Connecticut GIS User to User Network

February 19, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016

8:30 am - 12:30pm


Metropolitan District Training Center

125 Maxim Rd.

Hartford, CT





The meeting is focused on the 2016 Statewide Flight being managed by the Capital Region Council of Governments (CRCOG)  plus our Annual Business meeting.  Representatives from CRCOG’s Aerial Vendor Sanborn will be presenting the project and discussing buy-up options.  As for the Annual Network Business meeting, we have a vacated Secretary position on the Executive Committee and seats available on the Steering committee to affirm as part of the Annual Meeting responsibilities. 


Meeting Schedule:
8:30 – 9:00 – Networking
9:00 – 9:45 – Introduction
10:00 – 12:00 – Sanborn 2016 Statewide Flight Project Presentation and Buy-up discussion
12:00 – 12:30 – Annual Meeting Network Business


Sanborn Presentation Slides (PDF)


Meeting Notes


Friday’s User to User meeting in Hartford featured 2 presentations, followed up by the Steering Committee’s annual business meeting.  Presenting first was Mark Goetz, President of the User to User Network and GIS Director of the CT Metropolitan Council of Governments.  Mark gave a history of aerial mapping projects in the state, focusing on projects where agencies have partnered together to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.  Mark has developed a survey to collect information on other aerial imagery projects undertaken at a sub-state level in the hopes of understanding the investment in aerial photography within the state, which will be published to the list serv shortly.


Within his presentation Mark posed the idea of restructuring the CT GIS User to User Group to fill some of the voids left behind when the former CT Geospatial Council disbanded in 2013.  His vision includes increased representation from public, private and utility sectors with the aim of creating a coordinating body for GIS data standardizations and data acquisition purchases.


Image Source: Meg McGaffin


Following Mark was a presentation on the upcoming 2016 aerial imagery project by the contracted firm, Sanborn.  Brad Arshat Director, Strategic Accounts and Shawn Benham, Project Manager gave a detailed presentation on their company and its approach to the state contract.  The aerial flight is being funded in an unusual way using Regional Performance Incentive Program (RPIP) grant funds awarded by the CT Office of Policy and Management.  Typically these grants are competitively awarded to Regional Councils of Governments for projects that enhance efficiencies within a specific region.  In 2015 the Capitol Region Council of Governments, on behalf of all nine regional councils of governments, submitted a grant proposal to acquire high-resolution aerial imagery  and lidar for the entire state.  The grant was awarded and the flight funded with contributions from CT Dept of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the CT Dept. of Transportation.

By late March/early April Sanborn intends to have planes in the air acquiring leaf off 3” pixel imagery.  Imagery will be delivered on hard drives in GeoTIFF, MrSID tiles and MrSID mosaic datasets sometime in the fall.  Along the coast Sanborn is prioritizing flight paths during low tide, however there are many circumstances that may interfere. 


Using CT Eco’s Aerial Map Viewer it is possible to see the difference in quality between the 3” pixel imagery acquired by CRCOG in 2009 and 12” pixel imagery captured by the state in 2012.


The presentation moved on to discussing the second element of the contract, the acquisition of lidar data.  Two data points per square meter will be shot, according to the USGS QL2 specifications.  From this data Sanborn will create 1 foot contours.  Each lidar point will have a time stamp. 

For illustrative purposes this is what a square-meter grid looks like over a tennis court:
Image Source: City of Milford GIS


Next, the vendors discussed a number of buy-up options.  Oblique imagery, change detection, planimetric features and higher-quality data capture are some of the options available.  Due to the short window of time available before the flight any buy-up options need to be discussed with Brad Arshat of Sanborn immediately.  It was asked during the presentation if an agency could order a buy-up product and create a contract for payment after the new fiscal years beings on July 1 and the answer was yes.  It was also asked if there would be a way for the vendor to identify where buy-ups were being purchased, allowing other agencies to potentially take advantage of shared costs.  The vendor offered to publish a map of where buy-ups were being purchased to facilitate potential cooperation.


The Sanborn presentation will be converted to a PDF and shared to the list serv as soon as it is available.

The meeting concluded with the Annual Business meeting of the User to User Steering Committee.  A new secretary was elected, Elizabeth Abate of Tighe and Bond and Sam Dziekan of the Housatonic Valley Association came aboard as Non-Profit Representative.

Thank you to Eric Lindquist of OPM for assisting with this write up.


Meg McGaffin
GIS Analyst
City of Milford, CT
CT GIS User Network



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