ALACHUA COUNTY - County Manager Randall H. Reid has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Florida Department of Emergency Management on Statewide Standard Specifications for future acquisition of LiDAR and Ortho-photography data.
LiDAR and Ortho-photography are two digital datasets that provide information on ground and under-ground terrain elevation and on aerial photography for the entire county. They are both used in land use planning, environmental studies and assessments, property assessments, emergency management, building permits, code enforcement, etc. Every few years, the Board of County Commissioners, as do other local governments in the US, sets aside a significant budget amount for the acquisition of these two datasets. To help maximize the public benefit of these budget allocations, the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) is spearheading a new initiative.
FDEM has engaged in a statewide outreach effort with several state agencies, water management districts, and local governments asking support for standardization in the development, maintenance, and use of baseline specifications for LiDAR and ortho-photography data acquisition in the State of Florida. During the last legislative session, House Bill 7121 was passed, providing the framework for this effort from FDEM, which includes developing the specifications and related materials, for use in all projects flown by all agencies in the State of Florida.
The County Manager has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the FDEM in support of this effort, and it is also urging all local governments in Alachua County to do the same. Ed Crapo, the County's Property Appraiser, has already expressed his support for this initiative.
Please note that the current funding mechanism and related acquisition practices for Alachua County are not changing. For more on this initiative, see: http://www.floridadisaster.org/gis/lidar/.