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LiDAR Training for local governments

In March 2015, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission (MGRC), in partnership with Baldwin County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Information Technology Outreach Service (ITOS), co-hosted a free educational seminar on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. LiDAR is a way to portray the earth’s surface through remote sensing, giving a three-dimensional image of the land it is scanning, thus the land use and existing conditions of a particular area. Using LiDAR a community or agency can truly map the land.

The 2015-2019 Middle Georgia Regional Work Program update noted under Community Facilities and Services that the MGRC would “Explore the feasibility of acquiring highly accurate elevation (LiDAR) data and region wide ortho-aerial photography.” The acquisition of this equipment would greatly benefit agencies throughout its 11-county region.

Over fifty (50) GIS professionals, practitioners and enthusiasts from state and local government agencies, as well as private sector companies, from across the State of Georgia heard informative presentations on a range of topics designed to increase understanding of the technology, its use, and its value to the state and its local communities. This project is an act of implementation to the Regional Work Program because of the technology’s implications community and economic development, public safety and emergency preparedness, environmental planning and conservation, infrastructure mapping and more. Each attendee left with a more robust knowledge of new and emerging technologies that will have practical implications across the region and beyond.

This training also addressed an item in the 2011 regional plan. That plan identified the need for local land use education and therefore the related opportunity to provide that education. It specifically listed the opportunity for education and training for local planning officials. Land use management is of primary concern to the counties within the Middle Georgia region.
Middle Georgia Regional Commission 


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