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  • County receives new tool to aid in county and city planning

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

A new tool for the county assessor's office, for county and city planning and for law enforcement has been delivered to the county.
In fact, there are many uses by many entities for the high tech accurate oblique imagery.
"It is high resolution aerial photography that is taken at about a 40 percent angle," said Glenn Greenhalgh, county planning and technology director. "This allows you to see the sides of buildings and rotate the
image so that you can see all four sides of the buildings."
He said that the county was also taking steps to finalize an agreement with Utah County so that the two counties could view the photographs of the other county when needed.
"It contains tools that allow you to find elevation, measure height, distance and area of buildings and other objects," said Greenhalgh. "You can add other GIS layers such as parcels, roads, water lines etc. to the imagery."
"So the assessor can very accurately see new buildings and even measure them from the photography as well as identifying new structures." Greenhalgh said.
Shirl Nichols, county assessor, said that the tool was accurate and helpful. However, it did not invade the privacy of any property owner.
"The image of the property is clear from high above but, as we zoom in, it blurs out so that, for example, a person sunbathing in the backyard cannot be seen," said Nichols. "We also cannot see in windows."
He said the new imagery is also used by electric utilities, by oil and gas utilities, by transportation planners, and is used for engineering and planning of future infrastructures.
It is helpful to law enforcement, fire fighters, schools, emergency response and homeland security.
The image-based solutions speed recognition and show responders multiple views of a location so they can take the 'search' out of 'search and rescue' and focus on saving lives.
The new high resolution aerial photography cost about $20,000, said Greenhalgh.
"We did receive a promotional deal," he said.
The International Association of Assessing Officers has approved the use of oblique imagery as a reliable tool for remote assessment.
"It is called Pictometry and will also be used by law enforcement,
planning and other departments," said Greenhalgh.
The highest quality, most accurate oblique imagery known is captured then is paired with innovative tools designed specifically for assessing officers.
There is everything from sketch verification technologies to automated change detection and more.
Nearly one third of counties in the United States now rely on Pictometry solutions to ensure fair and equitable assessments and improve their internal work processes for claims communications with residents and more.
"Oblique aerial photos show buildings, infrastructure, and land from all sides," said Greenhalgh.
As a result, the viewer sees more natural three-dimensional perspective views of buildings and other features on the ground than is seen on orthophotos.
Pictometry provides a total of five views of each photographed area. In order to see all sides of buildings and other features, four oblique photos are taken looking to the north, south, east and west. Pictometry also includes orthophoto views looking straight down. As compared to these "straight down" views alone, Pictometry's oblique photos can dramatically improve understanding of what's on the ground.
"I think this will be a helpful tool to the assessor and to others in our county who need this technology," said Chad Winn, commission chairman.