More people will get a clearer birds eye view of Pennsylvania now that a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Geologic Survey has been reached that will put the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ PAMAP high-resolution aerial photography on Google Earth, free of charge, at www.earth.google.com.
PAMAP is a seamless digital base map of the state that provides access to road, parcel, elevation, boundaries, hydrography and other data at a scale 10 times better than what was previously available through existing topographic maps.
“PAMAP is the most detailed look at the state ever,” DCNR Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “Nearly a thousand users per day were accessing this information on the PAMAP Web site, and now that it is available on Google Earth, we expect the data will be even more widely viewed and used.”
The statewide digital base map is being created by the DCNR Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey in partnership with other state agencies, counties, the federal government and other government entities.
“Thanks to these highly accurate pictures, now you can not only see exactly what your house looks like from the sky,” said State Geologist Dr. Jay Parrish. “This imagery can also help emergency responders deal with hazardous situations faster, help planning agencies plan for development, and help with more accurate flood plain mapping.”
The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey has been collecting this specialized high-resolution aerial photography, known as orthophotography, since 2003 as part of the PAMAP program. Orthophotography is digital photography taken from the air and aligned with geographic positioning systems, or GPS. Each year, the PAMAP program flies a large section of the state on a continuous basis to update these orthophotos.
While Google Earth is using the imagery only, the PAMAP program includes topography, buildings, boundaries, land cover, transportation, and hydrography.