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James W. Sewall

 

Mississippi counties collaborate on costs of coastal imagery project

Six counties in southern Mississippi have launched a cost-savings project to capture the first comprehensive post-Katrina imagery of the Mississippi coastal region. In an innovative inter-local process, Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, George, Stone, and Pearl River counties have teamed together with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Northern Gulf Institute to develop high-resolution digital imagery products at lower cost than they would pay under separate independent contracts.

In January, the counties selected international GIS firm James W. Sewall Company to fly the 3,700-square-mile project area and deliver composite 0.5-foot-pixel and 1-foot-pixel digital orthophotography in March. The deliverables will be used for a wide range of local, state and federal government applications, including tax assessment, transportation, utilities upgrades and environmental studies.

“It’s a make sense project,” says Bob Jackson, Harrison County Deputy Tax Assessor, and project coordinator under Tal Flurry, Harrison County Tax Assessor. “Harrison County needed new imagery and we knew the surrounding counties needed imagery. Coordinating regional flights would not only save duplicated effort, lowering costs to the taxpayers, but also attract federal interest. We chose Sewall because of its history of collective projects in Georgia, its quality of product, and price points well beyond what we could achieve independently.” 

Joel Yelverton, independent consultant and government liaison to the project, says, “The collective approach to this project is unique to Mississippi.” Yelverton, a key player in negotiating the State and federal agreements, considers the project “a working model for other counties in the State.”

Under an aggressive schedule, Sewall has completed flying the project and is now developing the digital orthophotography using elevation data from previous post-Katrina work. The high resolution of the imagery will enable the counties, state agencies and NOAA to develop customized mapping and GIS products as needed in the future.

About Sewall: Founded in 1880, Sewall is an integrated team of geospatial, engineering and natural resource consultants who partner with government and industry clients to create practical, sustainable solutions. The company’s diverse portfolio is based on 130 years' experience in surveying, forest appraisal and civil engineering; 60 years' in aerial mapping; and 20 years' in GIS and application development. To obtain more information, please contact: Lisa Schoonmaker, at 207-827-4456; schl@sewall.com

 

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