Geologic survey markers appearing around county Aerial photographs will provide database for 911 emergency maps

March 11, 1998|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Twelve-foot letters "VLT" will begin appearing around Carroll this week -- signifying not an alien invasion, but an aerial-mapping project to take the county's 911 emergency response system into the future.

About 60 of the white vinyl panels will be placed to cover survey control points for the aerial photography, said Buddy Redman, the county's administrator of the Office of Public Safety. The survey control points are used to tie the mapping to the surface of the earth.

The project should be completed in about a year, he said, and the result will look like a road map.

The aerial photographs will be used to create accurate maps -- improving the county's computer-assisted dispatch system with a display on the computer screen showing the exact location of an emergency call, he said.

"I was trying to get something that would help us keep track of accurate address information for 911 -- rather than just using a three-ring binder," Redman said of his request for funds from the state's Emergency Number System Board.

"Ours is not extremely accurate -- that's why I went for this project," he said. "I think in a rural setting this is real important.

"In years past, we had information showing house numbers assigned to the wrong side of the street [or] showing the location of a house halfway down the street when it is really at one end or the other. It needs to be more accurate."

Redman asked that people not disturb the vinyl panels that form the letter-shaped markers. They will be removed after the photography is certified.

"The VLT is distinctive," said Redman, who doesn't want people baffled over the geologic markers, which began appearing yesterday. Explanations will be mailed to neighboring property owners.

A Sparks civil engineering firm, Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson, has been hired to develop the database -- officially titled the E-911/Geographic Information System Enhancement Project.

The firm, which specializes in this type of work, plans to take aerial photographs between Sunday and April 15.

The county is paying for the project as part of a 1994 grant for the 911 system, Redman said.

"The photographic information will be transferred into a database, so you will get a map on a computer screen pointing to this location," he said. "They are starting to do it in other places around the country."

Pub Date: 3/11/98

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