After more than three years of planning, collaboration, management and fickle weather, the 2011 MAT-SU LiDAR and Imagery project is coming to fruition. The contracted organizations, UAF, Aerometric as well as the MAT-SU Borough and all project partners, are excited beyond measure to have played a role in one of the most comprehensive and premier mapping projects in the State of Alaska.
 
Please read the letter from Tony Follett, Senior Vice President of Aerometric regarding the project status and schedule. We realize that many of you are eagerly awaiting the project deliverables. The terrain, acquisition conditions and sheer size of the project have presented many challenges along the way. However, despite obstacles, conundrums and setbacks, we have been steadfast in our commitment to quality and accuracy. In short, the partners and contracted organizations have come together to produce a mapping project which is simply stunning.
 
Data Dissemination
As you know, over the past several months, the MSB, UAF and Aerometric have been working extremely hard not only to ensure that the project deliverables are of the highest quality , but also to provide them to interested users in the earliest and most efficient manner possible. We appreciate your patience during this time and we are happy to announce the data distribution plan for the 2011 MAT-SU LiDAR and Imagery Project.
 
Developing an effective and efficient distribution process is a critical component of this project. Because of their size, number and geographic breadth, moving the project deliverables from one place to another can be complicated. After consulting with data storage experts, it has become clear that the fastest possible way to get the project into your hands is through use of portable storage media. Eventually, we hope to have a web-based solution in which users can download data and/or ingest data into GIS and CAD programs as web services. Until then, portable hard drives are the answer.
 
Our strategy for data distribution first addresses the many interested users who are hoping to use the deliverables for projects during the 2012 construction season. As our list of interested individuals and organizations has recently passed eighty, we expect there will be an initial "surge" of demand in the spring and summer of 2012 which will eventually taper off by winter of 2013. In order to meet this initial demand we’ve partnered with Aerometric to develop a simple and efficient ordering method.
 
Last week, the MAT-SU Borough entered into a data distribution agreement with Aerometric for a period of twelve months in which interested users can select the types of deliverables and their geographic area of interest from an online order form accessed from the MSB website. Aerometric will then calculate the amount of storage necessary to copy your order onto a portable hard drive and ship the drive to you. Users will be responsible for the cost of the drive and shipping only. This method allows us to make data available for distribution as soon as it passes the QAQC process and is organized for delivery. The online order form will include maps of which deliverable types are available (i.e. LiDAR versus imagery) and in which project blocks.

Our anticipated go-live date is June 5, 2012. Initially, the following deliverables will be available:

LiDAR Imagery
Point Mackenzie Block (All LiDAR deliverables) Point Mackenzie Block (1 foot resolution)
  Willow Block  (1 foot resolution)
  Caswell Lakes Block  (1 foot resolution)
  Talkeetna Block  (1 foot resolution)
  North Susitna Block  (1 foot resolution)

Generally, imagery products become available sooner than the LiDAR products due to the complexity of processing and quality checking the LiDAR deliverables. As the schedule in Tony Follett's letter reflects, most of the remaining LiDAR blocks will be transferred to UAF (contracted for QAQC efforts) during May. The MAT-SU Borough is including a few value-added products to the deliverable set such as 10, 20, 50 and 100 foot contours in shapefile format and compressed imagery in mrsid and jpeg2000 formats.
 
Technical Support and Project Updates: Introducing the MSB LiDAR Web Page
While Aerometric will be responsible for the ordering and delivery of the project, the MAT-SU Borough will continue to provide support for any product-related questions. We are excited to announce the MSB LiDAR & Imagery web page, which will be the source for project related information, updates and the online order form. Henceforth, you will receive project updates through the LiDAR web page. You will not have to visit the page on your own to determine if there have been updates. The page contains a subscription service from which emails will be sent notifying you of all new updates. As a convenience to you, we will be adding all of the email addresses on our current distribution list to the subscription service. This will occur towards the end of this week or early next week, at which point you will receive an email asking you to activate your subscription. If you do not activate your subscription, you will no longer receive project updates.
 
The online order form will be accessed through a link on the LiDAR web page. It is currently disabled but will become functional as soon as the order form is up and running.

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