The Toledo City Council has approved an agreement to use the aerial mapping services of New York-based Pictometry International to help modernize the way utilities are mapped throughout in the city.
During the May 20 City Council meeting, Public Works Superintendent Craig McCown said using Pictometry’s software and services would be a significant upgrade from their current use of Google Earth, stating he hopes to update the way his department does business.
“My goal, eventually, is to bring us into the 21st century,” said McCown. “I’d like to get the town’s as-builts up-to-date digitally. I’d like to be able to go out and have everything on a tablet in the truck.”
McCown said, if employees were able to pull up maps digitally rather than sort through large paper drawings, labor expended in finding the maps would go down dramatically. He also said being able to send someone a digital map outlined with utility locations, which he stated Pictometry is able to render to within a tenth-of-an-inch of accuracy, would make it easier for the city to collaborate and seek advice when needed.
Council members responded positively to the idea, acknowledging McCown’s enthused support as a factor in their decision.
“It sounds like a move to the future,” stated Council Member Guy Spratt before a unanimous vote was cast in favor of the agreement, which will be with Lewis County as part of a shared contract for services from Pictometry.
In agreeing to take part in the program, the city will subscribe to three years of service with the option to cancel after that time. It will also cost $250 per year at current rates and will allow McCown and a second employee to access the mapping software.
McCown said a flyover by Pictometry of Western Lewis County has already taken place, so the city will not have to wait long to use this new technology.