Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo's Communications Office
Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo makes GIS announcement

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 08, 2008  
Contact Information:  Sarah Baird
(502) 564-2611

Lexington KY – Kentuckians now have the opportunity to see their state in a whole new way.

This morning at the 15th Annual Kentucky Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference, keynote speaker Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo made a very special announcement to a room packed with GIS developers, PVAs from all reaches of the state and those simply curious to find out more about the myriad applications of this innovative technology.

The Commonwealth has recently acquired full color, aerial photography of the entire state from Photoscience—a Lexington, Kentucky based firm specializing in imaging and GIS. This acquisition—made in part through the use of designated capital funds and grants from the United States Geological Survey (USGS)—will have an immensely positive impact on all towns and communities across Kentucky.  The aerial photography will be utilized for innumerable purposes including resource management, increased accuracy in transportation and infrastructure planning, community development, surveying and engineering.

These images will also assist in the growth and development of the Commonwealth’s Adventure Tourism initiative, which seeks to fuse together already existing natural resources with recreational opportunities in order to spur economic growth across the state.

“Adventure Tourism is an initiative that is poised to have a dramatic, positive impact on the entire Commonwealth, especially our rural areas,” said Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo. “Through the implementation of this statewide imagery dataset, the promotion of Kentucky’s recreational resources will expand as more accurate, accessible information becomes available about our myriad of outdoor opportunities. This is an invaluable resource for all Kentuckians, as well as those coming to enjoy our scenic state.”

The aerial photos were captured during the summer months of 2006 at a two-foot resolution using aircrafts equipped with specialized digital cameras. Photography acquired at this resolution allows a viewer to easily identify objects like vehicles, small outbuildings, landscaping plants, utilities, crop patterns and recreational trails.

“With the purchase of new aerial imagery technology, we will be better able to locate and define the best possible routes for new trail systems across the Commonwealth. This will put us one step closer to our goal of establishing a multi-use Cross Kentucky Trail.  The enhanced views will also allow the user to clearly see all aspects of the trails so that they may choose which trails are best suited to their needs,” said First Lady Jane Beshear.

Kentucky has maintained digital aerial imagery for almost a decade, beginning with one meter resolution, black-and-white photos in the late 1990s. The successful use by towns and cities of the black-and-white images enabled the state to acquire one meter, full-color images in 2004 via a partnership with the US Department of Agriculture/Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA/NRCS).  Although several urban communities across the Commonwealth have more recent data, the vast majority of Kentucky’s cities and counties are still relying on the 1-meter imagery from 2004. This purchase will improve each community’s ability to access to the most current aerial imagery of their cities and counties at a higher, more accurate resolution.

Photos of all counties have been loaded into an online database and are now available for viewing here. Kentucky’s additional Internet Mapping Sites are accessible via the Kentucky Geography Network. The data has been tiled into 11,702 separate images that can be downloaded for either personal or business related uses.