Companies under contract to the Maine Library of Geographic Information have been conducting aerial photography in Penobscot and Hancock counties this week in order to provide images that local governments will use for maps.
Sixteen towns in the two counties are participating in the project, according to Joseph Young, executive director of the library. They will save about $320,000 by participating in the state contract, he said.
The total cost of the aerial photography in Hancock is about $135,000, Young said in an interview Tuesday. However, the county’s share of the cost is only about $48,000 because state agencies foot the bill for the remainder. This week’s work in Penobscot is only for the lower one-third of the county, including the Bangor area, which will cost Penobscot about $27,000. Penobscot is acquiring the images it needs in a three-year process.
Local governments use the photographic base maps that are provided under the contract in order to develop their own tax maps or parcel maps, explained Young. The maps also are used by code enforcement officials, public works staff, utility district personnel and others. The maps usually are updated every few years to capture changes that have occurred.
In the three years the library has sponsored the program, photography has been completed for York, Cumberland, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Lincoln, Knox and Sagadahoc counties. Sixty-six towns have participated.
The remaining counties are on the aerial photography schedule for 2014 and beyond. The plan is to complete the state in five years, and then begin a refresh cycle based on municipal, county, state and federal needs, according to Young.
By participating in the state contract, communities have saved an average of $20,000 each or a combined $1.3 million, according to Young.
The state Department of Transportation, Emergency Management Agency and Public Utilities Commission support the program.
The aerial photography in Hancock and Penobscot counties is expected to wrap up this week or next week, depending on weather conditions.
The work is being carried out by Ohio-based Woolpert Inc.; Kappa Mapping Inc. and Shyka, Sheppard & Garster Land Surveyors, both of Bangor; and Sewall Company of Old Town.