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Needs Study To Confirm Probable Cost For Desoto Aerial Maps Online

The needs assessment study approved by the Board of Supervisors for aerial mapping of DeSoto County should indicate the amount the county will spend as well as the different uses for the aerial maps online.

President of Waggoner Engineering said aerial maps could be obtained for $ 105,000 if the county is interested only in complying with a state mandate that aerial maps correspond with tax mapping plats in the tax assessor's office.

More precise terra aerial maps, which can be used for planning, would provide a ratio of 1-inch = 100 feet detail in the county's municipalities. These could be had for $ 625,000, he said.

The most accurate aerial maps offering an accuracy tolerance to within 6 inches would be available for about $ 980,000, Waggoner said. Adding in the cost for contour mapping at the same time would likely increase the cost by about $ 50,000, he estimated.

But Waggoner said the more expensive maps from aerial photos from terraserver might provide a better return for the county in the long run. ''If you have a cost-sharing project involving the state or federal government, you might well get credit for the maps available as part of the city's or county's share of the costs,'' he said.

Moreover, the more accurate maps could be sold to developers and planners - anyone needing, for example, highly accurate maps for the location of water lines, drainage improvements or location of utilities.

“I believe you would save significant dollars later on in not having to do additional surveys,” Waggoner said.

The more accurate map data, developed on a digital base, could be converted to a geographic information systems (GIS) data base, he said.

“Having a GIS data base is just like having a large box with lots of layers of information,” Waggoner said. “The great benefit is that the computer can quickly correlate the data on the same basic map information, saving the user from having to thumb through dozens of map books to try to devise a construction plan, for example.”

County officials were told that the county has serious water pollution problems and that the county's air quality no longer meets federal standards.

Waggoner said the maps with the contours would help define basins to isolate pollution sources that could then be addressed. The maps would show areas where plantings might be staged to help with air quality.

Supervisor asked about the cost for work stations that would be set up to handle GIS data.

“I believe that the cost would range from $ 50,000 to $ 75,000 for actual work stations, plus a similar amount for the system software needed to run the system,” Waggoner said.

However, he said the system could be established where a number of computers could access the material for use. Those individual computers would not have the ability to manipulate the data.

The board had begun negotiations with Fisher and Arnold Engineering, a Memphis-based firm, last winter about a needs assessment study leading toward establishment of a GIS system.

Supervisor moved to terminate negotiations with Fisher and Arnold and to hire Waggoner for the study. The price for the study will be slightly more than $ 34,700. The board approved the contract 5-0.

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