Smile — you’re on camera!
Residents of the RM of St. Francois Xavier and other municipalities in southern Manitoba might spot a twin-engine plane flying overhead this spring and summer. What they may not see is the camera, set into the plane’s undercarriage, being used to create high-resolution orthophotos. The pictures will aid St. Francois Xavier and other municipalities with planning, zoning and emergency situations.
Daniel Brooker, vice-president of business development for Winnipeg’s ATLIS Geomatics, said the company is taking photos from an average height of 10,000 feet above ground.
"We’ve already started flying over some areas."
According to company information, ATLIS’s high-resolution camera creates a stereo (3D) image that makes for excellent photographic mapping.
The 90-megapixel camera is mounted in a housing and securely bolted to the floor of the aircraft. Images taken over southern Manitoba will offer a clear view of cars, properties, and other man-made and natural features and can even be shown in 3D with the right equipment. Images of specific sites will also be available for download from the company’s online store at www.atlisvue.com
Brooker said municipal officials can use the ATLIS maps to identify and track changes to properties, help with emergency planning, and plan for infrastructure and municipal improvements. Being able to use the imagery to prioritize sandbagging efforts and plan emergency routes will prove an invaluable resource to some municipalities in flood-prone areas.
St. Francois Xavier chief administrative officer Robert Poirier said the aerial images complement the information the municipality uses to combine physical features on a map with property and zoning information.
"It’ll give us a better map," he said, adding the current system does not offer the same features as ATLIS can provide.
"That gives us a new view," he said. "It’s a decision support tool."
Councillors are able to view the maps online when discussing zoning and other issues at their meetings.