily used for topographic mapping, flood mapping, hydrology mapping, and incorporating structures into 3D maps.

“The way it works now, free copies of the geographic imagery are given (to the counties) in exchange for free (geographic information system) data,” Root said.

Root said MiSAIL is working to shorten up the length of time between flyovers over counties, with the next one for Huron County scheduled to take place in 2020.

©2019 The Huron Daily Tribune (Huron, Mich.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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