aerial photography Archives - Infrastructure Digest

What happens when a dedicated wastewater treatment operator earns a pilot’s license? Answer: One of the most unique hobbies you can image.

About 12 years ago, Marcel Tremblay earned his pilot’s license and began a hobby that combined two of his passions: wastewater treatment and flying. Tremblay noticed airports and wastewater treatment plants are often located close to each other, so he began taking aerial photos of the plants and arranging plant tours for when he landed. His fly-over features soon become a regular component of Mass Waters, the Massachusetts Water Pollution Control Association’s newsletter, which Tremblay edits.

Since then, Tremblay has flown to nearly every corner of the state as he explores various wastewater treatment systems.

Why should you read this? It’s always seemed to me that treatment plants are some of the most beautifully designed public facilities, so I’m on board with this hobby. TPO, January 2015

Sediment Mapping by Air

“Paradoxically, the effectiveness of the dam for sediment control has led to a serious issue confronting the reservoir: sediment deposition is reducing reservoir storage capacity and causing significant aggradation upstream within the Rio Grande channel. Monitoring sediment volume, spatial distribution, and rate of deposition is of paramount concern to the Corps of Engineers. Consequences for the operation and life expectancy of Cochiti Dam and Reservoir are at stake.”

Why should you read this? An interesting survey niche, and a look at an infrastructure peril you may not know much about. Aerial Mapping 2012

Crucial Post-tornado Imagery

“As we waited for the weather to clear, our crews began planning their flight lines. During this process, we made a decision that proved critical to the success of the project. We put word out to the Missouri GIS Advisory Committee (MGISAC) listserv about our plans and asked if anyone had a map of the tornado path. The response was remarkable. Within minutes, the Missouri National Guard and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), both with boots on the ground, delivered remarkably detailed shapefiles delineating the path of destruction…

Working with a combination of Z/I Imaging DMC processing software and our own proprietary systems, the production team orthorectified the one-foot images first using the natural color bands and existing elevation data. Once the 40 one-foot exposures had been orthorectified, they were used to filter out some of the three-inch exposures that contained no damage as a means of expediting the remaining processing.”

Why should you read this? Weather events keep happening, and surveyors are often first responders, at least in terms of infrastructure. This is a good case study on rapidly gathered aerial data used to assess damage and plan reconstruction. Professional Surveyor, 2012

A New View on Mapping

“… using a modified version of an airborne thermal infrared sensor technology used by the military for night vision, Bluesky began offering aerial thermal surveys that provided average heat-loss values for building polygons.” Bit of an advertisement for Bluesky International Ltd., but also a good overview of new options in aerial mapping, including thermal mapping, solar potential mapping, and UAV use. POB, July 2012

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